Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The City (1994)

Author: James Herbert | Illustrator: Ian Miller | Page Count: 64

"Hey, Tinman.  Don't look now, but you got company."

The fourth entry in Herbert’s Rats books, but unlike the previous three (The Rats (1974), Lair (1979), and Domain (1984)), it's a graphic novel.  What’s even more unusual is that it’s a story told largely through imagery.  By the time it came out Herbert had developed a unique relationship with words, his descriptive language was a big part of his appeal, so delivering a story with minimal dialogue was a little out of character.

I’m limited in what I can say without touching on how the trilogy ended, so I’ll be brief.  It follows a lone figure as he returns to The City (London) in search of something he left behind.  The City is under the grip of a New Order.  There’s danger at every turn and eyes watching his every move.

The story is weak when compared to his other books.  It’ll be of interest to fans of the original trilogy but would probably be best avoided by everyone else.

Conversely, Ian Miller’s art is fascinating and is without a doubt the real star.  His blood red skies and swirling colour schemes help flesh out the grotesque perversions of normalcy and societal standings that are faithful in essence to the metaphor set up by Herbert in the original trilogy.

1½ bridges burned out of 5

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