The story starts off with an interesting twist; Eve, the protagonist, has been living in a simulation, and we’ve been observing the simulation with them. The world as we know it is ancient history as humans failed to effectively mitigate climate change and a very scary disease. Eve has no mean task at her hands; she has to fix the entire world. However, she has a plan set for her by her parents. As a dad myself, I appreciate the bond shown between Eve and her dad, and I can see why they might bet the future of the world on their child. The simulation has been a part of preparing Eve for meeting the challenges she would face in this world. Her companion in this journey is Wexler, the android tasked with the singular purpose of protecting her, but with the visage of a cuddly teddy bear.
My favorite thing about this story was that the twists just kept coming. Staying along for the ride into this survival story is rewarding as it evolves from a survivor story to the story of a savior and effortlessly blends in themes of friendship, family, and environmentalism. There are a few genuinely heartwarming moments throughout the story. At the same time, it asks some serious questions, none more indicting than asking is humanity worth saving?
Along with these themes, the story also builds parallels to Egyptian mythology as well as Johnny Appleseed. I suspect picking parallels from the most popular African mythology, and American mythology is not random but a deliberate choice I thoroughly appreciate. Along with the world-building and themes, there are a few characters to enjoy the ride with, of which my favorite is Wexler. I appreciate the writer neither making their voice completely dry and robotic nor excessively quippy or eccentric. It sounds like just another human character.
The artwork by Jo Mi-Gyeong fits the story well. The art is economical and does not overindulge in the scenes with more action, but really takes its time with the more emotional scenes. The colors by Brittany Peer are well done and especially shine in panels with more natural scenery. In fact, the art overall punches harder in those scenes and provides a stark contrast and relief from the drabness of the obvious apocalypse.
I do have a few points of critique: Some of the dialogues seem unreal and not something a real person would talk like in the given circumstances. I appreciate the parallels to Egyptian mythology, but they are spoken by the characters in a very expository manner and come off unreal and eccentric. Some of the plot points were a bit predictable and a bit on the nose, which works fine if this is your first post-apocalyptic story, and the protagonists don’t seem traumatized by the events of the story and their circumstances as one would expect, which is hopeful but naíve.
I am conflicted about the apocalyptic conditions created in the story. On one side, it feels a bit unimaginative and run-of-the-mill. On the other, it is very close to reality and could be very meaningful, especially to a new reader. The USP of this story is that while telling a serious story with high stakes, it never veers into cynicism. The protagonist is very kind, even towards any opposition it encounters. That is the kind of future I want to read about with my daughter.