Nykko is the author of several graphic novel series, including The ElseWhere Chronicles (Les Enfants d'ailleurs), originally published in French by Dupuis, which won the 2007 Lyon Festival Youth Prize. Nykko lives in Perros-Guirec, France. Bannister was born in 1973 and has been creating graphic novels since the age of 17. He is the illustrator of the popular Tib & Tumtum series andThe ElseWhere Chronicles series. His work has also appeared in Flight Explorer (Villard Books/Random House) and several editions of the Flight anthology.
In this abbreviated episode, the much-reduced central cast
mounts a twin assault on the Master of Shadows and the dark lake
from which he and his teeming umbral minions have sprung.
The action picks up as Rebecca, Max and Theo follow enigmatic old Gabe to the high tower where the Master waits. There, they find a doppelganger of Rebecca that, according to Gabe, she must kill while the boys are dispatched to drop a flash bomb into the inky lake called the Source. Punctuated by snarky banter from the children and thunderous scenery-chewing by the adults ('You overreaching excel will destroy you, you poor fool!'), the ensuring battles bring only partial success for the mission. There are many spectacular explosions, heroic feats and last-instant rescues, though, as well as destruction on a truly grand scale. In contract to the at-best sketchy plotline, Bannister's atmospheric illustrations feature expressive characters placed in finely detailed, eerily organic landscapes or dim subterranean reaches inhabited by menacing swirls of shadow.
The lapidary art repays examination, but notwithstanding a prefatory thumbnail recap and later on-the-fly explication, new readers will get more out of this sometimes-dark series by taking the volumes in order. --Kirkus Reviews