Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: First Second
Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.
The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone’s twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death—or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits—and it seems to be calling Addison’s name.
Fast paced, creepy and suspenseful, Spill Zone is the first graphic novel in the series, and will leave you with more questions than answers.
The heroine, Addison is an artist who sells her photographs of the disaster area known as the spill zone. The story was based in part, on a terrible incident that happened in central Brazil. Westerfeld explains that thieves broke into a closed-up hospital and took a radiotherapy unit to sell for scrap metal. The young daughter of the junkyard owner was fascinated by the strange glowing substance inside, and played with it and shared it with others.
As a result several people died, dozens of contaminated homes had to be torn down and even a hospital wing where contaminated people sought treatment had to be closed. Both creepy and horrible, no? Perhaps the story struck me because I have connections to Brazil.
As far as Spill Zone goes, I do have to admit that there was a little more swearing than I would have preferred. Not as much as many novels, but then again graphic novels have less text to begin with. I also really, really enjoyed reading through the blog posts on thespillzone.com. Westerfeld and Puvilland share each page of the graphic novel digitally, as well as some of the background for the story. It would have been awkward to try to read the novel on the website (though it can be done and is free), but it was fascinating to read the author and illustrator’s comments as I worked my way through the story again.
Spill Zone grabs you and keeps your attention, but is a bit unsatisfying—mostly because there is no word yet on when book two will be available.
Thank you, First Second, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.