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London Falling: Hellgate London Volume 1    by Arvid Nelson & J.M. order for
London Falling
by Arvid Nelson
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Arvid Nelson & J.M.'s Hellgate London is the prequel to the Hellgate video game. However, you do not have to be a game player to enjoy this tale of ancient mysteries, secret societies, and horrifying beasties.

John Fowler is a star player on his university's rugby team, but something more strenuous than sports has been occupying his thoughts lately. Nightmares about a birdman who controls flesh-eating monsters haunt his dreams and headaches plague his waking hours. When his archeology class unearths the remains of a man who was burned at the stake, John and his teammates go back to remove the body. John is expelled, but his mysterious uncle and his uncle's even more mysterious employer, Lord Atlier, come to his rescue. The body is returned, but not the strange pendant that was buried with it. When John's sister Lindsey wears the pendant, John's nightmares come true.

The answers to the horrors lie in the Fowlers' ancestral connections to the Knights Templar. As they fight the demons that the birdman has called forth, the brother and sister duo learn their true calling a calling that might split their family apart. Hellgate London has everything required for a good horror story. It has scary monsters, mysterious relics, secret societies, and a hero who can save everyone. J.M.'s artwork brings Nelson's story to life with attractive characters, horrifying demons, and elaborate fight scenes.

Horror manga fans, whether they play Hellgate or not, will enjoy Hellgate London. It also seems to have some appeal to non-manga fans as my boyfriend, who hates manga, grabbed my copy, sat down and read it twice, then told me I needed to get the next volume so he could find out how it ends. I am with him there I, too, cannot wait to find out what happens next in Hellgate London.

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