Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Skyworld Vol.2

SKYWORLD VOL. 2: This completely changes my view of the series

The second volume of Skyworld includes Book Three: Prodigal and Book Four: Requiem. The story happens about ten years after the events of Book Two. It features Andoy, the fated saviour of the land, and other characters that have been prominent in the other books, as he struggles to bear the burden of his destiny.

When I first opened this volume, I admit that I was surprised in the great improvement in art. Ian Sta. Maria steps up his game by maximizing the limits of black and white. What results is a jaw-dropping play of shade and shadow. True, the previous volume uses the same technique, but this volume has been more effective in contrasting the two neutral colours.

But it isn’t just the art that has improved tremendously. The writing also makes it to an entirely different level. As I said in my review of the first volume, Mervin Ignacio seems to be copying Neil Gaiman’s writing voice in the Sandman, but in this volume, he finally develops his own voice. There are also no pretentious monologues and dialogues, which seem to infect the previous volume like a disease.

Yes, the storytelling still jumps in different points in history, much like the previous volume. But what makes Skyworld Vol. 2 superior is how smooth this storytelling has been used. It actually helps in establishing plot points, instead of confusing the readers.

Well, speaking of history, I don’t like how this volume has recycled material from the previous volume, as if it is trying to give the readers a recap. I understand that the creators want the readers to remember certain things, and use the reiteration of some dialogues from the previous volume as a vehicle to move the plot, but I think this is really unnecessary.

As for the characters, I have mixed feelings. I appreciate how the story gives room to the introduction of more characters, but more characters don’t necessarily mean better characterization. Some of the characters lack personality to make them distinct. But okay, to be fair, they are not that important to the plot. The prominent characters from the previous volume are still the ones that shine.

But as much as I like these characters, I’m afraid that I didn’t see much development in them. Perhaps the only one who really developed as a character is Andoy. But this is not all-bad. This is actually acceptable.

The reason this is acceptable is that the comic series is very plot-oriented. It is not mainly about the characters and how they would accomplish their struggles, and how their decisions would affect the overall scheme of things. It is mainly about the story, and how the characters are inside that story.

The story is not perfect however. It has the tendency to go a little over the top, or at least I have that impression. Some things just seem to be sensationalized. Also, some plot points are also resolved prematurely, which could be anticlimactic at times. But all in all, the story is worth telling. Its spin on historical figures and local myth makes it truly enjoyable and unique.

Overall, Skyworld Vol. 2 is an interesting read. It completely changes my impression on the series. Everything that I have seen as a major flaw from the previous volume has been fixed, and that is proof that the creators continue to grow as artists.

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  1. Skyworld sounds intriguing, although I doubt I will ever have the time to read it. Maybe if the entire series turns out to be good, I might give it a try some time. Great review as always!


    1. I'm actually surprised that you even have a slight interest on it! This is a local comic series, so it might be hard to get a copy in USA.

    2. Ah, that would explain why I could not find anything about it after I commented. I actually thought it was just a comic book series that I have not heard heard, but since it is a local comic series, it makes a lot more sense why your review was the only thing that came up on the Google search. Sorry for my misunderstanding, thanks for explaining!