In this 3-D multimedia novel, Hyleyn is a young girl trapped in the slums of Thalissar, an enclosed city on an environmentally inhospitable planet. No one important remains - the rich and powerful leave, and those who cannot are relegated to a seedy, backwater existence amid the incessantly howling, eerie winds of the decaying megalopolis. Outside contact is minimal. From time to time the Corporation sends out a ship to ensure its interests are maintained, and even more rarely Thalissar is visited by the Sinkhas who are immortal beings who maintain benign order in the net of aligned worlds. They travel aboard the living starship Darcon, and each has the guise of one of the races that inhabit the net worlds. Mortals fear to look upon them, but Hyleyn seeks them out, desperate to plead for her escape from Thalissar. She has also fallen in love with a Sinkha, the silver-haired Aker. Her wish is granted and she is shuttled to the Darcon, where she experiences virtual tableaux of beauty and peace, richly colored, clean and soothing. For the first time in her life she also hears quiet, finally away from the mysterious, maddening winds of Thalissar. Her newfound peace is shortlived however, as the Darcon moves to investigate unusual readings on the planet's surface and the incomprehensible crash of a Corporation ship at the source of these signals. Sinkha is a visually stunning work that braids multimedia features tightly with the graphic novel concept. It is baroquely detailed, lavishly textured and generously lathered with realistic animation and 3-D. The score is digital in flavor and the sound effects well chosen - the viscous lap of detritus-laden waters on metal, the drone of high powered winds and dynamos. Although visually complex, the actual story is muddled and hackneyed, degrades quickly and the characters have about as much emotional depth as sock puppets. However, this production is fabulous because the artistic and design elements are so strong (if a bit derivative of H.R. Giger).
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