Girls #2: Emergence
by Joshua & Jonathan Luna
(Image, 2006)

Anyone who thought there wasn't enough action in Conception should be mollified by Emergence, the second book in the Girls series by Joshua and Jonathan Luna.

The book begins with the residents of Pennystown attempting a mass exodus, in the wake of a series of brutal attacks by a group of strange egg-laying naked women, and the highway bridge out of town (which has been bisected by a strange invisible sphere that prevents escape) collapses under the weight. Survivors of that catastrophe are mobbed by another wave of naked violence, sending everyone fleeing on foot to the nearest sanctuary, the McCallister home on the outskirts of town.

As various character developments unfold at the McCallisters -- including a series of hits on the reputation of poor Ethan, the rather simple, sad fellow whose chance encounter on a lonely road set all this action in motion -- the military sets up outside the impenetrable sphere and has little luck breaking through; the Pickett family suffers an ongoing series of misfortunes; and the naked women, having captured one of the town's men, commence laying more eggs. Oh, and a bear attacks a party of men in the woods, after one grief-stricken young man learns the folly of kicking the local fauna.

A late-night search for missing children coincides with the failure of the McCallisters' generator, so the full-scale assault on the survivors there is fought off in darkness, with terrible casualties on both sides.

Emergence is an intense action-drama reminiscent of old science-fiction/horror flicks of a bygone day. Will the townsfolk survive in the face of these inexplicable attacks? It's anyone's guess at this point, but it's sending me scurrying for the next volume in Girls.

by Tom Knapp
10 February 2007

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