Beneath a factory floor lives an orphaned girl named Veda. Watched over by the diligent Assembly, a robot that works the production line, Veda discovers a unique power—she can speak to machines! Under the tutelage of Assembly, she learns the three laws of the machines . . . But it’s the unspoken secret fourth law—avoid the Gremlin—that piques young Veda’s interest and leads her down a dangerous and compromising path on a journey of self-discovery.
The interaction between man and machine is constantly changing, and lately even being debated. The thought of full AI is both an amazing and frightening concept as we’ve seen in plenty of fiction. In the unique to the story of VEDA: Assembly Required, we explore a very interesting relationship between one girl and her machine friends, plus one mean old gremlin.
A young girl spending her days just under the floor of a production factory loses her mother in terrible accident. Orphaned, and obviously not supposed to be there in the first place, she soon finds herself under the care of one of the robots. Now calling herself Veda, she finds out with the help of the robot appropriately named Assembly that she can speak their language. Veda and (most of) the robots grow a very close, fun and productive relationship together in this unusual setting. Unfortunately, the grumpy old Gremlin tries to disrupt all of this, and even manages to trick Veda into turning into one of his kind. With her old friends and this selfish beast to choose from, Veda must decide what means most to her.
With a story like this, the artistic aspect of it is incredibly important in order to get the story across. The artwork is absolutely phenomenal, and delivers in every way possible. The way that everything is drawn, and even colored, provide us with such great visuals in this factory setting. One of the biggest strengths is how the robots, through creative illustration, can be so expressive. While some of the conversations are a little tough to figure out, it’s a fun challenge.
I really had no idea how much I was going to end up loving this story, but I really did. One of the best things in my opinion is how this can actually be appreciated by even the younger crowd. There are some surprisingly emotional parts of this book and the underlying coming of age story is wonderful. This is a highly recommended title that should be part of all readers’ collections.
For more on VEDA: Assembly Required or other Dark Horse Titles, check out Dark Horse Comics.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.