Millenia War Review

By | Friday, February 17, 2012 Leave a Comment
A few years ago, after deciding to go to a comic convention (Wizard World Chicago maybe?), I was browsing the list of attendees and guests, making notes on who I wanted to speak to. One of the names was Ashley Wood, whose work I had just seen on Tank Girl. I got to the convention and was going through the artists' alley, talking with this person and that. I finally got to the area where Wood's table was supposed to be. Except he wasn't there. The table wasn't empty, mind you, with a simple "Back in 5 minutes" note or anything, though; there was a woman standing there with a small crowd of folks pushing her to sign their books. I did not recognize her, but was pretty confident that she wasn't the decidedly male artist I was looking for.

I went about the show some more, talking with other creators, picking up a few new books. I eventually sat down to rest in one of the rooms with a panel discussion. Waiting for things to get rolling, I pulled out my convention guide and looked up to make sure I wasn't looking for Wood at the wrong place or something. To my surprise, Ashley Wood was not at the convention at all! But there was a young woman by the name of Ashley Woods who had apparently just self-published a book called Millenia War.

I finally got around to reading Millenia War. The story starts 1000 years ago when a group of obnoxious teens accidentally kill an elven princess. That, in turn, leads to a war between humans and elves, and the humans use their superior technology to all but eliminate the entire elven population.

A century later, a group of human soldiers get ambushed by elves. All but one of the humans are killed, and she winds up being captured. The girl's sister, then, makes it her mission to find her and so, with the help of her friends, sets out to see what happened. They're given some assistance by the fairies but over the years, the elves have taken precautions to plant moles into human society...

For some reason, this book just didn't click for me. Which strikes me as odd. I could point out a few technical bits here and there that could use a little improvement/clarification, but it wasn't a bad book by any means. The plot was interesting, a bit different (in a good way). The characters didn't come across as flat. The illustrations were good. But it just didn't grab me. I thought the font size was a tad large, but that wasn't a big deal. A couple of the fight scenes did get a bit difficult to follow, but the specifics weren't really critical to understanding the story.

After first learning who Woods was, I do recall hearing generally good things about Millenia War. (Though at this point, I couldn't tell you anything in particular.) It was a book I certainly wanted to like; after all, I just dropped $25 for my own copy. But I'm at something of a loss to say why it didn't really do anything for me.

I suspect it has a lot to do with the characters. Again, they're not flat, but I don't think I really recognized any of them. They didn't remind of anyone I'd ever met nor did they remind me of any other characters, or even broad archetypes I'm familiar with. And while I've certainly read books with less relatable characters, that's typically only for books that really, really wow me with the art. Here again, it's not bad by any means, but I didn't see enough contrasts (line weight, color, etc.) to stand out for me.

I'm glad to have read it, and it looks like Woods has promise, but I'm not yearning for more. I gather she's worked on a few other projects since this was first published, and I hope they do (have done?) well.

Millenia War volume 1 is available through IndyPlanet.
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