Rachel Rising, Volume 1 (Terry Moore) pdf, epub, doc

Rachel Rising, Volume 1 ePub and PDF Available
If you go down to the woods today… the dead will come back to life…

I was really on the fence about this one and put it off and off because there are way too many “dead coming back to life” books out right now – iZombie, Revival, Manifest Destiny and The Walking Dead to name a few – but it turns out Rachel Rising may be the best of them all!

It has one of the best opening sequences ever – gorgeous art of an eerie forest, silent panels, the figure of a mysterious girl standing around waiting for something atop a rocky outcropping, a leaf blowing on the wind catches fire somehow, and an arm reaches up from the ground: Rachel rises. It’s so elegantly paced, simple yet draws you in instantly, and sets the tone and the story up perfectly.

So what happened to Rachel – how did she die and how is she returned to life? Who is the mysterious girl in the woods? Why are so many supernatural things happening in this small town and what does it mean?

First volumes that tend to pose too many questions can be a frustrating read – see Morning Glories Volume 1 – but the first Rachel Rising volume takes its time to draw you into Rachel’s life. There are no prolonged flashbacks and, because the reader knows as much as she does, we’re finding out things at the same time as she is – there’s an immediacy to the plotting that compels you to keep turning the page, needing to know what happens next.

And even though we don’t find out much in the way of answers at the end of the first book, you’re so caught up in what is happening that you don’t mind. It’s a really well measured plot that you’re happy to wait and see play out in its own time.

Terry Moore is that rarest of combinations: a writer and artist who can do both really well. Take the opening sequence which shows that Moore knows when to let the images tell the story and when to interject with dialogue. The comic flows smoothly with this excellent balance between words and pictures that so few writer/artists achieve – usually they are strongest in one to the detriment of the other.

Moore’s black and white art is wonderful - an odd word given the horrific subject matter of dead bodies and visceral murder, but it really is great. His female characters look the most convincing real women that I’ve seen in a while and he’s able to transform ordinary American downtown areas into dramatic gothic backdrops. The forest scenes also have a disturbingly delightful magical quality to them.

It’s not totally perfect as some of the story elements were clichéd, like the foster father turning out to be a perv and the kindly neighbour who turned out to be completely insane – I called both as soon as I saw them. And it annoyed me a bit how long it took Rachel to convince her aunt that she was who she said she was, but these are very minor points.

The summary doesn’t do the book justice either – Rachel’s boyfriend has a scene but there’s no indication (yet) that he’s behind her death or that she was killed to be replaced with another woman. Framing the book like that makes it seem cheap and cheesy which it isn’t.

Rachel Rising 1 is a thoroughly enjoyable supernatural comic with great characters and a mystery that grabs you from the start. Compellingly written and beautifully drawn, it's an outstanding effort from Terry Moore that’s definitely worth reading.

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