Alpha Shade Book One

The nice thing about reviewing a collection of a webcomic is that, if you don’t have much to say about it, you can just send readers to check it out for themselves.

Alpha Shade Book One cover
Alpha Shade Book One
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Alpha Shade is a science fiction war story with manga-styled art and slow pacing. I couldn’t force myself into it, because the premise didn’t interest me and I was given no reason to care about the characters, so I quit about 15 pages in. The only element that made me wonder was why the soldiers were letting a telepathic cat order them around, but it was only a mild curiosity.

It’s an expensive book for 96 pages of something that’s available for free online, but it’s a handsome package. Instead of the typical small manga format, it’s oversized and in color on thick glossy paper.

The author’s note at the back talks about wanting “the readers to learn … details as the characters do”, resulting in information about the world being reserved for an upcoming future volume. The writer uses words like clues, hints, and possibilities to describe the material here with promise of more to come. That requires a lot of faith in the reader’s patience (and pocketbook), that they’ll stick around (or come back) for a second book.

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