Aion by Ludovic Rio
Published: July 17th, 2019
Publisher: Europe Comics
Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Length: 130 pages
Ludovic Rio’s Aion is a simple but competent sci-fi story. There really isn’t very much to it, but that minimalism isn’t necessary a mark against it; instead, the book takes a few basic elements and delivers a solid genre piece that explores the ethical boundaries of technological advancement.
Lexi Neel is a starship captain on a long-haul trip for a major Earth corporation, the only human passenger on her ship. She left her home, her daughter, and everything she knew out of necessity. The book opens when an AI construct wakes her from hypersleep early because the ship’s computer intercepted a distress signal on the planet Aion.
When Lexi explores the planet, she discovers a complex that houses another AI construct, Maxine, and the remains of a dead man, Dr. Elliot Lorentz. Lorentz died months ago, leaving behind nothing but an encrypted notebook. When Lexi picks up the notebook, Maxine warns her that some kind of process is underway and there is no time to explain. Within a few seconds, Lexi disappears into thin air and the real story begins.
It turns out that there is a lot more to the story of Elliot Lorentz, who was a physicist studying anomalies on the planet Aion. The rest of the book follows Lexi as she uncovers the truth behind his experiments.
I read Aion in one sitting, in under an hour. It feels like an old-fashioned story of ideas, reminiscent of classic sci-fi without feeling retrograde. Aion delivers on what it promises, even if the end result is more competent than mind-blowing.
I also enjoyed the art, which mostly exists to serve the story. There aren’t any show-stopper panels, but it also doesn’t distract from the plot or feel like a mismatch for the characters. It’s both minimal and competent, which pairs well with the simplicity of the book.
Aion is worth picking up from the library if you’re looking for something to pass the time for a little while. That said, it doesn’t really bring anything new or exciting to the genre.
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from NetGalley.