VEDA: Assembly Required TP
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 5, 2015
Price: $14.99
Creator(s): Samuel Teer (writer); Hyeondo Park (artist)
Format: 128 pgs., Full-Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6165-5497-2
Age Rating: 12+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Some of the story will seem familiar, as it shares concepts with stories like Tarzan and The Jungle Book, and perhaps even a little Magnus, Robot Fighter, in its classic version.  Mostly it shares with all three of these the idea that a human raised by non-humans will end up something else… not inferior to humans, but very different, if all of the nurturing is from someone or something not human.

A young girl is abandoned in a factory after the accidental death of her mother. As a result, she is raised by friendly factory robots, and somehow learns to speak "machine."  There are many aspects of the story where the simplest way to read it is just "go with the story, and don’t worry about details," but it is very entertaining. The world beyond the factory is never seen, but seems to be a harsh and uncaring place, from what little evidence is shown. Individuals don’t seem to matter, only their output.

Then, there’s the Gremlin.  In the human vernacular, Gremlins do not exist.  The effects of these non-existent creatures, who live only to confound mechanical devices, have been the source of humor in cartoons and comics over the years.  In this story, a Gremlin is a thing to be taken seriously, because it is a world OF machines.

The interaction of VEDA with the machines and the Gremlin creates a fascinating story of growth, temptation and the use of one’s talents.

Children of grades 4+ will find a lot to like in this book, and some may identify with VEDA’s freedom, even if they see the sad side of her separation from other humans.

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.