May 5, 2016

Review: Golem, by Lorenzo Ceccotti

Title: Golem

Author: Lorenzo Ceccotti

Publisher: Magnetic Press

Expected Date of Publication: July 12th, 2016

Number of Pages: 280

Find it at : Book Depository

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Set in a future, post-Eurozone Italy, entrenched in a culture of hypercapitalism, Golem follows young Steno Critone as he is kidnapped during a political protest gone sour. Taken in by the band of labeled “terrorists”, he learns that things are not as they seem in society, and that he has the power to not only change the city but reality itself.


So, this is another graphic novel with a gorgeously illustrated cover that I couldn't resist on reading. Plus, I don't usually get the chance to read comics from Italy and I was really curious to see what Golem was all about. I mean, stories about post-apocalyptic societies work perfectly in this format! But, in this case, I'm at a loss for words, as my feelings towards this graphic novel are mixed.

The plot of Golem was typical of a post-apocalyptic scenario. It had every important element of such story: an all-knowing government, a rebellious team living on the outskirts of the city and a young boy that possesses the key to a powerful technology. Steno, our young protagonist, had trouble sleeping and that was why he had dark circles under his eyes. This was his most distinctive feature. He was witness to an attack by the rebels and they took him in their hideout. And then everything got complicated. Steno's father was a scientist on the verge of a scientific breakthrough and because he refused to let it be used for military purposes he was murdered by the government. But before dying he had planted this technology on his son. It was a story with great potential, but ultimately it left many things unanswered. Towards the end, things kept happening without a clear reason. How the technology was awakened from Steno is still a mystery to me.

An interesting aspect of Golem that I really want to underline is the fact that the rebels terrorized the society by writing things about the government on the walls. They had created some sort of family and they seemed happier than all of the people that lived in the futuristic society.

As I've already stated, the cover was a significant reason for me to pick up this graphic novel. And from the first pages that I read, I was genuinely impressed. But as I was progressing the story, I found out that the illustrations were suffering. So, on the one hand, there were pages so beautiful that I would want them as posters on my walls, and on the other hand, there were pages that the art was somewhat generic and poorly made. It was a shame, though, because the main plot was under the shadow of Steno's nightmares because I only wanted to look at the latter.

Golem was a graphic novel with great potential. The story had ideas that would guarantee an intriguing plot with plenty room for thought. Also, the talent of the creator was evident, as the nightmares were more than gorgeously illustrated. I only wish that the execution would be better, both storywise and in the illustration. I would recommend it with caution because it was interesting enough, but with a lot of problems.  

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