Volume 1 of Stjepan Šejić’s AMAZING Sunstone proved to be a hidden gem and lead to a pre-order of volume 2 as soon as I could…..thankfully that arrived recently and I got to see where the story of Ally & Lisa goes next.
While Volume 1 captured the first steps taken by our central characters into their ultimate sexual fantasy but through an honest story with real heart. The second volume eases us into that same vibe with reference to other trust exercises and while that acts as an oversimplification into whats gone before, it’s an instant reminder of how powerful the story is.
No sooner is that moment gone than we’re thrust back into the BDSM element…..although not their own for a change. It’s over to Ally’s friend & “special equipment” supplier Alan is checking out a show at a BDSM club night that his latest design on-stage…..and this is where we start to explore the other relationships, particular for Ally. The cast is growing and every character is far deeper and more interesting than many other books manage with just one.
Over to Ally & Lisa and their next S&M encounter is derailed by a very real monthly hurdle but that doesn’t stop them spending some quality time together. It’s here that the depth of the two main characters are all the more evident as they are forced away from anything sexual and into just being around each other. The sexual tension remains and sticking true to character we hear alot more of Ally’s life story as Lisa settles into the submissive part of her character…..although to be fair, she may just be not in the mood this time around and we’ll hopefully get more backstory on Lisa soon.
The bulk of the volume is a series of social gatherings in the local coffee shop and then in the same S&M club from earlier and the widening of the social circle is a further revelation for the new couple as the company they find themselves in are all people they have S&M in common with. That additional level of comfort among like-minded souls gives them further scope to open up and while they have some revelations about Ally’s past poured out, their tender moments around these elevates the couple to just make more sense. Ally & Lisa fit together, belong together and while the narrative tells that same story it’s still too soon for them to say these things out loud. Strange when they’re so open about their fantasies but very human when trying to capture the right moment to declare any true feelings.
The strong central characters are joined by a whole roster of new friends who all have a similar link to their shared interest but covering a whole spectrum of approach to it – from the obsessive to the dismissive but never judgmental with it. A safe haven for them all to exist in and with more than a few parallels to the very medium the story is being presented in……as comic book fans revel in the company of other fans…..it seems to be the same for the BDSM crowd too.
Šejić has created a title that feels groundbreaking and the sexual element is kept under-control to allow the real beauty of the story and human edge to the characters shine through. Couple that with his glorious artwork and you have the perfect match for another astounding release from Top Cow/Image. More of this please…..and ASAP :D.