‘Spill Zone: The Broken Vow’ by Scott Westerfeld is an Otherworldly Masterpiece

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'Spill Zone: The Broken Vow' by Scott Westerfeld is an Otherworldly Masterpiece

I’m trying not to be cheesy. I’m trying not to throw out words and phrases like horrifyingly beautiful or a haunting masterpiece. You know, the basics and what every book review is like. But that’s what Scott Westerfeld’s Spill Zone: The Broken Vow deserves and what it is.

Spill Zone: The Broken Vow is a masterpiece that sticks with you long after you read it once, twice, three times. A horrifyingly beautiful world that springs out at you every page that you turn. And the kind of work that I can’t wait to one day see on my screen because you know Hollywood is itching to make live versions of everything.

Spill Zone: The Broken Vow is the second graphic novel that continues the adventures/drama/mystery of Poughkeepsie. Three years ago a mysterious event tore through and destroyed this small city, unleashing terrifying creatures/entities that haunt the town. The survivors, Addison and Lexa, live not to far from the city and can not be removed from their home despite the government’s grumbling after they quarantined the city. (Typical government cover up there.)

'Spill Zone: The Broken Vow' by Scott Westerfeld is an Otherworldly Masterpiece

Art by: Alex Puvilland

In typical sister fashion, at the end of the world, Addison cares for her sister and will do anything and everything that she must, even if that means going into Poughkeepsie to take dangerous photos as a means to support Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since “the event.” What Addison captures is truly bazar and beautiful.

The world of Poughkeepsie still has the remains of all it’s residents, their floating and creepy “meat puppet” bodies a reminder of the horror that happened there. It also is the home of twisted scenes and creatures that look like jaded and broken creatures from a world similar to our own but not.

“The second volume continues to build on this world and explores the consequences of the Spill Zone becoming part of Addison.”

The second volume continues to build on this world and explores the consequences of the Spill Zone becoming part of Addison. She’s still the same level-headed, no-nonsense, protector of her sister. Now she just has to deal with a little more inside of her. This volume also introduces a new mysterious character from North Korea, of all places, named Don Jae who has also been touched by the Spill and gained extraordinary powers from it.

That’s not to say that this book is a typical superhero story. It’s not and you won’t see capes and villain monologues make an appearance. Addison and Don Jae will have enemy’s. But they’ll be more of the government type, the shattered world of Poughkeeepsie, and the creatures that have broken into out world in the Spill Zone. 

'Spill Zone: The Broken Vow' by Scott Westerfeld is an Otherworldly Masterpiece

Art by: Alex Puvilland

Spill Zone is a contemporary story set in our world and grounded in love, survival, and a need to be independent from those who want to dictate our lives. This is true for Addison’s journey, Lexa’s, and the creepy doll that Lexa has that is possessed by some creature from the realm that broke into ours that is named Verspertine. Her bond with Lexa is formed out of love, even if it’s a bit twisted and Versepertine is kind of an ass, and out of caring enough for someone to have a choice in their lives.

Personally, I didn’t expect the ending that we were given. (Enjoyed it but was very surprised by it.) But I respect, enjoy, and love the world that Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland have created. It’s something straight out of a twisted dream and that can be shared/consumed by veteran and newbie graphic novel readers alike.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of this otherworldly masterpiece and experience something I haven’t felt in a while: surprise and wonder.

'Spill Zone: The Broken Vow' by Scott Westerfeld is an Otherworldly Masterpiece

Art by: Alex Puvilland


About the Author:

Scott Westerfield is the author of twenty-two novels. He’s best known for the Uglies quartet, set in a future where cosmetic surgery is compulsory at age sixteen. He’s also known for the Leviathan trilogy, a steampunk retelling of World War I, illustrated by Keith Thompson.

His books have won the Philip K Dick Special Citation, the Aurealis Award, the Victorian Premier’s Award, and has been named NY Times Notable Books and BBYA Top Ten Children’s Books of the Year. Westerfield has contributed to Nerve, BookForum, and the scientific journal Nature.


‘Spill Zone: The Broken Vow’ is available for purchase HERE.

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