Rachel Moulden for The Pit
Set in a future, post-Eurozone Italy, entrenched in a culture of hyper-capitalism, GOLEM follows young Steno Critone as he is kidnapped during a political protest gone sour. Taken in by the band of labeled “terrorists,” he learns that things are not as they seem in society, and that he has the power to not only change the city, but reality itself.
This intensely imaginative political-sci-fi graphic novel is a visual tour de force, created by contemporary design icon Lorenzo Ceccotti, better known as LRNZ, whose design-influenced illustration provides a lush, fluid backdrop of manga-like dynamism with the cinematic scope of western comics, creating a style that is wholly unique and absolutely breathtaking.
Golem is a visually stunning and entertaining full-length graphic novel. While the artwork is sure to immediately captivate its readers, the story is also attention grabbing and complex, exploring themes such as capitalism, human relationships, and the idea of a “perfect society”. Each page is fully action-packed to ensure readers will never get bored.
The story opens in the setting of a dystopian, futuristic Italy where a young boy named Steno, is our main protagonist. There are tablets instead of desks in every classroom, everyone wears Bluetooth-like earpieces, and plastic surgery can be ordered at the touch of a button. While it seems an ideal situation that everyone gets what they want, you immediately start to wonder what are the consequences of this.
Right from the very beginning, the story jumps into action as the politician Filagone is abducted. Or is he? From then on the layers of government corruption is peeled away and we learn about the important secret that Steno’s father kept hidden for all these years. Readers also discover a new environment in which future tech still exists, but the people are more self-sufficient.
As for the plot, I honestly though that this would be a stereotypical sci-fi plot at first, but when the reader is exposed to the “rebel” group and their own world, I was immediately hooked into the story. Readers get flashes of back story, that reveal pieces of the mystery and how certain characters are connected, but even as the book ended I still found myself still asking questions. I think there is a lot of information thrown at the reader in these (roughly) 300 pages and while it’s easy to digest for the most part, I still found some of the details a bit hard to grasp.
The artwork for Golem is colorful and full of definition. Some of the landscape scenes look like something out of a painting. The graphic novel is definitely a visual experience that readers will truly appreciate and the attention to detail in the characters faces and action bring out their full emotions and make the readers empathize with them.
Overall, Golem is a fantastic read that will not disappoint fans of the sci-fi genre. The colorful cast of characters and strong world-building makes it a captivating graphic novel.
4 out 5 stars