Three teens become humanity's only hope for survival.
Late in the next century, the human race is on the verge of extinction. A mysterious virus has resulted in no births in almost a generation. Despite the impending doom, three urban teenagers try to live their lives with hope.
Mia strives to preserve humanity's compassion through her art and her volunteer work with Mrs. C and the other "oldies." Tech-savvy Xian spends her time tinkering with the robots she's sure will inherit the Earth. Jesse, the son of geneticists, is convinced the future lies with cloning, but society is reeling from the grotesque failures of previous attempts. When the friends stumble upon the 60-year-old mystery of a missing girl, it leads them back to Mrs. C, who, it turns out, is the world's only successful clone -- and the key to saving our species.
Artist Fiona Smyth's gripping graphic novel depicts a future as visually detailed as it is emotionally rich. The Never Weres will keep readers breathless to the final page.
Fiona Smyth's work has been published across North America. The Never Weres is her first graphic novel for young readers. She is currently an instructor in illustration, comics, graphic novels and drawing at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. Visit her website at www.fionasmyth.com.
The Never Weres is an ambitious story with themes that will grab readers' attention, especially with the recent rise in popularity of dystopian narratives in young adult fiction.
Smyth combines mystery, supernatural elements, and realistic human relationships to produce a magnified slice of what the future may hold. Both teens and adult readers will find her graphic novel riveting.
There's much pleasure to be derived from the look of Smyth's future metropolis, with its favela-like city blocks, insectoid robots blurting out advertisements, and tattooed senior citizens.
A potential end-of-the-world scenario that is geared for a younger audience and actually has a happier-than-usual ending is a good thing in an increasing field of grim, sophisticated looks at here humanity is headed.
Fiona's pages are expertly composed and rich with bold, lively artwork that is challenging but totally accessible and readable. I was blown away by the beautiful, sprawling ink-washed double page spreads.
Overall, despite some weaknesses, The Never Weres wraps a worthwhile science-positive message within an engaging mystery adventure.
Fiona Smyth has brought her skill in cartooning to her love of science fiction to create a graphic novel both intellectually challenging and visually entertaining.
Showing particular chops with chases, escapes and...actions like tantrums in single impressionistic mélanges of images, [Smyth]...cranks the tension up on the way to a climactic double surprise and...a tidy but upbeat resolution.
Many pages are crammed with these interesting details, set in adventurous layouts that often spill outside of the panels. Though this science fiction mystery's plot and layouts are a little too convoluted, its provocative ending is rewarding.