Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga Volume 1 written by Brian K. Vaughan and art by Fiona Staples

A couple having a baby on their own is a bit traumatic, more so if they are from different sides of an on-going war. Alana and Marko are on the run from the authorities on both sides of the Landfall/Wreath war. Landfall is the largest planet in the galaxy, Wreath its moon. The war has spread across the galaxy and our star-crossed lovers met on Cleave, one of the many battlegrounds of the war. The story opens with the delivery of their daughter. They argue over her name when the Landfall forces break in and try to capture them. Luckily, the Wreath forces show up and the new family are the only survivors of the firefight. They go on the run with no particular destination in mind other than away from the war. Meanwhile, both sides hire Freelancers (basically bounty hunters) to hunt the couple and their "unnatural" offspring.

The plot is engaging enough but it's not clear to me where the story is going. The story is partially narrated by the child, who talks about these past events and drops vague hints about the future--not enough to predict where the story is going (other than the child survives).

The science fiction world is quite elaborate. The moon people have horns (mostly curved like goats or branched like deer) and long ears. The Landfall people are more diverse. Some have wings and normal heads (Alana is one of these), others have no wings and TV monitors for heads. The later are often referred to as "robots" but they definitely engaging in biological activities like sex and dying. Maybe they are cyborgs but definitely they are the ruling class on the planet. As a first issue, I suppose a lot of world-building has to be done before the story gets too deep.

I found the story intriguing enough to keep going.

Parental Advisory: there's a lot of full-on bad language; a couple of sex scenes; a lot of naked people (both in sex scenes and out); peril to the child (naturally); some violence with gore (people getting chopped in half or their heads in half or their entrails hanging out, etc.). Teens and up is my recommendation, though you know your child the best.


  1. Like you I found the world and plot intriguing enough to keep going, but I did kind of think that stuff you mentioned in your parental advisory was a bit over the top. Not being a prude, but it seemed edgy for the sake of being edgy and that took some of the authenticity away, in my opinion.

    1. I agree that the graphicness of the content seems more like "we want to be considered adult reading" rather than natural to the story. I find that disappointing and it definitely lessens the authenticity.