Chimpanzee Complex, The 2: The Sons of Ares

The second volume of three sees the mystery deepen as Helen Freeman arrives on Mars

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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