The Bunker by Joshua Hale Fialkov

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IMG_2320I remember when this book first came out early 2014, the premise sounded really cool and I was excited to check this one out. It took me a while to get around to reading it, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is a comic writer from Sacramento, California. Despite his age, a spry 36, he has had some unparalleled success in the industry. He has written Elk’s Run, Echoes, Tumor (which I have in my possession, just have not read it yet), I, Vampire, The Last of the Greats, Doctor Who, Ultimate Comics with Marvel, The Bunker, and The Life After. Fialkov has created some great stories and I cannot wait to see what else his future holds. Also, check out my exclusive interview with Joshua Fialkov.

The Bunker starts out with a group of friends going back to a place in the woods where they buried a time capsule many years ago. Many of the friends think what they are doing is silly, that is until upon digging up the time capsule they find a massive buried bunker.IMG_2321 Reluctantly they enter the bunker and find that there are letters in there for every one of them detailing very specific life events so as the friends know that they were in fact written by themselves, but in the future. From there the story twist and turns and the group of friends find out very detailed events about their futures, some are very dark, others very specific. The story also switches back and forth between the future and the present as the friends try to figure out what is going on and if they can prevent the future they are responsible for.

WOW that is really all I can say about this one. Honestly, I did not know what to expect, other than I thought the premise sounded really cool, but man when I started reading this I could not put it down. I loved this story and felt it perfectly melded a mystery and sifi plot along with some very spooky other elements that I really want to see how they play out. Having not read any other works by Joshua, I am certainly a big fan now.IMG_2319

The story is great, I cannot say that enough. It read like a cross between a novel and a movie, the story does a great job of sucking the reader in and keeping them interested. There was never a point in this one where I was bored, every page turn introduces something new and exciting that will have you turning the next page until the end. That was the most depressing part of the story, the end. Not in the literary sense, but the fact that I didn’t have the next trade to read. Majorly disappointed that I did not already have volume 2 on hand. Speaking of which I think there are only three trades out currently. So if you have not read this one yet, you are not far behind.

IMG_2318I also like the characters in this book. They are all friends but there is a lot of tension and underlying emotion that they all seem to be carrying. They are friends but also seem to resent each other quite a bit, which does make for some interesting moments during the story. To me this adds a level of realism to the story. All friends have a history, and this group is no different, but this groups history seems pretty intense for a group of close friends. I like the characters and because the reader gets to see both the future and the present I can’t wait to see how things play out.

Speaking of how things play out, I also want to see how the time travel aspect affects the story in the second trade. In the premise of the book you get the sense that time travel either should or would play apart. Apart from the bunker, this mostly goes unmentioned until the very end of the story when a monkey wrench is thrown into the plot creating all kinds of questions. This shake up had me really IMG_2317thinking about what is going on and the ulterior motive that a character may have. Not only that but perhaps what the friends have been led to believe is not true, which again makes me wonder what the heck is going on.

The artwork in this one is very unique and highly stylized. I am not always a fan of stylized artwork unless I feel that it is in synch with the story. Sometimes the story is serious but the artwork is cartoony, and the two obviously do not complement each other. In this case I feel that there is a total synching of the artwork and the story. I will be honest, when I flipped through the book after reading the premise I was a little bummed at the artwork, but man once I started reading I was totally blown away. It is hard to describe, it is a very rough style, and unrefined. It almost looks like you are viewing the art through some distorted filtered lens. All of these effects, to me, help create a sort of mystique around the story. The colors are flat, which is not a bad thing. I think this helps set the mood and the tone of the story as gritty and harsh. It is not very often that a story and the artwork are almost perfectly matched together, but this is IMG_2316certainly one of them. I also thought the page layouts were above average. There were some cool layouts that helped set up some very cool scenes throughout the story.

If you cannot tell I loved this book, and cannot wait to read what is going to happen. What I love is how Fialkov takes a really interesting premise and follows it up with a  great story. Often times there are great premises out there and the story fails to meet expectations. This is certainly not the case. Awesome premise and an even better story. The artwork is very unique and I can see if some fans might be tuned off by this style. It is certainly interesting but I feel works well with the story. Sometimes the highly stylized artwork and be hit or IMG_2315miss with a specific story. In this case the artwork was a massive hit! If you have not already you need to check this one out, it is a great read.

Manik

 

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