Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mirror's Edge by Rhianna Pratchett and Matthew Dow Smith

Mercury is a runner, a message deliverer who travels across the tops of buildings, living in the city, but not actually a part of it, or of most of the people who call it home. So when he comes home one day and finds a strange young woman attempting to steal his television, he gets into a fight with her, and when she realizes that escape is not an option, he offers her a job, doing the same thing that he does.

But this woman, known as Faith, has larger secrets than anyone knows, and when she accidentally sees a package being delivered by another runner, she recognizes the face in the pictures as that of her father- a physician who ran a movement known as Libertas, one who opposed the loss of freedoms that living in the city would entail. Her father, Abe Connors, was betrayed and his movement destroyed and banned. Most people think Abe Connors dead, but in reality, he went into hiding after the destruction of Libertas and the death of his wife.

Faith, and her sister Kate were left to live with their father, but Faith was closer to their mother, and shortly afterwards, she left home, taking along with her a box her mother had left her. While Faith was struggling to survive on the streets, and elsewhere, Kate joined the city and entered the police force. But still, Kate knows more about their mutual father than Faith does. So Faith has to be careful in talking with her sister, as her sister could arrest her for merely being in the city.

But Faith isn't the only one after her father. The question is: why? And who is it behind the search for her father. Or is it her father that these people are really after? Faith must visit her childhood home, due to be destroyed in a matter of hours, to search for clues that her mother might have left behind before her death. But was her mother's death something to do with the technology she was working on, or was her mother killed to punish her father? And can Faith elude the men pursuing her father and find out what is going on before someone kills her father or her?

I never played the Mirror's Edge videogame, but I was told by friends who had that it didn't have much of a story, it was pretty much a parkour fest, with little or no story included. I don't know if this book is meant to be the story behind the game (since Faith only gets her tats during the course of the story), or it was meant to be a prequel, but either way, it makes a lot of story that the game didn't have.

But the problem with the comic, that, either as backstory or prequel, nothing is really wrapped up at the end of the comic. Faith gets her arm tat, and the story just ends, with nothing really resolved. I know there is going to be another game, but if it is as story-free as the first game, where does that leave the ending of the story? We're still not sure what Faith's mother's connection to the events are. Did she develop the circuit, or just perfect it, and why was she working on the circuit, anyhow? Was it for money, or blackmail?

I found this an interesting comic, but the ending left me unsatisfied. I wanted to see and read more, to find out the ending, and I don't think either of the games will satisfy me on this point, from what I heard of the first game. I am wondering if they are planning another comic series/graphic novel to fill in the gaps. All together, the ending wasn't all that satisfying, but the story is interesting. Recommended, but not highly, as the ending may leave you unsatisfied.

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