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Battle of Blood and InkBattle of Blood and Ink by Jared Axelrod and Steve Walker.
The author’s note for this book says that the two guys were talking together about the craziest story they could come up with, and what they came up with was a floating city. The Floating City is a steampunky place, with distinct neighborhoods for different classes of people. Ashe, however, journalist and publisher of the insanely popular newspaper The Lurker’s Guide to the Floating City, goes wherever she wants. As the story opens, she has her friend and co-conspirator Tolban fly their little glider up close enough to catch the radio waves coming from a ship in distress. Not until the captain promises that he and his crew will go into slavery to the City are they allowed asylum. Once published, this secret is the one that finally determines the Provost of the City to stop the Lurker’s Guide. But Ashe is not without friends – she is not-so-secretly admired by Cardor, son of one of the richest citizens of the city. And for Ashe, being a target is only a reason to find more dark secrets to reveal and more ways to irritate those in power. The art is spare and angular black-and-white ink, which give it a modern feel despite the setting. The dark secrets were a little too dark to make this altogether light reading, and certainly make it most appropriate for adults or older teens, but this is a fun graphic adventure in a pseudo-Victorian, high-tech world.

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October 2012

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