God Save the Queen (Hardback)

Author: Mike Carey
Artist: John Bolton
Titan Books
RRP: 12.99, US $19.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 416 6
ISBN-10: 1 84576 416 1
Available 22 June 2007

Set in both North London and the Faerie kingdom, God Save the Queen tells the story of a rebellious teenager who falls in with a group of slacker faeries. She discovers that, for faeries, the ultimate rush is Red Horse, a drug made from heroin and human blood. It's a dangerous high, and when she gets hooked she's drawn into a civil war that becomes a struggle to the death between Queen Titania and her predecessor, Queen Mab...

God Save the Queen is not going to be to everyone's tastes. Some might think it too pretentious, others that it's a load of drivel (come on - faerie kingdoms... please!), while some will love it.

I'm afraid I fit into the former category. While, on the whole I pretty much enjoyed author Mike Carey's writing for Lucifer, I just didn't get this at all. It's full of clichés and arty, farty nonsense. And I couldn't help feeling that this was written after a really bad drug related episode.

I'm not sure how artist John Bolton works, but it appears that he either paints from photographs, or uses photographs and paints over them or manipulates them in Photoshop. It's quite obvious which elements are copied and which have sprung out of his own head... and this became too distracting.

Now it could be that Bolton used photographic reference for the human physical world, while drawing from his own mind for the faerie realm, but to be honest I didn't really much care.

The result is more reminiscent of an independent production - a first attempt by an immature writer trying to be arty for art's sake. This could have worked too, but sadly there's not enough of a story here to carry it off. What we are left with is a rather lush looking mess.

Pete Boomer

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