Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Two million light years away from Earth in the Triangulum galaxy, the planet Vinea orbits twin suns. One side of the planet is always blasted by intense heat and the other side permanently cloaked in darkness and ice. In between these two extreme landscapes, the Vineans have used their advanced technology to create “climatic barriers” that make a habitable temperate zone where they can live.
The problems seen in The Light of Ixo now solved, Yoko Tsuno, her friend Khany and Khany’s little sister Poky are flying above the temperature zones in two of Roger Leloup’s typically futuristic space jets, en route to a mysterious location. 2000 years ago, half a million Vinean children disappeared. They were being taken to a distant city, but all records of where that city was no longer exist. When a suspended animation pod washes ashore with a sleeping child in it, Khany thinks she can locate the city, and with Yoko’s help, find out what happened to the missing children.
Much of this adventure takes place underwater, with a great variety of sophisticated craft and equipment that keeps the girls alive as they search for the hidden city, discovering more of the secrets of ancient Vinea. What they uncover will be familiar to adult readers of science fiction adventure.
One of the more interesting facets of Leloup’s storytelling is the way he deals with action in his stories; often by having his characters react in very relatable human ways to danger rather than always being aggressive and confrontational. Yoko frequently surprises her friends, and her adversaries, by trying to find common ground with foes rather than just fighting them. However Yoko’s usually compassionate and empathetic approach to threats may not be much use to her against a being with no emotions to appeal to. The Archangels of Vinea is intriguingly plotted and young readers will hold their breath wondering just how Yoko will prevail against a seemingly immortal force of evil. Yoko is back on Earth for her next adventure in Wotan’s Fire.