We(l)come Back Vol. 1 – Christopher Sebela

★★★

Mali and Tessa are “sequels”: they have lived hundreds of different lives throughout time, soldiers in an endless war that has raged so long that neither side remembers why they’re fighting: only that they must. Two opponents face each other: the winner kills the loser then themselves so they may start the cycle again. As Mali starts to remember her previous lives, she starts to question this endless war – and her feelings for Tessa.

This was a really cool concept, and strong characters, let down somewhat by inconsistent art (at one point the main character looked so different for about 2 pages that I thought this must be a new character entirely), and a plot that’s aimless, and too satisfied that “cool concept” trumps “actual storyline”. Honestly, it was a little hard to buy a vast, eternal worldwide war that the rest of us haven’t noticed, especially since the soldiers don’t seem to have any qualms about conducting their battles in public. I also struggled to suspend disbelief that soldiers would be willing to fight, forever, life after life, not knowing why, or whether they actually believe in their own cause. Surely after thousands of years, you’d have more deserters, more resistance? And how do you force someone to fight, if they decide they’re not going to – just kill them and hope they change their mind at some life in the future?

That said, by the end, the storyline started to get a little more interesting: Mali and Tessa are lovers, and have tried (and failed) through history to run; to leave this war. Will they be able to succeed in this life where they have failed in so many before? I’m willing to give the story some time to develop and see where this goes.

Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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