Indie Comic Review: Rachel Rising (vol. 1)

Rachel Rising by Terry Moore -Abstract Studios – $17.99

I have been a fan of Terry Moore for quite some time. I am not ashamed to admit that I shed a small tear at the end of Strangers in Paradise. It was with some trepidation that I picked up his next book, Echo. Because, how could he follow SiP with anything and have it live up to that opus? Amazingly, Echo was fantastic and managed to forge its own identity outside of SiP. As soon as Echo ended, Moore released his next story, Rachel Rising. Could lightning strike three times in a row?

Rachel wakes up at sunrise on a shallow grave in the woods and discovers the freshly murdered body in the dirt is her own. With events of the previous night a blur, Rachel seeks out her boyfriend Phillip. But Phillip has a new girl now and Rachel is beginning to suspect she rose from the grave for a reason– revenge!

Rachel Rising is a much darker book than anything Moore has attempted in the past. In SiP there were a couple of nasty people. In Echo, there were a few more. However, in Rachel Rising it appears that damn near everyone has a sinister secret. Death comes to the small town of Manson and carves a path of destruction and misery.

But Rachel Rising is more than just a horror book about terrible murders and the recently deceased rising from the grave to extract some form of vengeance. It is also a meditation on the meaning of life, death, and how the two are related. While the violent scenes in the book may thrill and entice, it is the quiet moments of conversation and contemplation which will stay with the reader. Rachel Rising is very much a thinking-man’s horror story.

The only fault I can find with the book is the art. It is not to say that the art is bad. In fact, the art is gorgeous. Terry Moore creates a perfectly believable world full of vibrant characters and dark shadows which whisper of fear and horror. His art as just as amazing as all of his other books. That is the problem. As wonderful as his art is, his characters in Rachel Rising too closely resemble the characters from his other books. If you have never read another Terry Moore book (shame on you!) then this will not be a problem. However, if you are like me and have read his other works, you will find yourself constantly reminded of his other characters and have to consciously shove them out of your mind. But, alas, it is a small price to pay for such a deeply intriguing book.

Rachel Rising is a creepy horror book that explores the relationship between life and death. There are no easy answers. But, the exploration and the unseen twists and turns make for an entertaining read. You can pick up your copy of Rachel Rising volume 1 at your LCS today, or order it through Amazon.

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