After having read the adventures from Bertrand Keufterian, I couldn't wait to read the next chapters of the saga. Like the previous book, Zone 57 is a collection of four episodes, as well as a new 10-page-long ending.
In this new chapter, Bertrand is back and is now a professional alien chaser. In a way, not only he has matured, but you can also see that the technical aspect of the book is more professional as well. There was a sense of joyful amateurism that you could see in the first book, which was actually very fun to witness. Here, everything is more elaborated, the traditional rectangles are replaced by a more complex storytelling structure. Not only that, but the story is also much more dense than in the previous book, which, in a way, was more the inception of the story, before the real fight starts.
Therefore, we start the book precisely like that, with the alien chasers in a mission broadcasted live on national television. Because of that, everything is more difficult. You cannot not show a proper alien chase when the entire first book was focused on that. This is the part that was mandatory. And boy do they deliver! In just this one book, the author Carlos Rodrigo had to not only deliver an alien chase, but also complete and resolve the story in a satisfying way, which itself is quite the tour de force.
Still, by being so ambitious, the story goes to so many directions that the authors somehow fail to capture the same slow magic from the first book. There are less real human interactions between Bertrand and the others. And there are so much things taking place, so much action, that, as a reader, I had little places to pause. You can see this as the end, it feels like a breath of fresh air to have a few drawings with almost nothing.
SCI-FI MODE, ON!
Sci-fi is hard. I believe there is a fine line between a down to Earth story and come-as-you-go alien mumbo jumbo. There is a particular moment in the book, soon after Bertrand meets the alien with the pink shirt, where the story goes into a full sci-fi mode. Suddenly, in only a couple of pages, Bertrand is taken by a force into the air, gets a new psychic ability, flies a spaceship with his mind, goes into Space, fights with the bad guy, and more. On top of that, you've got plenty of new characters, vampires, and more. Once again, the level of density is high in this book and I will probably have to read it a couple of more times to fully grasp the ramifications of the story, especially on the mythology side.
To me, Bertrand Keufterian had a really magic relationship with Nina. Their duo worked beautifully. Not only that, but she was such a terrific character, I was sad to see her being underutilized in Zone 57. She was one of my favorite characters and the authors decided to get rid of her for most part of the book. Obviously, there is a strong reason behind it and you'll understand when you read the book.
THE STORY WAS TOLD
Still, even if I have doubts on the pure sci-fi story as well as not seeing enough of Nina, I will only remember the positive aspect of the journey, which is that you can only, once again, applaud the ambition of the team. They were not afraid to tell their story, and while I personally would have preferred to spend more time with Bertrand, without so many alien stuff, I still really had great fun and was fully taken by the story.
While I won't spoil the ending, I can just say that I simply loved the final pages of the book. As an admirer of David Lynch, this obviously reminded me of the final scene from the second season of Twin Peaks. Whether the authors decide to produce a third volume is, to me,
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent. Once again, I don't even start to imagine how difficult and time consuming this project must have been for the authors behind the scenes. Guillaume Matthias and his team Carlos Rodrigo (screenplay and dialogue), Céline Labriet and Solynk (colors) nailed it!
Wait. I've got a declaration to make. And I must warn you... You'll probably like it very much!
There is one thing you need to do, right now. You need to leave this site and log immediately to Amazon and buy both volumes of the BK saga. You won't regret it.
Finally, I imagine that the authors, having spent so many years on BK want to do something else. But somehow, I hope, one day, that we will see the return of Bertrand. Somewhere.