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Motherbridge: Seeds of Change

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In the aftermath of a failed utopia, an exiled woman fights to be reunited with her children by harnessing the mythic power that changed the planet forever. From the Sunday Times bestselling creator of Newbury & Hobbes and author of numerous comics and novels for Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Warhammer 40,000, comes an epic modern fantasy, rich in mythology and adventure, wi In the aftermath of a failed utopia, an exiled woman fights to be reunited with her children by harnessing the mythic power that changed the planet forever. From the Sunday Times bestselling creator of Newbury & Hobbes and author of numerous comics and novels for Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Warhammer 40,000, comes an epic modern fantasy, rich in mythology and adventure, with an emotional personal story at its heart. Twenty years ago, the World Mother awoke, forming an enormous worldbridge from manmade ruins and knotted vegetation that spanned the globe. Borders fell, millions migrated, and legendary creatures returned to the forests. But recently, the World Mother has gone silent, and the worldbridge has begun to whither. Borders are being reinstated. Now, one woman, cast out by her adoptive nation, must assemble a team of outcasts to reawaken the World Mother and bring down the wall separating her from her family.


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In the aftermath of a failed utopia, an exiled woman fights to be reunited with her children by harnessing the mythic power that changed the planet forever. From the Sunday Times bestselling creator of Newbury & Hobbes and author of numerous comics and novels for Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Warhammer 40,000, comes an epic modern fantasy, rich in mythology and adventure, wi In the aftermath of a failed utopia, an exiled woman fights to be reunited with her children by harnessing the mythic power that changed the planet forever. From the Sunday Times bestselling creator of Newbury & Hobbes and author of numerous comics and novels for Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Warhammer 40,000, comes an epic modern fantasy, rich in mythology and adventure, with an emotional personal story at its heart. Twenty years ago, the World Mother awoke, forming an enormous worldbridge from manmade ruins and knotted vegetation that spanned the globe. Borders fell, millions migrated, and legendary creatures returned to the forests. But recently, the World Mother has gone silent, and the worldbridge has begun to whither. Borders are being reinstated. Now, one woman, cast out by her adoptive nation, must assemble a team of outcasts to reawaken the World Mother and bring down the wall separating her from her family.

