In Review: The Survivors – Episode 2

Survivors 2 Cover001
Cinebook continues their translation of the spin-off series from Leo’s Worlds Of Aldebaran books with The Survivors – Episode 2, a tale set during the initial colonisation of Aldebaran IV, 100 years before the main Aldebaran series begins.

After the loss of their spaceship, the Tycho Brahe, the survivors whose shuttle managed to find an inhabitable planet have survived their first encounters with the diverse fauna of the planet they have arrived on and, remarkably, are helped by a group of sentient humanoids who appear, seemingly out of the blue, in an airship. These humanoids give them rations, a rifle and a map to help get them to the nearest settlement in exchange for their now seemingly useless shuttle. The group, now effectively led by Marie, discover that the fate of some of their colleagues who had left the shuttle before them was grim with some dead and others enslaved by different, more animalistic humanoids, but things take a further turn for the worse when they encounter one of the quantum anomalies that may have caused the destruction of their starship in the first place.

Survivors 2 A
With the various series in ‘The Worlds Of Aldebaran’ universe writer/artist Leo (Luiz Eduardo de Oliveira) mixes hard-core science fiction with his remarkable imagination for alien animals and species and The Survivors is no exception. Told from the point of view of Alex, Episode 2 moves the plot along much more quickly than the previous book and it is much to the benefit of the story. New races are introduced, including the race of feline humanoids that Antac, who takes centre stage on the front cover, is a member of while Leo also continues to build the tensions between his human characters.

Yet it is the quantum anomalies of the series’ widely ignored subtitle that provide the twist to this episode, and probably many of the rest to come, when Alex and Marie encounter one whilst away from the main group. The outcome of this encounter does much for the book by unexpectedly making the story change gear and what was the slightly slow burn that we have grown used to with Leo’s other series first turns into a puzzle and then an unexpected surprise.

Survivors 2 B
The Survivors: Quantum Anomalies (and we should now at least once give the series its full title) Episode 2 moves the story away from the expected, though not unwelcome, course that Episode 1 pursued, giving the series an intriguing boost that immediately sets it apart from the rest of the various Aldebaran series and will leave readers not really knowing what to expect in future episodes.

There are more details of The Survivors – Episode 2 on the Cinebook website.

The downthetubes review of The Survivors – Episode 1 is here.

There are more details of Leo’s books on The Worlds Of Aldebaran website (in French).

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Jeremy Briggs

News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.

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