Crossing Midnight
Volume 1 - Cut Here

Author: Mike Carey
Artist: Jim Fern
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $9.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 666 5
ISBN-10: 1 84576 666 0
Available 28 September 2007

Enter a world where demons and ancient Japanese folklore intersect with the Yakuza and modern life... where one boy will risk everything in a quest to save his family. A young Nagasaki salaryman prays to the Kami - the spirits of all that is - for the safe birth of his children, and twins Kai and Toshi Hara are born either side of midnight. But strange things are happening: Toshi is immune to harm, and Kai sees worlds that shouldn't be there. Then, one night, Aratsu, the Kami spirit of knives, comes for Toshi - unwittingly promised to him by her father... and Kai sets out to get her back...

There are lines that nobody is meant to cross. In Nagasaki, Japan, a twin brother and sister - Toshi and Kai Hara - are born on either side of midnight: only a few minutes apart, but those few minutes will lead their lives down two very different paths. It's clear as she grows up that Toshi, the female twin, is something out of the ordinary. Nothing with a point or an edge can harm her: knives will snap or bend rather than break her skin. And when she reaches her teens, a mysterious figure who calls himself Aratsu, the lord of the knives comes to claim her as his servant.

If Toshi agrees, she will have to leave Japan and the human world behind and cross into the world of the kami, the spirits who live in and rule over the everyday objects we make and use. If she refuses, the consequences for her and her family will be terrible beyond imagining. That is, unless her brother Kai can figure out what kind of hold the kami world has on Toshi - and on the rest of the Haras. But Aratsu is only going to ask three times...

Mike Carey's (Lucifer, Hellblazer, X-Men) latest graphic novel represents a huge shift in genre - and one a less accomplished writer may have fumbled badly. Thankfully he tackles this tale incredibly well - carefully plotting the story and setting up the characters without it feeling forced. Jim Fern's artwork compliments Carey's writing perfectly. I loved the change in style that is designed to represent a shift in time.

The conclusion to Volume 1 left me wanting more - which is not always a good thing, but it certainly is with this collection.

Nick Smithson

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