Adil's Reviews > Laika

Laika by Nick Abadzis
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's review
Oct 15, 2011

it was amazing
Read from October 14 to 15, 2011 , read count: 1

This graphic novel explores the depth of the bond between human beings and animals. Laika is a stray dog who is chosen as a passenger for the Soviet Sputnik II spacecraft, thereby making her the first animal to go into space.

The book opens with Sergei Korolev's release from a Russian gulag where he was unjustly imprisoned. As he straggles out of the gulag into the frozen Russian winter, he knows he must not die. "I am a man of destiny."

Indeed, it is Korolev's destiny to become the Father of the Soviet space program with the launch of the Sputnik I. After the success of Sputnik I, the successor Sputnik II spacecraft is set to launch within a month. We follow Laika from her birth to her final destination as the passenger of Sputnik II.

Laika's trip will be fatal. Because of the Sputnik II's rushed production, the engineers did not create a way for Laika to return to Earth safely. It is this realization that permeates the entire last half of this graphic novel and leads to this conclusion: scientific ambition must not overlook the preciousness of life.

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