Arts & Entertainment

Review: Adam Rapp’s “Decelerate Blue”

By Allyson Watkins
Contributing Writer

What if society never stopped advancing? What if our desire for faster internet, faster communication and faster everything went to the extreme? What if you could never slow down? That is exactly the world you enter when you open Adam Rapp’s graphic novel “Decelerate Blue.”

From the moment I opened this graphic novel, I knew the world was not quite right. With every line of speech ending in “go,” I knew there was some form of robotic conformity. 

Credit: boingboing.net

Having read the description before cracking it open, I knew that the society in this story sees efficiency as priority, so much so that it is government enforced. They watch, they listen, and they will dispose of you if you slow down. 

The main character, Angela, is skeptical of the government from the beginning. After receiving a mysterious note and visiting her ill and rebellious grandfather, she is pulled into an underground society whose goal is to slow down as much as possible.

I was thrilled to see that this graphic novel has a lesbian couple. More than that, I was ecstatic to find that it involves the main character. The relationship is weaved into the storyline in a way that doesn’t emphasize the fact that it is outside of the norm. 

That alone sets this story apart for me. I have read and seen many writers make a big deal out of an LGBTQ+ relationship and that always makes me feel like an “other,” rather than just a woman in love.

A small detail that I love in this graphic novel is the use of color. The whole graphic novel is in black and white, except for when Angela kisses Gladys for the first time and during the last scene in the story. It is a brilliant way for the author to show the intense emotions in those scenes.

While I love the realistic dystopian society and the lesbian representation, I think the storyline is rushed. I was left feeling like I needed more details about the society and the underground world rebelling against it. 

The first third of the book is spent highlighting Angela as a rebel and leading up to her being pulled into the underground society. After that, the story line picks up significantly. Within four pages of being in the underground, what seems to be minutes in the story, Angela decides to stay.

I especially feel that we miss a lot of details about this underground society. We get brief introductions to parts of the society, but that is it. This story would benefit greatly if it were written in multiple parts. It would have allowed Adam Rapp to develop both the societies and the love story more.

I love this story, but I would have liked for it to be more in depth. Despite that, I would highly recommend “Decelerate Blue.” The story is very engaging and will have you really caring about the characters.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment