I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Xavier’s Institute book Triptych by Jaleigh Johnson, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Xavier’s Institute novel series is focued on the heroes that attend this school and their adventures and the two books in the series thus far (disclaimer I never actually read the first one yet) have focuses on what would very much be considered b-list heroes, which is good because it allows the authors to do a lot more with the characters than they would be able to do with more established heroes.

The Story

This is an interesting story which focuses on Fantomex, a super soldier who at one point was three distinct brains in one body, but when those brains are separated due to catastrophic injuries, they are each given their own bodies and go their separate ways.

The main character of this book, the core Fantomex, is left the most injured and is taken by his external nervous system, the bio-mechanical E.V.A., to the Xavier Institute in Canada, where he is healed and brought back into the world, all too aware that he is missing two thirds of what he was.

A lot of the book is Fantomex coming to terms with what he feels is a diminished body and skill set, as some of his abilities are with the other members of the Triptych.

Feeling weaker, he tries to push those trying to help him away, despite the best efforts of Emma Frost and Cyclops to make him find a place in the world.

What follows is his attempts to find out what his other selves are up to, and what we get is a cat and mouse chase involving fine art and nanotech, and at the heart of it, is a young mutant, who like Fantomex, is still trying to find her place in the world.


To start off this book has taken me most of a month to read due to my having a lot of issues with sleep, so its been a while since my last review.

But this book is a fairly solid story, lets face it, we have all been in a place where we have needed to rediscover who we are, and I know I have had that again quite recently.

So its great to see how the author has really delved into the self-doubt and questioning that plagues us all in those times, but she shows that for Fantomex, and for most of us, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can get there, so in that respect, the book is quite hopeful in its theme.

The four characters who are focused on in this book, deal with their identity crisis in very different ways, and the individual journeys to figuring things out are very different.

I am not sure how to summarise it, I just like that the book was all about figuring out ourselves, and that the journey is just as important as the destination, where shortcuts simply don’t work.

The LGBT aspect of the book is also great, with Avery being very much out and proud, but in, an ordinary way that probably feels more natural than you see in many other places.

To be honest that is something Aconyte have been good at, making queerness normal, not a plot point, just part of a character that feels right and not forced. It takes great skill to do that, and Aconyte have picked authors who just manage this flawlessly.

So how would I summerise this book, well frankly, if you have ever found yourself in a situation in which you feel like you have to question, anything about yourself, this is a book you will really relate to.

Four stars out of Five.

The eBook is out now and the paperback hits the shelves on the 3rd February.