I had read the first collection in this series, Moon Lake, several years back, and then never caught up with it later. I saw that the series had ended, and that it had been collected into one big omnibus, and figured it was time to see where the story went. One trip to the library later, and here we are.
In my review for Moon Lake, I mentioned something about Strangers in Paradise and the main character of Echo, Julie, being a cross between Francine and Katchoo. There's still some truth to that, though Julie gets fleshed out more as the series progresses. I don't want to give too much away, but her character grows in interesting ways, and Moore manages to give her a unique voice as she develops.
Another of the characters reminded me a lot of Tambi from Strangers in Paradise. She was a member of some sort of shadow organization who could balance a life as a mom against a life of espionage and violence, and at first I thought it was a little weird for both types of characters to show up in both stories. Then, it became clear that the world of Echo was part of the world of Strangers in Paradise, so it made more sense. I'm still not sure what I thought of that (there wasn't much reason to overlap the two worlds, save for the organization), but it at least made more sense for it to exist in both stories.
I talk a lot about character, because that's where Moore really shines with his writing. It was true with Strangers in Paradise, and it's true here. The story misses in a few places (in some parts, the story seemed to rush along without any real drama that I felt needed to be in the scene, while others took a while to get where they were going), and there were points in the story where Moore did more telling than showing (which in itself is ironic, since this is a graphic novel). More than one character talks about how Julie is a good person, but it wasn't necessary; the actions she performed in the series told us that already. We didn't need it hammered home through additional dialogue.
The story is engaging and interesting, despite its few minor stumbles. Though it lacks some of the depth and theme that Moore brought to Strangers in Paradise, there are enough similarities there to draw in those readers. It's more than just a plot-driven sci-fi adventure story, so folks interested in Moore's ability to create convincing relationships will still find a lot to like here.