Sunday, March 26, 2023

Review: Graphic Novel ‘200’ Is a Thrilling Dystopian Trip Into the Future

BOOKSBOOK REVIEWSReview: Graphic Novel '200' Is a Thrilling Dystopian Trip Into the Future

Award winning author Jennifer Brody and illustrator Jules Rivera have teamed up to bring graphic novel fans a mysterious and electric dystopian thriller that promises unpredictable twists, a sensual love story, and shocking end that will leave you wanting more.

“Eva lives in a world where the Cure for aging and illness has been discovered and administered to every person on Earth, only there’s one big hitch. it turns out that very few people can handle immortality, so they have to take a test on their two hundredth birthday. If they pass, then they get to live forever. But if they fail, they must be euthanized.”

Brody and Rivera build an interesting and relatable protagonist in Eva. She’s pessimistic, sarcastic, and bold. Eva has been in love with her husband, Owen, for 170 years and together they embark on their bucket list before taking their Centurial Assessment Test. Eva is convinced she’ll fail her own test and when Owen doesn’t return from taking his, she’s not exactly upset at the prospect. However, things take a shocking turn when Eva is escorted to her test and runs into a staffer with an eerily familiar face. Did Owen pass his test after all? Faced with almost certain death (the pass rate is extremely low) Eva must now escape the facility and figure out the truth about her husband and what that means for her future.

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The dark and sexy story will pull readers in from page one with its many unpredictable twists and turns, but the book is more than an action packed adventure. Readers will find themselves routing for Eva and Owen’s love story as Eva fights to uncover the truth. It’s impossible to guess where Eva’s journey will lead and Brody expertly weaves in subtle clues to allow readers those amazing “ah ha!” moments as things fall into place. There is also a jaw dropping final twist that leaves you thinking about 200 long after you’ve finished the last page.

Brody and Rivera are a brilliant duo who ask difficult questions in this book, both through Eva’s own experience but in the wider world readers find within its pages. 200 takes a hard look at what it means to live in a world without illness and unlimited time before you. Could the human psyche remain stable forever? For Brody and Rivera, the resounding answer is “no”. Few can handle the idea of eternity, but that also begs the question of where we draw the line. For Eva, 200 years has gone bye much faster than anticipated and she’s facing the very real possibility of death. She’s a kickass protagonist who trusts herself and her instincts. She’s deeply passionate and fights for Owen even when it could mean breaking her own heart a second time.

Reading 200 means getting lost in the vividly real world Brody and Rivera build together. While the story is strong, Rivera’s minimalist artwork expertly conveys the futuristic world in which Eva lives and elevates the narrative to the next level. The three tone color palette lends itself perfectly to the high tech futuristic reality while also conveying Eva’s inner world as she battles with her emotions on her hunt for the truth. The delicate flower pedals trailing throughout the pages add another layer to the deeply entrancing graphics, softening the hard reality of this dystopian future.

200 will be available in stores and online February 16 and is available for preorder now.

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