Lifeformed: Cleo Makes Contact

Lifeformed: Cleo Makes Contact - Matt Mair Lowery, Cassie Anderson

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

This comic reads quickly: the story flows from page to page, and there's no lagging behind. After the first few pages of Cleo’s life at school and with her father, with a short insight of what’s been happening behind the scenes, Invasion Day is here, and they both have to run for their lives. All the while, they to maintain a semblance of normalcy, such as when they find shelter at abandoned houses, living in the remnants of another family now gone or dead, or meet other survivors and have to make a quick choice between driving them away or being simply human and welcoming them.

The relationship between Cleo and Alex was a touching one. Very early on, it is obvious that her father won’t be who we met in the first chapter, and Cleo has to fight her distrust while not really having many other choices than either going with him or being all alone. Gradually, she learns to accept this new balance in her life, learn to follow at first, then fight a little, then fight more. And while she is obviously sad and has her small breaking points, she also keeps her smile and courage up, and doesn’t give up.

The downside of this fast pace is that it goes a little too quickly at times—especially when there are several panels without dialogues—and as a result, there isn’t that much room for character development. The latter is partly left to the reader to imagine, by filling in the blanks, but this is a somewhat uneventful process, and leaves a slight feeling of blankness at times.

Nevertheless, I did like this first volume, as well as its ending (both positive and at the same time highlighting the protagonists’ fight as “one against the world”, so to speak). 3 to 3.5 stars.