Booklist Reviews

On the heels of his fanciful yet historically based Black Paths (2013), French cartoonist David B. turns to the wholly fantastic in this outlandishly imaginative tale of conspiracies and the occult. It begins with David's obsessive search for copies of a nineteenth-century journal, Incidents in the Night, which he locates in a preposterously well-stocked bookshop, where mountainous piles of random volumes require a guide for an archaeological dig. The pages of the journal detail a plot to return Napoleon to power, with world conquest to follow. David's further investigation reveals that the paper's fanatical publisher, who had been disfigured at the Battle of Waterloo, is still alive, residing within the pages of a book in David's own library. Furthermore, he learns that the Angel of Death is seeking to end the publisher's immortality. The free-flowing, inventive visuals, boldly and confidently rendered, give the extravagant story the feel of a sustained but persuasive nightmare. The book ends in a cliff-hanger, to be resolved in a future installment of this intricate yarn. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

After an odd dream, David-as-character goes on a surreal quest to find a mysterious 19th-century journal entitled Incidents in the Night. He finds his prize in an enchantingly baroque Paris bookstore after expeditions through monoliths and pyramids of volumes. But complications ensue: Travers, the still-alive editor of the journal, has acquired the power to enter books and demands that David hide him in a volume to avoid the Angel of Death. David finds that he himself can enter the strange world, bumbling after Travers amid side tales of death gods, flood myths, occult conspiracies, and allusions to actual and imaginary literature. This story is a loose metaphor for life, capturing a visual tale of dreamy intrigue and building on the existing tension among layers of the real and unreal. The ending leaves both Travers and David supposedly dead, but a second volume is promised. VERDICT Best known from Epileptic, David B.'s black-and-white art depicts unrealities and realities with equal zest, teasingly holding out a journey that's more about getting there than the destination. A treat for sophisticated adult story omnivores with a taste for bizarre mysteries. Some minor nudity.—M.C.

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