Phoenix : SF Said & Dave McKean

PhoenixPhoenix by S.F. Said

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A brief diversion before I begin this review. Once, a long time ago, I went to see Persepolis in the cinema. For those of you who don’t know it, it was an animated adaptation of a wonderful graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi: –The Complete Persepolis. The film is glorious in many, many ways but there was one particular scene which tore me open and stands with me now. Marjane is on her way to study in Austria. Her parents wish her well at the airport. Farewells are said. Smiles. Hugs.

And Marjane turns around, one last time, just one last moment, to see her mother crying her heart out and being helped away .

This is love, then, this mad and foolish and facade-full thing; we love, we put our faces on, and we sacrifice the whole of ourselves for another, we want them to live and to love and to thrive and to be themselves, to be whole and to be the best that they can be and to be the person that they should and could be and we will stop ourselves and hold ourselves and make that happen because we love them. We love them.

This is Phoenix. This is Phoenix. I am sunk by this book and how underneath the layers of space and of aliens and of war, it is a book about humanity and hope and belief and of love. It is a book about being brave. It is a book about fighting for what you believe in. It is a book about hope. About faith.

And again, always, about love.

Phoenix is so much about love and about connections and about fitting into the great space of the world(s), that I am a little bereft at finishing it. It is – it is something.

It is so very definitely something; a text that dances with shadow and light and illustrations that pull and tease the words until something strange and alchemical happens to them.

This is Phoenix. A book about a boy with the power of the star.

And it is a book about us.

And love. Oh god, oh how much this book is about love.

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