The Perhapanauts: Second Chances
Team leader (and psychic) Arisia was incapacitated at the end of the last book after having been attacked by a vampire, so her teammates need to get her medical attention. Meanwhile, demon piranha creatures from another dimension are attacking headquarters. The life-and-death circumstances necessitate the team splitting up, and their individual choices demonstrate more about their motivations and characters.
The creators, Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau, are building depth in their team over time. At first, I thought the series was lightweight, enjoyable but fluffy, but it turns out to have more layers than I suspected. Some items I thought were throw-away bits in the first book show up again with more meaning. I should have known, since both creators are accomplished craftsmen with years of experience building gripping serialized stories. Rousseau, especially, draws the people and monsters in a style that makes them all plausible while interacting.
Dezago has given everyone quirks that makes sense and provides three (or more, hee hee) dimensions for them. Molly, the charming young ghost, is insecure about her abilities but comes through with encouragement. Big, the sasquatch, was particularly surprising when his spiritual side was revealed through an unexpected confrontation. The two together have a lovely conversation in which both gain self-knowledge. Choopie even helps complete a mission.
We also see what happens to a psychic when her mind’s still active but her body’s distracting it with healing. It’s both revealing and amusing. I love the image of mental support and comfort when MG says, “Trust me.”
There’s plenty of action and surprising twists, too, as well as hints to the content of the next story. I hope there are lots more issues to come. I can’t wait to find out MG’s secret, since he keeps demonstrating unexpected skills. By the by, the two investigators? They look like the creators. Craig has the glasses.
Find out more at the book’s website. As with the previous volume, there are bonus stories and pinups by other creators — including Kelly Yates, David Petersen, Luke Ross, and Ted McKeever — at the end. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the creators, whom I’m proud to consider friends.)