Advance Review: ‘The Last Book You’ll Ever Read’ #1 Explores The Theme Of Nature Versus Nurture With Savage Consequences
by Olly MacNamee
Haunted art is an ever-popular theme in gothic horror. Whether that be H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, the sin-absorbing portrait of Dorian Gray, or any number of other supernaturally charged objet d’art, with writers finding new ways in which to utilise this concept within the horror genre. And writer Cullen Bunn and artist Leila Leiz are the latest creators to pick up this trope and run with it in The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1 from Vault Comics.
But, as well as utilising this iconic narrative Bunn also throws in a bit of Jean-Jacques Rousseau too, with the concept of nature versus nurture fuelling this portentous book, and this series. It would seem that the last book you’ll ever read brings out the beast in us all, and strips away our civility. With very violent and gory consequences. Lord of the Flies, but in the urban jungle of modern America. And it makes for a heady mix given the sheer scope of the potential horror it could potentially unleash. A novel written by publishing sensation, and central protagonist, Olivia Kade, who is currently on a book tour and looking for extra security after an unexpected attack at a low-key signing.
Whereas in other examples of creepy art it is often an individual or small group of people who suffer, what if your book is a best seller, read by… well, millions, one assumes? What then? It certainly a great set up with plenty of horrific moments in this debut issue and plenty of foreshadowing of a darker, far-reaching horror to come.
On the whole, Leiz’s artwork captures the urban sprawl of modern city living while also rendering the violent outbursts of carnality wonderfully well. But there are a few times when I felt her hand was too heavy on the inking and the seeming lack of differentiation in some of the outline art – especially in certain mid-shots and long shot panels – muddied the page and the artwork somewhat. The colour art of Giada Marchisio, however, does balance it out somewhat, and when the blood does spill, it isn’t too overpowering.
A solid first issue that introduces the main themes being explored as well as doing. Good job of establishing Olivia as a cosmopolitan young writer who rightfully can’t believe her book is at the heart of the darkness gripping the world.
If reading books is how the apocalypse begins, then stay out of the cities and retire to Trump country. We’ll all be safe there! But then, if we don’t read, we won’t get to see how this turns out, now will we?
The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1 is out Wednesday 7th July from Vault Comics
Reading for pleasure can have dire consequences if the book you’re reading is the new one from author, Olivia Kade in The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #1. A book that will have a savage reaction on even the mildest of readers i this new horror series from Vault Comics.