Astral Evolution

Fiction - Graphic Novel/Comic
128 Pages
Reviewed on 08/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Astral Evolution is a work of comic book fiction with graphic novel illustrations and was created by author team Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn, and an extensive team of artists. Penned as the exciting sequel to the high-quality Astral Genesis, we find ourselves with Colonol DeVane and a fantastic superhero whose origins make her a princess from ancient Egypt. Evil is afoot in this lavish thriller story that also has plenty of science fiction and true comic book genre hits, including rough and ready heroes versus glamorous wicked types, epic fight scenes and gorgeously drawn heroines who also know how to kick their enemies to the curb.

Stylish and filled with substance, this is another fantastic work from the Astral series team, led by author duo Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn. Lila was my favorite in this piece: a capable and intelligent glamazon of a woman with plenty of light and dark in her storyline. It was wonderful to see such character development for her and the surrounding cast, and even in the relatively short space of a graphic novel, we can feel attached to these characters and treat them as real individuals with relatable emotions. The art style with line drawings from Ariel Medel is truly stunning, creating dynamic action scenes that add to the complex and intriguing plot of the tale. Overall, Astral Evolution is an excellent addition to the series and an extremely high-quality graphic novel that every fan and collector ought to own.

Bruce Arrington

Astral Evolution, by Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn, is a 128-page-long graphic science fiction action novel, filled with modern-day good and bad guys, genius scientists, rebels, monsters, and vivid artwork. It is here in Book 2 (Book 1 is called Astral Genesis) where we see a larger world scale movement bent on destroying the race called Astrals, who apparently pose a threat to all of humanity. But one of this race, who goes by the name of Lila, works to defend her Earthling friends from any who would bring them to harm. But can she prevent Earth’s destruction before it is too late?

The artwork is colorful and detailed with alluring images of Lila herself, similar to what you will find in most leading comics these days. And like other comics, the last number of pages are simply character scans and a brief glimpse into what the third book might look like. The pace of the story is quick throughout, leaving the reader on the edge of his or her seat in order to find out what happens next. The imagery captures the vastness of the conflict through the space and time portrayed in the story. With one character’s survival in doubt, we see a growing danger seemingly just around the corner. Astral Evolution by Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn ends on a small cliffhanger, but you know there are plenty of adventures left for this rebellious, rag-tag group who will do anything to save Earth and each other. Highly recommended.

Risah Salazar

Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn's Astral Evolution takes readers into the ancient past and right back into the future. Princess Lila is about to marry the Egyptian prince the next day. But as she is trying on some gowns for the wedding, she suddenly throws a fit and scolds all her helpers. The poor helpers run from the princess's wrath and Lila is immediately left alone. That is until a hideous beast lurking behind her takes her life in the blink of an eye. As soon as Princess Lila dies in Egypt, Astral Lila gets up in Dr. Jeannie's medical ward in Maryland. In this new setting, Lila's astral form, together with her new-found allies, faces new adventures and challenges which are mostly against the brother-and-sister duo Chase and Alexandra Rockmann of Rockmann Technologies.

This sci-fi novel surely has amazing graphics. Each panel comes alive as fine drawings marry bold colors. It is short but sweet and full of action. In the novel's shortness, however, some information has not been made clear, such as the astral's history and the reason why Princess Lila is the chosen one. Moving on to the graphic novel's appendix, it is very satisfying to see how the drawings progress - from pencil to ink, and then the coloring. Astral Evolution by Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn is perfectly suited for comic readers looking for conspiracy, thrills, and space adventure. Trigger warnings include leukemia, violence, and borderline profanity. The adventure continues in Astral Alliance, the next installment in the series.

Lois Henderson

Constant scene changes mark the rapid progress of events in the graphic sci-fi novel Astral Evolution by Jay Magnum and Brian Augustyn. Ranging from the towering structures of ancient Egypt through research laboratory setups to electronically supercharged sky and polar warfare, the scenery is as diverse as the central characters. Switching from a tantrum thrown by an avaricious diva on the eve of her wedding to a PR exercise thrown by the devious Chase Rockmann, president and CEO of Rockmann Technologies, and his scheming sister, chief technology officer Alexandra, the plot of Astral Evolution advances along complex and challenging lines that stir the imagination and challenge the intellect. Meanwhile, at the Galactix Spaceport, Dr. Lewis bemoans the fact that she designed spacecraft for the peaceful exploration of space, not the militarization of it, whereas that is what it is having to be used as to protect the planet from power-hungry moguls who are intent on exploiting it only for their own mercenary ends.

I felt really spoiled with both the multilayered color and the wide range of action in Magnum and Augustyn’s Astral Evolution. The images throughout are dynamic and exciting, with the 100 full-color pages radiating a dynamic force that is stimulating to the core. The battle between good and evil is a mainstay of the text, which follows on the first volume in the series, Astral Genesis, which met with a truly great reception. And there is still more to come with Astral Alliance due out soon. The comic-book style and explosive action sequences should appeal to young adults especially, while the exploration of the motivation behind it should appeal to all serious sci-fi fans. Techy geeks will also delight in the data-related aspects that form the basis of much of the plot development. With fast-paced action all the way, Astral Evolution is bound to be a winner across a broad spectrum of readers. I, for one, am hooked!

Lit Amri

Lila was an Egyptian princess who now fights evil in the present day as a powerful Astral. When her enemies take her young genius comrade Rob as their hostage, she has no choice but to sacrifice herself for his safety. Her unique blood becomes a priceless gain for her enemies whilst executing their grand evil scheme. Now it’s up to maverick Jon DeVane, Jeannie Lewis, and their crew to save the day! Created by Jay Magnum and co-written with Brian Augustyn, the duo and their skilled art team bring Astral Evolution-a sequel to Astral Genesis-to life; an exciting sci-fi graphic novel for long-time fans and newcomers to the series.

Just as its predecessor, the artwork is superb, clean and vibrant. Everything is dynamic with lots of action; readers will see and 'hear' every punch, kick, shot, energy blast and explosion. It also maintains the goriness and maturity for adult readers. The emotionally expressive characters are definitely the gems of Astral Evolution as they justify the story that the writers wanted to tell. Lila is a powerful Astral but I found myself wanting more glimpses of her human past. DeVane is as entertainingly disruptive as ever and gets the job done in his own style. His relationship with Jeannie has an interesting development. Dark, intense but also filled with clever humor, Astral Evolution is another solid work from Jay Magnum and his team. This is another must-read issue for fans and newcomers alike. I find myself more and more interested and invested in this series and I can't wait for the high-octane adventure to continue in Astral Alliance.