The Invisible Kingdom: Walking the Path

G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward's INVISIBLE KINGDOM: WALKING THE PATH.
The Invisible Kingdom: Walking the Path

G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward’s Invisible Kingdom: Walking the Path is a hell of a graphic novel, a wild space ride that interrogates our own society while shooting through the stratosphere.

Walking the Path has a bit in common, at least for me, with Firefly, except without that weird Joss Whedon Feminism™. (And I freely admit that I enjoy Firefly, and also Serenity, despite all their problems.) There’s a hard-ass spaceship pilot moving stuff around between planets, except that Grix and her crew—including her kid brother—are moving stuff for Lux, which is definitely galactic Amazon, with warships. There’s an overarching faith, at least for Vess. There’s a detailed, fantastical world.

And there’s corruption, and edgelords. Lots and lots of corruption, corruption oozing from every side and every facet, corruption aided and abetted by those edgelords, though they no doubt don’t quite realize what they do. (We all know edgelords like them: we see them around us all the time, and they are, I think, more obvious now than ever, as they remind us that Nothing Matters.)

It took me a bit to get into Walking the Path, by which I mean I’ve had the book sitting somewhere near me for nearly a year, repeatedly picked it up (and gave up), and then read it all today. Now, I firmly believe that it goes beyond every book their reader and into a realm wherein this book might be the right book but this might be the wrong moment, and I think that there’s something to be said of wrong moments, over the past year, as I planned to read Walking the Path and then didn’t.

Today was very much the right day, for me, for Walking the Path. It worked, a lot. I loved it as soon as I hit the word “metadata,” in fact. And though, as Booklist notes, some of the dialog can be a little on the nose, it worked for me, too. We are, after all, in a time when the edgelords are out in force, and we must see, over and over again, how little the truth often matters.

I don’t often read science fiction, and when I do, it often seems to be graphic: after all, I’ve read much of the Saga series, which I some day plan to own in its entirety. (Probably not in those giant book forms, though: I’ll get something in between, because they’re a wee bit too big to read comfortably.) Ward’s art shines in the Invisible Kingdom series, and Wilson’s words click, coming together to forge a world in which I could, for a bit, get lost. I don’t plan to wait a year to read Edge of Everything, that’s for sure. And when volume three comes out, well, I’ll likely read that in a day, too.

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