Yeah it’s not going well…

Publisher: Vault

Writer – Cavan Scott
Artist – Corin Howell
Colourist – Triona Farrell
Letterer – Andworld design

There is a lot of plot in Shadow Service #8 and many twists and turns besides. We learn more about Edwin, his past, and his murky motives in all this. We also learn about Gina in that there’s more questions there. It’s a very satisfying plot based read.

When we last left Gina and Quill they had been betrayed by Edwin (that dirty rat!) to big bad Lady Yastrik who doesn’t believe the defection story and decides to use Gina to get information. Except being an evil dark side type means that she’s going to kill Gina. You would think killing off your central character would be a bad idea this far into the second arc but don’t worry because there’s a twist to death itself. You can always be brought back. Again and again.

If you are not keen on seeing people die horribly over and over this is perhaps not the book for you. If however you appreciate a plot where death is used as torture then this is most definitely an issue you will enjoy.

If you had been hankering after Edwin’s backstory (I raise my hand to that one) then you will be very interested in seeing that a rat is not the only form he takes. Eddie shows us quite the repertoire. He’s fallen in with the big bad because, well, Hex stole his skin and he wants to be able to take human form (any form except a rat really) again. Yet what his game is, what his plan is, and where his loyalties lie are part of the twisty turns and the truth is less tangible than magic.

The magical world and the magic in it is really a strength of the art. Not just the bright gory death bits but also the bright stark contrast with the afterlife. The darkness and shadows of Lady Yastrik’s world. Like Gina we’re now in deep and the art really helps immerse you in the overall world building.

There’s a blurred line of what is really reality and what is not. What is real and what is not. Who can and cannot be trusted. The disorientation of never quite knowing the truth is well played in the art and colouring too. It’s difficult for us to tell what passes as real and as a result we can empathise with Gina all the more.

This is an issue that can be read a couple of times to really get into what’s really going on and even then you are left with some tantalising questions. It feels as if the plot has picked up but in a wonderful and unexpected way. This arc is proving very interesting indeed and certainly is keeping me invested.

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