30 review for Motherbridge: Seeds of Change

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethan Hindmarch

    “My dad used to say that the world always finds a way to pull the rug from under your feet, just when you least expect it.” So here we go, here’s a confession for you: I have never read a graphic novel before! When Clare Scott, assistant to George Mann, reached out and asked if I’d like an advance copy of Mann and Vidal’s upcoming graphic novel about a “dystopian fantasy exploring motherhood and myth”, I thought it would be an excellent place to start – and I was absolutely right. Motherbridge: See “My dad used to say that the world always finds a way to pull the rug from under your feet, just when you least expect it.” So here we go, here’s a confession for you: I have never read a graphic novel before! When Clare Scott, assistant to George Mann, reached out and asked if I’d like an advance copy of Mann and Vidal’s upcoming graphic novel about a “dystopian fantasy exploring motherhood and myth”, I thought it would be an excellent place to start – and I was absolutely right. Motherbridge: Seeds of Change is set in a future in which, at one time, the World Mother (a power of nature) awoke and joined the world in one peaceful nation. But now she has gone, and borders have been reinstated, and walls have been rebuilt higher than ever. It’s a world in some ways very familiar to our present one, in which the fear of “us and them” seeps through society and governs how we treat each other. Mann has taken that fear on a projective whereby families are separated and anyone “other” is imprisoned and relocated outside society. “Lashing out in fear and rage. Hurting what they do not understand. Content to believe the fallacy that if they could only destroy that ‘other’, things would go back to the way they were before. Back to some rose-tinted vision of a past that never was. To a lie they’ve told themselves to justify their crimes.” Hayley is British, living in America with her American husband and family, and we meet her as the prison guards are releasing her from prison and out to the other side of the Wall. She is left to fend for herself in a place overrun by ruins reclaimed by nature, separated from her family. Her one goal is to get back to them, and what follows is her adventure as she befriends other outcasts, avoids cults and mercenaries, and discovers a magical connection to the World Mother. You’re immediately thrust into the story and Hayley’s trauma, and as such, it’s hard not fall for Hayley from the get-go. Her strength is immediately apparent, she put me in mind a little of Margaret Atwood’s Offred, that quiet determination, unwavering from her path. She’s a mother who is pretty much now done with this shit, and barely even has time for these weird powers she’s suddenly developed. “‘Another heathen come to whisper words of heresy.’ ‘No, just a mother who’s used to dealing with warring infants.’” There are very strong messages throughout Mann’s narrative of the protective and nurturing capabilities of nature when embraced, of the destructive capabilities of humanity, of the ways in which fear can control and distort us in different ways – not just the military in power, but on the flip side, the cult also. Neither extreme is the way forward. Although it could sometimes feel like the Message overpowered the Story (I certainly wouldn’t describe this as being a subtle read), it was thought-provoking and powerful. Mann’s writing is passionate and doesn’t hold back, there’s no space for subtlety here. “People put up walls because they’re scared. Terrified of a world they can’t control, where they fail to understand their relevance in a changing landscape, an evolving society. They fear change. They fear difference. But most of all, what they really fear is themselves.” We need to talk about Aleta Vidal’s artwork, because it is just stunning. I love the way in particular she portrayed the amalgamation of nature and urban landscape, the ruins being reclaimed. Her colour palette for the vines really gave the sense that this is an enchanted plant, that there’s something supernatural about the natural. Her artwork is incredibly rich, and the details add that extra bit of depth to the world. It’s an absolute feast for the eyes. There’s a vulnerability inherent to Mann’s characters that Vidal captures perfectly; this truly such a great partnership. All in all, I loved my first foray into graphic novels! Motherbridge was relatable, exciting, and a wonderful introduction into a world I sincerely hope Mann and Vidal will take us back to very soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heather - Just Geeking By

