Cover image for Aama. 1, The smell of warm dust
Aama. 1, The smell of warm dust
Peeters, Frederik, author, artist.
Publication Information:
London : SelfMadeHero, 2014.

Physical Description:
86 pages : chiefly illustrations (color) ; 27 cm
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FICTION Graphic Novel Central Library
FICTION Graphic Novel Graphic Novels
FICTION Graphic Novel Graphic Novels

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In the distant future, Verloc Nim wakes up in the middle of nowhere suffering from complete amnesia. He remembers nothing of his former life. But when Verloc is handed his diary by a robot-monkey called Churchill, he is able to revisit his past. His life, he discovers, has been a miserable one. He lost his business, his family and his friends, simply because he refused the technological advancements pushed on him by society: the pharyngeal filter, the eye implants, the genetic modifications - Verloc went without all these. He had been astray in a society he deeply resented - until his brother, Conrad, took him to another planet to retrieve a mysterious biorobotic experiment called AÂMA...

Author Notes

The publication and success of Blue Pills established Frederik Peeters as one of the world's most important graphic novelists. Since then, he has received five nominations in the 'Best Book' category at Angoulême International Comics Festival; in 2013 he won the 'Best Series' prize at the same event for the first two volumes of AÂMA. Peeters is known for creating hugely imaginative fiction that tackles difficult topics with sensitivity. He lives with his wife and daughter in Geneva.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Verloc Nim regains consciousness in a still-smoking impact crater, remembering neither where nor who he is. He remembers his little daughter, though. An ape with human legs (actually a robot named Churchill) approaches, greets him by name, tells him he's on the planet Ona(ji), and gives him a notebook in his own handwriting. It begins recalling being wakened in a puddle in the city of Radiant by his brother, Conrad, and dragged off to Ona(ji). There's been a rift among the scientific colony there, and the leader has fled with the product of their work, a soup called aama. Verloc, Conrad, and Churchill constitute the first contact from home in five years, except for the little, speechless girl who showed up a week ago apparently Verloc's daughter. Peeters delivers this basic story line inventively and with great European mainstream comics chops in the first arc of an sf serial bristling with mysteries, not least why the hero and his brother are named after the protagonist and the author of Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of the first volume of this French SF thriller trilogy, a distant-future ne'er-do-well named Verloc wakes in a molten crater, his eyes filled with tears over his lost daughter, and his memories a blur. Moments later, he's approached by a robot gorilla named Churchill who's thrilled to see him and hands him his journal. The journal reveals how Verloc's younger brother, Conrad, cajoled Verloc into accompanying him and Churchill to an isolated experimental colony at the edge of the cosmos. Upon their arrival, the true purpose of Conrad's visit is revealed, as is Verloc's role in it. Peeters is best known for his intimate graphic novel Blue Pill, but he seems to have produced this mind-bending tale of SF mystery and intrigue without breaking a sweat, offering clever retro-future designs and rich, moody hues. The expectantly hallucinatory unraveling of the mystery should satisfy fans of psychological sci-fi like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

The Smell of Warm Dust is the first volume in a four-part series by acclaimed Swiss author Peeters (Blue Pills). Verloc Nim remembers only his daughter when he wakes up alone on a strange planet. A robotic ape named Churchill arrives to rescue him and gives Verloc back his journal as an explanation. Having given up on a world where technology controls lives and has been integrated into human biology, corporations control the technology, and society has cleaved into the haves and have-nots, Verloc is found by his younger brother who convinces Verloc to accompany him on a mission. Told as flashbacks within flashbacks, Peeters's work plays with the tropes of the sf genre as the author creates an unnerving commentary on the future and our obsession with it. Verloc is his antihero; disgusted by technology and shamed by a dark past, he is the strangely likable voice of reason in the madness. Verdict Peeters's Angouleme Festival Best Series prize winner is sure to please fans of moody sf.-E.W. Goodman, Art Inst. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.