Concrete Park is a comic book/graphic novel series that I stumbled upon in the Kindle store. The first volume was free and it looked like it could be a more diverse read, which I’ve been trying to find more of lately, so I decided to just go for it.
*Just a quick note: this book is definitely for mature readers only, as it contains violence, nudity, and heavy swearing.
To start, this is a sci-fi book with a unique premise. Criminals on Earth are sent to a (somewhat close) planet to be slaves in the mines there, and naturally a lot of violence breaks out and gangs have formed. There are quite a few main characters, and at first it may seem difficult to keep them all straight, but by the end of this first volume I understood a lot more. So far, it seems to be a great series if you’re looking for more diversity in your reading, as the range of characters spans from LGBT to those from many different countries (considering the country they were originally from on Earth). There are people of many different skin colors and a larger cast of women than usually seen in comics. There’s even a gang that is all females who are one of the major gangs in the series.
Regarding the plot of the book, I thought it was really unique and intriguing read, and I am definitely going to seek out the second volume in this series. At first it seems like there’s too much happening all at once, but by the time I was finished I wasn’t confused about anything that happened previously. There is a map at the beginning and a glossary of terms at the end which helped fill in the blanks, so looking through those only added more depth to the plot.
The artwork in this graphic novel is beautiful which accompanies the writing well. There were pages that I just looked at to take in the whole of the illustrations. I read this on my Kindle, so I can only imagine how gorgeous the pages would be in a physical book.
I would definitely recommend this to people who like dystopian (along the lines of The Purge films) and/or are looking to read more diverse books.
Rating: 4/5 stars