Review: Lady Mechanika vol.2 – The Tablet of Destinies

Posted on September 1st, 2017 @ 21:17
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Lady Mechanika Volume 2: Tablet of DestiniesLady Mechanika Volume 2: Tablet of Destinies by Joe Benítez

My rating:

Blurb:

After a young friend shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep, Lady Mechanika immediately drops everything to come to her aid. They embark on a globe-spanning trek filled with ancient artifacts, secret societies, and scientific curiosities, but Lady Mechanika is eventually confronted with an impossible decision: the life of her friend, or the fate of all humankind.

Set in a fictionalized steampunk Victorian England, a time when magic and superstition clashed with new scientific discoveries and inventions, LADY MECHANIKA chronicles a young woman’s obsessive search for her identity after a mad scientist’s horrific experiments left her with mechanical limbs and no memory of her past.

This volume collects the entire second LADY MECHANIKA story, The Tablet of Destinies, along with a gorgeous cover art gallery.

Review:

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

A slightly different take than in the first arc (which I read last month): this time, the story follows Mechanika from London to mysterious ruins on the African continent, following the trail of an old researcher who’s being forced to decrypt strange tablets under the threat of seeing his granddaughter killed. It’s not exactly the same kind of theme, and although some aspects were a bit cliché (of course the bad guys had to be German), I still appreciate it because… hey, let’s be honest, I do like myself a good old Victorian/early 20th century adventure with archaeologist-like people, secret societies, and, yes, in small quantities, even German bad guys. ;)

On the other hand, this volume didn’t bring anything to the bigger story hinted at in the first instalments (Mechanika’s origins, the history she shares with Commander Winter, the Engineer…), and I admit I would’ve liked to get a few more hints. It also keeps playing on the evil bad guy/female enforcer tropes, which, well, why not, but I hope this kind of dynamics will change later.

The drawing style remains detailed, with vivid colours that get more muted as they adapt to the various atmospheres of day and night. There’s still a lot of eye-candy, however this time I felt it took slightly less precedence depending on the scenes and panels (seriously, huge boobs and perceived sexy poses aren’t necessarily as exciting as they sound when it comes to depicting heroo-types characters… or, well, any character at all). And perhaps there were a few less walls of text, too? I read it in public transportation so I didn’t pay as much attention to that aspect I had noted in the first volume, to be honest.

Conclusion: The storyline remained entertaining, though definitely on the cliché side, and I can only hope this won’t last; nevertheless, large boobs over corsets notwithstanding, I liked the artwork.

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