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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

November 19, 2018

The Surgeon by John Pence ~ a Review #MondayBlogs

by MK French

In a post-apocalyptic world, Dr. Jenny Hanover often trades her skills as a doctor and surgeon for a place to stay, meals and tools. With the way that the world is, she is just as skilled with a sword as a scalpel and prefers to be on the move at all times. She wants to stay away from the violence in the eastern seaboard of the US, and would rather take off.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Turtle Island
February 2018; Unlikely Heroes Studios
ebook (32 pages); YA, graphic novel
In Chapter One, we meet the doctor and accompany her on her journey to Turtle Island, a fort built and maintained by a number of survivors. Her needs are fairly simple at that point: new clothes, food, a bath, shoes for her horse and a new sword because the one she arrived with was broken. Jenny is more than able to handle herself while riding alone in the west and is able to do an appendectomy in the middle of a tornado shelter. This establishes the kind of person that she is, as well as her tendency to be a hard drinker and swearing as easily as she is able to do surgery. The source of the apocalypse is never discussed, but it had occurred fifteen years prior to the start of the comic, and now there are bands of men with sores and welts roaming the countryside looking for materials to steal; it makes me wonder if the source of the apocalypse was nuclear in nature.

The Siege
August 2018; Unlikely Heroes Studios
ebook; YA, graphic novel
In Chapter Two, the siege is on at the fort. We see Jenny's skill with a blade firsthand, and she is definitely a master. She also is more aware of the threat of the scavengers than the people at the fort, and helps them prepare for the actual siege she knows is coming. The artwork is dynamic and detailed here and is full of cleverly done action sequences. The comic ends on another cliffhanger, and I am left with anticipation to know what happens next. I am also curious about Jenny's background because the way she avoids talking about it makes me wonder what kind of trauma is worse than the life she is leading now.

These were first developed via Patreon and a Kickstarter but is now available through Amazon and Comixology. The art is detailed in both volumes, so that not only are there scars on Jenny's face, decayed bodies along the shot out roadways, and rusted husks of cars and trucks. These are the little details that add to the background and really gives it that postapocalyptic flavor. A lot of the creepy scavengers remind me of the mindless killers of various John Carpenter movies, so that might be a target audience for this comic. It's just starting out, so it's very easy to get into the story and follow it as it develops.

Buy The Surgeon Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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