Our daughter Glyph has read Rust cover-to-cover at least five (“Six, no, seven–“) times since I brought it home Saturday night after work as a potential “book talk book.”
Rust: A Visitor in the Field begins “forty-eight years ago” with a soldier scavenging dead bodies–actually incapacitated robot carcasses–in the middle of a battle. It’s an eerie, mostly wordless series of vignettes reminiscent of World War I French battlefields, but with giant mechas and powered-child air corps in addition to the doughboys.
A young man is rebuilding a piece of machinery, while composing a letter in his mind to his absent father. He’s explaining how tough it is to hold the farm–and the family–together. Even with the help of the weird teenager he rescued from a rogue war-machine that blundered into one of his cornfields.
As the lives of the folks on the farm unfold, the secrets of this far future–or alternate past?–world are also revealed. The plot is slight, but the artwork is gorgeous and the visual storytelling utterly fluid.
I know it doesn’t sound like the kind of story that can keep a young aficionado of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and Doctor Who utterly riveted, but it is. She’s currently devouring book 2 and 3 which finally– Finally! After three endless days, arrived from the library.
So if you do decide to pick up Rust from your local library, don’t make my mistake. Grab the rest of the books at the same time.