Alone: The Nailers in the Night (Book 11) – Fabien Vehlmann

5 out of 5

The whirlwind of plotting that made Book 10 a bit clunky lands the ideal plotting and delivery here. It’s a handful of the same threads – Dodzi at the hands of The Master; Anton and Leila in Neosalem – receiving very different treatment; checking in with Terry and Dagga – but the bulk of the storytelling here lies with Ivan, as he comes in to contact with The Midnight Child…

The lore of Alone is as dense as ever, but Vehlmann and Gazzotti, working with the more logical, action-oriented Ivan, don’t have to rely on over-expositing via Terry or Anton – that is, we can be shown story instead of told it – and the stuff we’re seeing here is insane, horror-movie quality. (Terry references zombies at one point, and it’s fitting – but I promise you it’s infinitely more frightening.)

Bruno and colorist Usagi are lockstep, working mostly in cold, dark environments but playing with color and light such that you feel those effects – the isolation, the chill – but the art still leaps off the page.

Another brilliant entry that keeps adding more and more layers to the story while keeping it grounded via the characters we’ve surely come to enjoy – and with the kind of increasing abuse inflicted upon them, this is definitely not a kid’s book at this point!