HOLLOW FIELDS VOL. 1

Posted On August - 18 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   SEVEN SEAS
  AUTHOR / ART:   MADALINE ROSCA
  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / BW
  PAGES:   192
  RATING:   ALL AGES
  RELEASE DATE:   07/05/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   08/18/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD

Lucy Snow is a girl all on her own, off to attend a new boarding school for girls. However, an ill advised short cut through the frightening woods leads her to a forbidding building but needed shelter. Entering, she is quickly lured into its halls by its caretaker. Lucy has stumbled upon a different school, one that seems thriving and exciting compared to her other prospect. Lured to sign a contract, Lucy is about to find out the terrible truth behind the school known as the Hollow Fields, where dark magic reigns, and monstrosities lurk the halls – and their the teachers! Can she survive the deadly perils of this magical world? For she has taken on a challenge far surpassing mere exams and getting her homework done on time!

This is a remarkable debut by Madeliene Rosca in this original English language manga-esque story. The tale is a treasure of imagination as we follow Lucy Snow (not lost is the possible reference to Snow White in her name) in this new and mysterious world filled with peril. The very first day at this new school, she makes an enemy of the most popular girl of the institution. That’s nothing, however, compared to the curriculum she finds out she must take: Killer Robots for Fun and Profit, Cross Species Transplantation, Grave Robbing, Zombie Construction, and worse! It seems Lucy has stumbled onto a school curtailed to evil. Surrounded by budding mad scientists, the pure hearted Lucy must strive to excel in her classes lest she become one of the weekly chosen to be sent to the Old Windmill, where no one has ever returned!

The first volume sees Lucy’s introduction and entrapment into this strange and mesmerizing world of evil science and strange magics. She attends grave robbing classes (much to her horror), killer robot construction, and transplantation class, all of which overwhelm her. Singed to a contract, she is duty bound to do her best lest she become yet another one of the victims. Lucy Snow proves herself in this calamity, to be a heroine worthy of Harry Potter’s lot and that of the siblings in Lemony Snicket’s tales. She braves the horrors of the school, faces up to the frightening steam powered robots roaming the halls, and even faces the terrifying Miss Weaver who rules the institution. In light of these dark perils, Lucy chooses not to run away, but to excel in her classes in order to discover just what Miss Weaver is up to, find out the fate of those hapless children sent to the Windmill, and rescue them if it’s not too late. Brava!

In the course of this pursuit, she discovers a most unlikely and most unusual ally. There also seems to be a secret society as well, but can they and will they help Lucy? There are certainly several interesting subplots underlying the absorbing adventure of this brave young girl. The story is lush with riveting characters, wonderful art, and the beginning to an unforgettable story.

The richly done art has an immersing style with a highly attractive quality. The designs for the strange robots and creatures in the series are fascinating, and the character art is most appealing. The detailed backgrounds give life to a fantastical world that is as amazing as it is perilous. The book shines with beautiful lush art that is a pleasure to look at and will delight readers.

The book is rife with extras including Hollow Fields School Files, several conceptual sketches of the school and characters which include author’s notes.

IN SUMMARY:
Hollow Field is a rich fantasy of fertile imagination that will appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.

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