I bought this book because I so enjoyed the two Phonogram books (Phonogram: Rue Britannia
and Phonogram Volume 2: The Singles Club (Phonogram: the Singles Club)
) on which Jamie McKelvie collaborated with Kieron Gillen. Unfortunately, this offering fell short of the moving, engaging and beautiful achievements of those mini series.
I'm 26 and despite being the sort of girl Astrid is - indie music, hard drinking outsider - when I was 17 I couldn't really find any strong connection to her - her characterisation is a little 2D and her friend David is more roundly drawn. She, and the other main female character Aubrey, look pretty but that seems to be as far as McKelvie went in developing them as characters whilst the male characters - in particular David - are very real and could be found in any sixth form or university in the country.
I'm sad to say that the plot is boringly predictable and by the end I was largely unconcerned about what resolution there would be - I simply didn't care enough about the characters. Perhaps part of the complication for me is that I am not particularly interested in magical realism/faerie folklore so the gestures towards that made me cringe more than read on in wonder.
The main redeeming feature of this book is, as with everything McKelvie is connected to, that it is completely beautiful and a stunning collection of artwork. I think if I were younger - 18 perhaps - I would have found this book spoke to me more about who I and my peers were but as an adult I found it lacking and, in places, rushed.