Ah, Dystopia. The predictions of bleak future societies that will arise from the mistakes of the current world have risen to soaring heights of acknowledgement in recent years. With numerous fictional phenomenons, the dystopian genre is becoming a staple in modern literature, one that is only added to by Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro. A graphic novel for young adults, Decelerate Blue is an enjoyable and awakening read, despite its mediocre writing and confusing events.
Angela is a rebellious teenager living in a society where immediacy is the first priority. Controlled by a plan titled “Go, Guarantee, Go”, people are implanted with chips that can be detected by scanner ports and classic literature is shortened to be less deliberate and more direct, among other regulations. Frustrated by the lack of humanity and thought within her surroundings, Angela often acts against these laws. However, when her Grandfather, the only person she truly connects to, informs her of a secret, her life takes a transformative turn in a new direction.
In itself, this concept is absolutely phenomenal. It experiments with an ever-present idea of speed in the digital age, for performing an action so simple as typing a complete word or phrase takes too much effort or time. In a society where leisure and art are abhorred, people are colder and more removed, providing an accurate glance into the real world, where civilians have no interest in taking a moment to think.
These idea and themes are only complimented by the artwork, as details in the drawings are wonderful additions to the plot. A color scheme of black and white is used for the majority of the book, which only emphasizes a sense of removal, and color is used sparingly to signify intensely beautiful emotion. An angular style is used, feeling appropriate for the topic presented.
Additionally, a particularly wonderful aspect of this already progressive book is its expertise in highlighting a same-sex relationship. Unlike many stories that stereotype gays, the fact that their relationship is homosexual is barely acknowledged, removing any misconceptions that homosexuality is abnormal.
Unfortunately, these positive attributes must compensate for lackluster writing. Filled with plot holes, such as why humans need to do laundry in a computerized world, much of its dialogue seems forced. The timeline is choppy and abrupt, and the amount of time that passes by, or the progression from one event to another, is difficult to understand.
Overall, Decelerate Blu is a read for young adults, for it includes various mature themes and strong language. A love letter to artists and thinkers, it is an interesting story with well-drawn artwork, long as one looks past the puzzling series of occurrences.