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Book Review < Back

Finder: King of the Cats (vol. 3)

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil
Publisher: Lightspeed Press


KING OF THE CATS, the third volume in this ambitious science fiction series, finds Jaeger the Finder wandering the outer walls of a regimented theme park called Munkytown, and getting involved in territorial negotiations between members of his native tribe, the Ascians, and a matriarchal tribal of intelligent lions, the Nyima.

Jaeger's calling as a sin-eater places him as an outsider even to his own people, which affords him the freedom to secretly help the Nyima with their need to choose a new king to replace their dying patriarch before the negotiations begin.

However, this requires his entering Munkytown itself to steal a valuable tribal heirloom and take it out of the theme park. Arch-Luddite and trickster Jaeger has to evade the security patrols of the theme park and their cameras, not to mention the entire families of tourists who have been manipulated by the park's keepers into a mob to hunt him down.

Munkytown runs by ruthlessly-enforced structures of control. The visitors only go where the security guards and attendents want them to go. A loose cannon like Jaeger, with his talent for mischief and chaos, is a serious disruption to the routine of the park, and its masters are not about to tolerate his presence...

KING OF THE CATS is faster-paced than the previous story in the series, SIN-EATER, and combines an examination of tribal customs and politics with a merciless satire on certain large theme parks that offer cultural experiences as easily-digestible chunks to be bought and consumed like junk food. The various tribes' need to survive and their subtle rebellions against the park's propensity to trivialise their customs are complex and richly-drawn. Carla Speed McNeil has a knack for investing even the most minor character with personality and suggestions of an inner life, even a sardonic sense of humour.

-- Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a screenwriter and filmmaker who writes comics when he has the time. He has recently completed JLA: The Age of Wonder for DC Comics, and written and directed Open House, a short film for Studio FP in Italy. His current projects include the forthcoming Blackshirt for Moonstone Books, Anna Passenger, a novel being serialised on Opi8.com, and various film and television projects.


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