Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lucifer Vol. 6 - Mansions of the Silence

Lucifer Vol. 6 - Mansions of the Silence
By Mike Carey, Peter Gross, & Ryan Kelly

Mansions of the Silence is a volume-long saga that pretty much amounts to an epic journey through strange and bizarre sights in, like, a totally epic and strange and bizarre dimension. It's writer Mike Carey's chance to pull out a dozen odd ideas and toss them onto the page. There are no rules, just do anything. Show anything. Make it a wild and crazy trip.

Well, it was indeed a wild and crazy trip. Did the story work? For the most part. At the core of the quest is an effort to bring back a character we grew to like in earlier volumes, so that at least helps draw us in. She's one of the few characters we ever really care about in Lucifer; I wanted to see her come back. You will, too.

On the other hand, this whole volume is almost all supporting cast. The titular fallen angel is the driving force of the story in spirit only; he's almost never on screen. He's busy with other stuff. You know, bugging angels or whatever. What a bastard.

It all wraps up with a I Have No Idea What Just Happened, which is frustrating because the ship on the cover? Cool. Some of what happens to our VERY awesome supporting cast? Cool. But the villains? Don't know, don't care. And the resolution? Don't know, don't care.

This is a repeated problem in the series. Carey has good ideas and at times his prose can really sing, but too often his stories are scattered, murky and indirect. Stuff seems to just happen, and it's hard to tell why or what it all means.

And it's not a matter of trusting the reader. I like writers who trust their readers. I admire the trait. This is not that. this is a pure storytelling issue.

Mansions of the Silence serves as a bridge between the initial major arc, concerning the Basanos, and the second major arc, concerning God's abandonment of heaven. It's the halfway point of the series and the link between the first half (a saga of its own) and the second half (a saga of its own). So yeah, you kind of have to get through it.

Decent enough stuff, but certainly not a high point in the series.

An earlier version of this review was originally posted at IMWAN.com.

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