    Originally posted on Just Geeking by. Content warnings: (view spoiler)[There are a lot of scenes of violence, gore and death throughout this graphic novel. This includes the death of humans and magical creatures. There are scenes of deforestation/the destruction of nature. There is a scene involving poisoning. Themes of prejudice, racism, and ignorance continue throughout. (hide spoiler)] I first caught a glimpse of Motherbridge: Seeds of Change many months ago when George Mann shared some of the Originally posted on Just Geeking by. Content warnings: (view spoiler)[There are a lot of scenes of violence, gore and death throughout this graphic novel. This includes the death of humans and magical creatures. There are scenes of deforestation/the destruction of nature. There is a scene involving poisoning. Themes of prejudice, racism, and ignorance continue throughout. (hide spoiler)] I first caught a glimpse of Motherbridge: Seeds of Change many months ago when George Mann shared some of the art work on his Twitter timeline. Illustrated by the talented Aleta Vidal, the combination of stunning artwork and fantastic word smithing bring this story of a mother separated from her family to life at every stage. This isn’t Mann’s first time working with this medium, nor is it his first time writing in a dystopian future earth landscape. If you’re familiar with Engineward that’s about where the similarities end in terms of genre, however, it’s just as dark and gritty, just on a whole different level. In the world of Motherbridge: Seeds of Change, the borders that were obliterated when the Mother rose up have been reinstated. These borders are literal and figurative, with people are returning to the old ideas of segregation. The utopia that the Mother had created, the one world united “blind to creed or colour to allegiance or belief” died with when she did; humans were incapable of honouring it without her there to enforce it. During the time of the one world, Hayley Wells had moved from England to New York during the time of the Mother, made a new life, fell in love, started a family and everything was great – until she was ripped away from it because she wasn’t born in that country. She and hundreds of others were rounded up in cages. The walls went back up, with the dying remains of the Mother and all the mythical creatures that awoke with her on the other side of those walls. As a white man in a uniform shoves her outside the gate telling her “to go back to whatever shithole you crawled from” Hayley finds herself on the other side of those walls. Outside the wall Hayley ends up finding a lot more than she bargained for. There’s a cult of Mother worshippers, mythical creatures, a world abandoned to nature and some like-minded outcasts who join her on her quest to get back to her family. To do that Hayley’s planning to bring the wall separating her from her family crashing down. It isn’t just difficult, it’s near impossible – or it was until Hayley stepped into the wilds beyond the wall and things began to change. The Mother is not nearly as dead as people behind the wall have been told… In Motherbridge: Seeds of Change Mann and Vidal take on the fantasy tropes of journeying and questing, to discuss the topics of segregation, forced separation, female rights, climate change, and a whole lot more. For anyone reading this review and thinking “why does comic books/fantasy/insert genre have to get political, I just want to read for fun!”, you might want to do a bit of background reading on how speculative fiction and comic books came to be. They were literally born from politics, to voice issues just like this. Motherbridge is right on point, and does so beautifully. Nestled in a journey filled with nature magic and learning the full strength of your own power comes a tale of what fear of the unknown can do, and how the actions of a few in power can cause pain for so many. Mann’s words are given life by Vidal’s gorgeous art work which feels like nature has blossomed on every page, with leaves and flowers being utilised as frames. The full page spreads are masterpieces, mixing mythology and nature to create the unique vibe that is Motherbridge. It’s not just the landscapes, the magic and the creatures that Vidal has brought to life beautifully; the characters look amazing as well. As with all of Mann’s stories they are full of emotions and reactions that make them feel genuine. Motherbridge: Seeds of Change is a stunning graphic novel in so many ways. It has family, friends, found family, a great sapphic romance, bad guys which you’ll love to see get their ass kick, gorgeous mythic creatures (that you might wish were real and want to adopt…) and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to wonder if there’s going to be any more. The story ends in a way where it could go on, or it can end as it is. It’s one of those endings that works either way. I personally feel that the world of Motherbridge has a lot more left to share, and I would love to see more of Vidal’s beautiful interpretations of it. For more of my reviews please visit my blog!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)

    Twenty years ago Mother Nature did what no human could, she united the world. The World Mother awoke and formed a bridge that spanned the globe, making borders irrelevant and migration anywhere a possibility. A "one-world nation, blind to creed or color, to allegiance or belief." Like so many others Hayley Wells used this miracle to create a new life for herself. She left England and settled in New York where she married and had two children. But then utopia failed. The World Mother went silent Twenty years ago Mother Nature did what no human could, she united the world. The World Mother awoke and formed a bridge that spanned the globe, making borders irrelevant and migration anywhere a possibility. A "one-world nation, blind to creed or color, to allegiance or belief." Like so many others Hayley Wells used this miracle to create a new life for herself. She left England and settled in New York where she married and had two children. But then utopia failed. The World Mother went silent and the worldbridge began to die and governments used the opportunity to segregate. To bring the walls back. To make it us and them again. Haley was dragged from her bed in the middle of the night. It didn't matter that she was married to an American, she came into the country illegally as the government saw it and she was to be made an example of. With a gun to her head she was walked out beyond the walls and left to fend for herself. She was thrust into a wondrous and ruinous world. Where nature had reclaimed the constructs of man. She is surprised that there is far more life than she ever expected. She's a refugee and there are others. Haley walks into a confrontation. A group is attacking two individuals and it doesn't sit right with Haley. She tries to break up the fight and somehow the worldbridge stirs for her. This is against everything she has heard. Behind the wall they've been told that the worldbridge is dead, and yet somehow it responded to her. She hasn't just been exiled, she's been lied to. This makes her desire to be reunited with her family by bringing down the walls that separate them even stronger. With the help of Constanza and Doyle can they awaken the World Mother? Can Haley help her new friends survive the forces arrayed against them and return the world to the utopia it had become or will she forever be a refugee? Despite being such a bookworm now I was a reluctant reader in grade school. Therefore I loved comics and graphic novels. Betty and Veronica, The Family Circus, and in particular Classics Illustrated Comics, which was basically CliffsNotes in an illustrated format and made me appear far more widely read than I really was at the time. As I got older and appreciated prose more I never turned my back on my first literary love. Which is why I'm a happy camper when authors whose prose work I love expand to other mediums. George has been working in comics for years and Motherbridge: Seeds of Change is another stellar addition to his copious output. What I really connected to was that I could appreciate it at the age I am now and as that young girl hiding behind the table in the far corner of the library so the librarian, Sister Marie, wouldn't yell at me for sneaking a peak at the comics. What I'm rather inexpertly saying is, that while this comic is written for adults it has such relevant topics that it could be read by young reluctant readers and would give them a book that is very of the moment but that doesn't talk down to you, like L. Frank Baum was notorious for. Because Motherbridge: Seeds of Change is bringing in some heavy topics; immigration, female rights, climate change, forced separation, the military industrial complex, and yet it never feels preachy or politicized, while still being political. It makes you open your eyes. And isn't that what reading is about? People who read are more empathetic and we need empathy now more than ever. It would also be nice if nature actually came along and "tried to balance the system for us," but I have a feeling we're going to have to do the work. But if more people read books like this, if more people connect to each other, what couldn't we do?

