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Above by Roland Smith
Bobo the Sailor Man! by Eileen Rosenthal
Camp Spirit by Axelle Lenoir
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Volume 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen by Anne Nesbet
Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Descender, Volume 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon
The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese
A Gift for a Ghost by Borja González
Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz
Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti
Lift by Minh Lê and Dan Santat
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
My Girlfriend is a T-Rex, Volume 1 by Sanzo
No Cats Allowed by Miranda James
The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Rick by Alex Gino
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
The Terrible Two's Last Laugh by Mac Barnett, Jory John, and Kevin Cornell
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
The Walking Bread by Winnie Archer
We Didn't Ask for This by Adi Alsaid
White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton

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Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars: 05/05/20

Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars

After being confused by the first volume of Ascender, I chose to purchase the six volume run of the precursor series. Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen begins the series and ultimately also sets the stage for Ascender.

The book opens with a woman pushing a pram along a busy and advanced city street. There are flying cars and other signs of a far futuristic civilization. She's interrupted when everyone starts looking skywards.

In the sky, or rather, in orbit, is a gigantic — larger than planet sized — robotic figure. Thus begins the downfall of this advanced society.

The next scene shows a boy waking up and wondering where everyone is. A computerized voice tells him he's been sleeping for ten years. Around him are skeletal remains — everywhere he goes. It's quickly revealed that he isn't a boy, but a robot companion named Tim-21.

Tim-21 is the last surviving robot of a certain type of robot. He has the same code base as the things that attacked. His supposed creator is now en route to rescue Tim-21 before the scavengers can get him and melt him down.

Like every other Jeff Lemire comic I've read, this one is settled into the road narrative spectrum. As I continue to read and review the Descender series, I will plot later volumes on the spectrum to track the series' narrative progression.

Mostly Tin Stars is told from Tim-21's point of view. As such, he is the traveler for volume one. Although he appears to an orphan at his introduction, we quickly learn that he is a robot, a constructed being. As he was used as a companion to a boy named Andy, we could see him as a scarecrow, or protector character. The adults coming to get him, though, know of his ties to a cataclysmic force, and thus he can also be seen as a "monster in the middle" or minotaur. Either way he is in the 99 slot for traveler.

Tim's destination is uhoria (CC) — or no time. His immediate goal is to understand what happened while he was "asleep" for ten years. For the adults pursuing him, their goal is to understand how his code is related to the giants. That connection is rooted in the past in multiple layers.

The route to Tim's destination is an offroad one (66). First and foremost there is his journey through the mines looking for survivors or help. Second there is the space travel the adults take to find him. Then there is his space travel to the scavenger's planet. There are also the journeys through his memories which materialize as dreams.

All together Tin Stars is about a scarecrow or minotaur traveling to uhoria via an offroad route. It's thematically very similar to the second volume of Captive Hearts in Oz, which I will show when I post my review of it.

Volume 2 is Machine Moon (2016) which I am currently reading.

Four stars

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