The mystery deepens in this second of three Chimpanzee Complex books, written by Marazano and beautifully illustrated by Ponzo. Having been tricked into a mission to Mars, Helen Freeman finally completes the first half of her journey and finds more mysterious space heroes from the past – this time Russian Cosmonauts – still alive and awaiting rescue on a long-abandoned Soviet base. Meanwhile, back on Earth, it’s her daughter Sofia who feels like she’s been abandoned, as her mother explores a planet that’s 35 million miles from home.
Ponzo’s realistic style gives the fantastic element of these future explorers a grounding in plausibility, despite Marazano’s increasingly mysterious and intriguing script. If anything, the Sofia situation starts to feel a bit laboured, right up until a whopper of a cliff-hanger leaves us desperate for the final instalment. It’s hard to fault the space exploration though – it’s a fascinating trip into the unknown.
With its mix of personal and inter-planetary turmoil, the book offers two strands of story which balance reasonably well, though by the end of this volume I felt that the whole ‘Sofia is upset with her space travelling Mummy’ thing was somewhat over-wrought. There’s plenty of questions that are going to need to be answered in the final volume though – I’m looking forward to it.
Read more Chimpanzee Complex reviews:
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