I have been looking forward to this series since it was announced. I mean it is Warren Ellis after all and he is nothing short of an incredible writer. The concept that this tree-like species came to Earth ten years ago, hiding themselves in a forest (pun intended) and have had no contact with the human populace is intriguing to say the least. Apparently these Tree’s just ignore us as if we weren’t even a species, so what happens once they become active?
Rio De Janeiro is the first place we visit and the narration here is kind of ominous. The scene focuses on the Policia using drones to take out some gang members running through the streets. The creepy narration is delightful and when the guys on the run finally get somewhere they feel is safe, the opposite holds true as we see the Tree emitting an acid-like excrement, destroying everything it touches. It was interesting to see that people built housing right up the trunk of this tree as if it were a natural extension of the world, only to realize how naïve and dangerous a decision that was.
Transitioning to Manhattan, we see a man who wants to run for Mayor. Vince saw the Tree’s land and what happened thereafter he’s no stranger to the dangers and we as reader’s learn a lot more about them and the day they arrived and why they are still there. They seem to unaffected by bioliogical warfare as well, rendering biochemical weapons inactive.
Next up is a young man who leaves his tiny village and travels to a big city, seemingly China. Although we don’t see a Tree here, yet, we do get some very interesting visuals and a sense that this young man, Tian Chenglei, is out of his element and in over his head. What his role will be and how he will affect the world remains unclear but I find his environment more than worthy of further exploration.
Finally we see Tree’s in Spitzbergen, an island archipelago of Norway, and the crew there studying it. We do find a new breed of flower sprouting from the icy ground, telling us that perhaps the reach of their seeds is larger than we imagined.
Creative, fun and interesting with tons of potential, this story captures the imagination of the reader beautifully. Plus the interior artwork is just as expressive as the words and portrays the world as it is as things occur. All around it’s worth the wait and should prove to be another notch in the belt for Ellis’ already impressive resume.