Paperback featuring the titular Machivarius Point (novella) and other short stories.
Written by Liam Sharp.
This is not a comic book. This is just a book. I’m reviewing it here because it’s a book written by a well known, often revered comic artist. The second reason I’m reviewing it is because I enjoy reading irrespective of the format. The thing with this book is that it can’t be considered a novel either. It is an unconventional collection presented in a book format. The main story here is Machivarius Point which at 200 pages long is considered to be a novella. The rest of the book is comprised by a number of short stories associated with the novella and another set of short stories set in a contemporary setting.
The subject matter tackled here is mainly fantasy and though I do like fantasy I consider book as my least preferred medium for the genre. Nonetheless during the Malta Comic Con 2010 I couldn’t resist the opportunity to buy the book from Liam’s very own hands and I’m glad I did.
That Liam is considered to be a very good artist is a well known fact, but after reading God Killers I can honestly say that Liam is also a very good writer. If only Hollywood would commission Liam to write a few movies than perhaps going to the cinema might again become a pleasurable experience.
The first thing that hit me when I started reading this book is Liam’s strong, often poetic diction. This is immediately followed by Liam’s imagination and the complex fictional world he conjures. Liam’s attention to detail is second too none and his writing is so fleshy that one will immediately visualise the fantasy setting of the book.
The approach adopted by Liam is also one which differs from typical fantasy writing. There are no clear heroes and villains here, and no direct plot to follow. What you’ll find in this book are mesmerising characters who lure you in a world which despite different to ours is still similar enough to identify with the trials and tribulations of its inhabitants. With every chapter Liam engages the reader to ask several small questions leading to an epic and satisfying finale.
The book’s main strength is also somewhat its main weakness if one can call it so. In the sense that at certain parts throughout the main story you do want the plot to move at a faster pace. However, Liam seems to be well aware if this fact because every slow patch here is followed by a burst of action and a strong revelation.
As for the rest of the short stories I enjoyed most of them while I appreciated others, but it was those set in a contemporary setting that I loved the most. Perhaps this was due to the fact that every one of these stories was different and highlights Liam’s broad skill range.
To sum everything up God Killers is not an easy read, and thus it might not appeal to everybody. However approach it with patience and concentration and you’ll find it infinitely rewarding. One you’ll keep going back to and discuss at length with its fans.
Chris Le Galle