FUEL OF LIFE is an illustrated short story written by Luis M. Cruz with interior illustrations by Angel M. Martinez and cover art by Anibal Arroyo, with colors by Angel M. Martinez. Running 41 pages split between text and art it concerns a future where most of Earth’s population has moved to a mysterious asteroid which wandered into the solar system. An asteroid hollowed out and made into a home for the people of Earth. However several years after this migration people begin dying in large numbers with strange wounds. Troops dispatched to search the remote regions of the asteroid and find a terrible secret.

The full-page, color illustrations which alternate with pages of text are nicely done. They’re not overly intricate but neither are they overly simplistic. They convey the point of the text clearly and with a minimum of clutter. Some of them might benefit with a little more detail here and there but overall they work nicely.

The text, on the other hand, has a few issues. Some important info is missing from the story, most notably why humanity is so eager to abandon Earth, There’s a line about criminals being left behind to “die with” Earth but no explanation of why. And Earth is still there when the story occurs, so whatever the cause it wasn’t an imminent disaster. Cruz’s writing style is also a bit rough, but far from the worst, I’ve read among self-published works.

Given it’s set up and plot FUEL OF LIFE could have been a dark cousin to Arthur C Clarke’s classic Rendezvous With Rama if things had been fleshed out and explained better. Instead, it’s a mildly diverting read with some major plot holes. It’s still certainly worth it’s asking price on Amazon, but it could have been so much more. Hopefully, any future releases from Cruzin Comics will get a little more polish. The potential is there, I’d like to see it realized.

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