If you haven’t already read Brink: Book 1, go back and do that now: it’s a simply fantastic police drama dripping with sci-fi trappings. This second volume follows straight on from the first, picking up the strands left loose in the previous book. However, while there’s another investigation and resolution, it’s clearly working up to something darker and more sinister: the second act of a longer drama. It does its job well, adding further depth to the over-arching plot that’s boiling away below the surface.
This is also, perhaps, the book’s problem. Second acts develop, they don’t resolve, and while there’s a sub-plot here that feeds the greater story, it feels like a means to an end that isn’t getting any closer. If you can buy into the concept that there’s still more road for this series to travel down, you’ll still enjoy the ride and remain excited for the next instalment.
Culbard’s art is as brilliant as it was in the previous book, particularly because of his use of colour, which utilises bold backgrounds to help differentiate locations, characters and moods. If you want to split hairs it also suffers from second book syndrome, as it couldn’t possibly be as innovative or exciting as the first was, simply because it’s essentially more of the same. Culbard pulls out a few new tricks, though, such as the panels involving a dynamic young chief executive, whose borders erupt into shocking pink whenever she’s brought into the story – an effect so jarring you can almost smell her.
So, if you enjoyed the first book, this isn’t something you’ll want to miss, as long as you’re happy to wait for the next instalment or beyond to see any resolution of the main story arc. The journey, however, remains well-worth sticking with.