Drive: Act 3

By Dave Kellett

Rating: 4 stars

Act three of the very fun Drive webcomic is right back into the thick of it. The Second Spanish Empire is now at war with two alien species: the Continuum of Makers and the Vinn. And it’s losing both. The scout ship Machito is tasked with finding more of of Skeeter’s alien species – he’s able to navigate a spaceship like nobody else – but they’re running out of clues, and Humanity is running out of time.

I actually had to go back and read the whole previous volume to bring me back up to speed before I started into this one. The characters are still as immensely fun as before – Nosh, in particular, is so loveable. The plot is pretty twisty, as different factions have different agendas, most of which aren’t compatible with each other. The Fillipods are a brilliant species – very intelligent, but more concerned with turning that intelligence to poetry slams than weapons or technology. And the Astronomer Royal in particular is brilliant, in his inability to sensibly compliment the emperor.

It’s not a long volume, the main story is only about 160 pages long, but it is very pretty. The comic pages are well-produced with lots of detail. There are also a number of short stories set in the universe at the end, although given that these aren’t written by Kellett, it’s not clear how canonical they are. But notwithstanding that, the story Motherbear by Beth Reidmiller is marvellous, and quite heart-breaking.

I don’t know how many acts the story as a whole is envisaged to cover, but it feels like we must be past the mid-point now. We’ve had many revelations about the universe, and we’ve finally found out who Skitter’s people are. It sort of feels like it should start to wind up a bit fairly soon. Although mind you, at the pace that the webcomic is released, that could still take several years to come to completion.

Book details

ISBN: 9781733126632
Publisher: Small Fish Studios
Year of publication: 2021

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