April 27th, 2011

Morning Glories: For a Better Future

Review by Bernice Watson

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Morning Glories: For a Better Future when I started reading. I had plucked it, pretty much at random, off the new releases shelf at Forbidden Planet drawn primarily to its cover illustration and very reasonable price tag (£7.99). What I found when I started reading was an engrossing world populated by a cast of immediately engaging characters and a story that kept me eagerly turning the page to find out what happens next.

The story follows six teenagers who are all accepted to one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country – Morning Glory Academy. Known for the academic success of its students and for its fresh take on education, Morning Glory Academy seems like an ideal environment for bright and promising teens like Casey, Jade, Jun, Zoe, Ike and Hunter. But from the moment they arrive at their new school things start to take a turn for the bizarre and disturbing.  Its starts when they realize that they all share the same birthday – May 4th, the very day they arrive at Morning Glory. Coincidence or something more?

Writer Nick Spencer masterfully creates tension in his readers as he guides the characters through their disorientating first few days at their new school.  One of the most disturbing aspects of life at Morning Glory is the unpredictability of events and it is this element too that Spencer brings to bear so successfully in his writing, events would unfold in ways I honestly did not expect. Just when I thought the story was going to zig it would zag. As far as the mystery or what is going on with Morning Glory and why our teenaged protagonists are there, Spencer tantalizes with a tidbit of information here, a detail there. Like any good thriller, the pieces of the puzzle slowly begin to emerge as the story progresses, leaving you hungry for more. By the end of this trade paperback edition (collecting the first six issues) the situation is beginning to come into focus but the larger motivations of the players are still a mystery. Many questions remain to be answered which is why I can’t wait for the next book!

Rodin Esquejo has a done a truly impressive job on the covers and, as mentioned above, this was one of the deciding factors in my buying the book in the first place. His depiction of the six main characters really brings them to life and seems to flesh them out as individuals. Joe Eisma’s work on the rest of the art has wonderful movement and he has a way with expression and body language that is so vital in a story like this. Kudos also to Alex Sollazzo and Johnny Lowe for their work on colours and letters respectively.

So what does Morning Glory Academy hold next for our six young heroes? I really have no idea and isn’t that wonderful? I don’t know how this story is going to end or where it’s going to take the characters next but I’m just happy to go along for the ride.

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