Eighty Days

A.C. Esguerra. Archaia, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68415-657-3
Three protagonists—light-skinned Jay, who has glasses and an undercut; light-skinned, light-haired Fix; and dark-skinned, dark-haired Sable—navigate aviation guild AVO’s methodical consolidation of world governments in this queer historical romance, set in a post-war, early 20th-century-esque world filled with fighter planes, trains, and blimps. Pilots Jay and Sable work for AVO, which owns all equipment and personnel and inhibits those unregistered with AVO from work or societal advancement. When street urchin Fix charters Jay to deliver him to Central, Jay becomes embroiled in Fix’s revolution to empower no-class people against AVO, paralleling Sable’s journey as promotion further entrenches her. Debut graphic novelist Esguerra’s grayscale art, filled with sweeping, thick lines and tonal washes, builds the brooding atmosphere as the world plunges deeper in turmoil, romance blossoms between Jay and Fix, and the trio grapples with AVO’s burgeoning grip on all of society. Told in a semi-epistolary format via entries in Jay’s flight logbook and telegrams, this haunting, slow-burning exploration of the consequences of fascist capitalism soars, with the compelling romance between Jay and Fix as its primary fuel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kate McKean, Morhaim Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/05/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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