  4. 4 out of 5

    mad mags

    2.5/5 stars (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.) Twenty years ago, Mother Nature awoke, building bridges between people, states, nations, and continents, tearing down man-made walls, uniting us as one (hence the name, "World Mother"). Humans were free to move about as they pleased, love who they wanted, and generally follow their bliss. Resources were plenty; unnecessary suffering, a thing of the past. A utopia made real. Haley chose to immigrate from England to 2.5/5 stars (Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.) Twenty years ago, Mother Nature awoke, building bridges between people, states, nations, and continents, tearing down man-made walls, uniting us as one (hence the name, "World Mother"). Humans were free to move about as they pleased, love who they wanted, and generally follow their bliss. Resources were plenty; unnecessary suffering, a thing of the past. A utopia made real. Haley chose to immigrate from England to the United States, where she met a man, fell in love, and started a family. But somewhere along the way, the World Mother abandoned humanity - and, in her absence, the powerful returned to fear and hatred to subjugate the many. Like many "foreigners" before her, the authorities of Haley's walled-in city came for her in the night, forcing her out at gunpoint. It's among the rotting wildlands of New York City, while searching for a way back to her husband and children, that Haley finds a greater purpose - reawaken the World Mother so that she can fulfill her promise of freedom and compassion for all. I really wanted to love MOTHERBRIDGE: SEEDS OF CHANGE. It's got everything: an ecofeminist utopia; magical, human-animal hybrids; a queer love story; a celebration of compassion, for all creatures. (Central Park Zoo animals thriving outside of captivity? You love to see it.) But the execution just left me wanting more. I hate to say it, but the story just felt .... cheesy. Heavy-handed, ham-fisted, however you want to put it. And what was with Falcian's old timey speak? A Centaur is majestic enough on his own, you don't need to make him extra-pretentious by styling him after Shakespeare. Though I do kind of love how Haley subtly shifted her found family's perception of Falcian from an "it" to a "he"; a something to a someone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lira

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darren Murr

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nica

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Kristan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sunday Taylor Nelson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lianne Burwell

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  12. 5 out of 5

    Milou

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suncani

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jillane

  16. 5 out of 5

    CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ananko-san

  21. 4 out of 5

    Allison Bernard

  22. 4 out of 5

    JRFwrites

  23. 5 out of 5

    Spot

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teddi

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex G

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marina Skye

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

  28. 4 out of 5

    Siji

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yoki

  30. 4 out of 5

    audrey

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