Disclaimer: I backed this project on Kickstarter. My name is listed on the thank you page.
My mother asked me while I needed comic book version of the Grimm tales. While, I suppose, I don’t really, but I am glad I have this.
Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner take lesser known Grimm tales and adapted them. In many cases, the main characters are depicted as minorities, and there are interracial relationships. The stories themselves are set in a wide variety of places. Many of the tales have a woman or a girl as the main character. There is also a drawing on other media. For instance, Mother Holle would be at home in a Miyazaki movie.
It is to the volume and Elle Skinner’s credit, that the volume starts strong with a version of “Beauty and the Beast” – “The Singing Springing Lark”. Unlike many variants, though the trend is changing, Skinner makes the family more supportive of the Belle character.
The one that I was surprised to see was “King Thrushbeard”. I worked on annotating “King Thrushbeard” for Surlalune. The tale is a patient Griselda type, where a proud princess is taught humility by, basically, being abused by her father and husband. I have to give Louisa Roy credit for she does an excellent job with this story and sticks to the general plot while giving it a modern test. It has a very good ending.
My favorite story is “The Twelve Huntsmen” done by Elle Skinner. In part, this is because I have always loved the story, but here I am so happy to see a princess who is beautiful but who is not skinny and who has freckles.
Gina Biggs’ version of “Sweetheart Roland” is well done too, keeping the darkly romantic feel of the story.
Price of Eden represents the final book in the Aquarius Rising trilogy; and because it's the culmination of events and tensions raised in prior volumes, it's recommended for followers of Brian Burt's series who will appreciate the smooth continuation of a story that revolves around a civil war that erupts in an underground kingdom after a series of carefully crafted plagues are let loose.
Ocypode, an Aquarian Atavism, has successfully foiled a deadly plot; but he's ultimately charged with bringing together two very different factions in a race against time and political alliances, and his perceived destiny as a mythic peacemaker may be an impossible role for him to accept.
Familiarity with the prior books in the series will lend to an appreciation of Ocypode's agony and conflicts as he strives to achieve the impossible in an underwater realm which may be the last enclave of a much-changed world.
From restless spirits with psychic harpoons to terrorism's barbaric but effective choices, high-stakes encounters between Humans and Aquarians, Guardian friends who watch over Ocypode and prevent him from making stupid mistakes, and the slaughter of innocent humans through competing bioweapons, Price of Eden provides a fast-paced romp through a world that holds different, competing options for survival, and considers both the sacrifices of war and the impossible circumstances of continued existence.
As moral and ethical questions about friendships and associations permeate a greater story of this war's impact on all involved, Price of Eden evolves beyond bloodlust and outrage to walk a delicate line between a survival story and a political sci-fi thriller. Descriptions of advanced technology used for warfare (nanomechs and viral mutagens) and the price to be paid for choices that result in dubious 'win' situations for only some contribute to a story line charged not just with action, but with thought-provoking dilemmas.
Fans of his prior books will appreciate the unexpected directions Brian Burt takes as he ultimately considers the real nature and definition of 'Eden' and the price all will pay to forge new paths towards peace.