My father used to tell me we were all made of stars. That we each had one inside us and when we die, that light goes up and mixes with all the other stars. That way we never have to be alone. ‘Cause no matter what happens, we all end up together.
By Jeff Lemire
Two disparate souls separated by thousands of years and hundreds of millions of miles. Yet they will fall in love and, as a result, bring about the end of the universe. Even though reality is unraveling all around them, nothing can pull them apart. This isn’t just a love story, it’s the LAST love story ever told.
Trillium is a graphic novel in eight parts that is trippy as hell. Unfortunately though, it suffered from some convoluted and rushed plots that left it lacking and not as profound or interesting as I hoped it would be.
The story itself, as the blurb up there states, is about two souls who find each other across a millennia of time. What that summary doesn’t tell you is that the “fall in love” portion is the least convincing, and interesting, plot point of the entire book.
You see, Trillium is split between two times- the future of 3797 where the human race is facing down extinction due to a sentient virus, and the past of the 1920s where a British solider with PTSD has the idea to seek fortune and glory in the South American jungles. The intersecting stories are fascinating, and pull from this completely insane future and mythology that Lemire establishes over time. Eventually the intersection folds over on itself, and the story makes a swap and literal rotation to dive even further into the wormhole.
I loved that part of the book- the twisted narrative, the entire universe of the author’s creation (I love me some good world building after all). Yet Trillium did not live up to my expectations. It started far stronger than it finished. The limited run of 8 parts didn’t seem like enough time to wrap everything up and make it believable. I’m obviously not talking about the credibility of blue aliens here, but rather of that aforementioned love story component. The book is, after all, referred to as “the last love story.” Yet the two leads barely spend any time together, and while true, some of that could be argued away with points that would spoil the story, they just didn’t seem to really connect for me. In fact, the story could have been more cohesive had the love angle been left out entirely. It felt altogether rushed, and the otherwise fascinating narrative suffered.
The artwork though was very well done. It is frantic and colorful in a way that emphasizes the powerful settings and emotions of the primary characters. The worlds feel alien and foreboding and eventually, completely off the walls insane.
I expected better from Trillium, especially after such a strong start in its earliest parts. It seems the author was intent on a love story, but if he wanted it to be more cohesive then the book could’ve used either some early edits, or an additional issue or two. Overall not a bad read, but not a must-read either.
Summary from Goodreads