Amelia Cole and the Unknown World
Amelia Cole has a problem. It’s the size of the world. Raised in a world where magic is as common as smartphones and living comfortably in our’s, Amelia is a young magic user with natural talent, a strongly-developed sense of right and wrong and an unshakeable belief in her abilities. The only problem is; she’s not in her world anymore. Catapulted sideways into a world which is half and half, where dragons are pets, magic is outlawed and heroes can have you arrested for saving lives, Amelia wants to go home. She just has to survive long enough to find out how.
There are three reasons why Amelia Cole and the Unknown World is brilliant. The first is the sheer level of invention on display. Adam P Knave and DJ Kirkbride’s script is character driven and elegant, staying on its toes as it dances through six impossible things before breakfast and introduces you to Amelia’s deeply beautiful, deeply unsettling world. They have a nice ear for dialogue and a great eye for a good action beat, especially with Amelia's opening fight with a Persuasion Demon and the helicopter crash in issue two. Each one is given room to move and breathe on the page and each one is a great way for them to show off the rounded, friendly, naturalistic art of Nick Brokenshire and the subtle and evocative lettering of Rachel Deering.
The second reason why this book is brilliant is how it neatly steps over the “difficult second issue” problem so many series have. This is a series that is just as effective, if not slightly more effective, to jump on with the second issue than the first. You get subtle character notes, some action and some genuinely beautiful design work. The golem Amelia creates, who is, of course, called Lemmy, is already my favorite character and the panel of him silently waiting for her as the sun sets is incredibly beautiful. The book is full of these quiet little moments of beauty, marking it out as something far more than the usual fantasy tropes.
The third reason is simple; if you like Harry Potter , you'll like this book. It's the same mix of the normal and the abnormal, the same look at magic filtering down into a mundane world and both of them being changed by the experience. It's an extremely accessible, well-realised and universal story about what happens when everything you rely on is taken away from you. It's a book, fundamentally, about a test of character and we all go through that, whether we want to or not.
Amelia Cole And The Unknown World is that rarest of things; an all ages, accessible title that shows nothing but promise. It neatly plays with urban fantasy, touches on the classics of the genre but has a voice all of it's own that deserves to be heard. Please listen to it.