If you haven’t heard of the story of Romeo and Juliet, then you’re obviously an alien or have been living under a rock. It’s a classic story about love that’s been retold in many different ways. So why would a new retelling even be worth it or relevant? Well, fast forward to a future with genetically enhanced humans and war, and you’ve got a version that’s quite different from any that have appeared before.

Romeo and Juliet: The War is just that: different yet the same. It’s a new Earth, a more advanced technological Earth, yet something remains constant: mankind. It always seems no matter what advances in technology, mankind seems to revert back to the same fighting nature.

In this version of the classic, Dr. Montague is a scientist in search of a breakthrough, wanting to extend the life of man by curing him of disabilities and sickness. His solution involves giving people enhanced attributes that basically turn them into androids. Of course, the government has different plans, and weaponizes these new robotic creatures for war.

On the other end is Dr. Capulet, who feels there is a better way to enhance mankind. He discovers a way to do it genetically, within the DNA of man. He creates a state full of super-human super-soldiers. Verona becomes untouchable, and thus all war ceases. But for these soldiers, war is all they know, and eventually, they find a new enemy: each other.

Fast forward to the main story: the Capulets and the Montagues have been fighting for years, leaving normal citizens to suffer most of the time. Here’s where we return to the classic tale. The Montagues crash a party, Romeo meets Juliet, it’s love at first sight, they get married in an attempt to stop the madness, and instead, everything gets worse. Romeo finds one of his friends fighting a Capulet; when his friend is killed, Romeo kills the Capulet that killed him. He and Juliet devise a plan so they can run away together, but things keep getting in the way. Juliet “kills” herself, Romeo believes it’s true, a big fight breaks out, and Romeo is killed. Juliet awakens to find him, and she then this time really kills herself while everyone watches on TV.

Ok, so the concept is the same, but the details are certainly different. In the end, it’s the same story: true love conquers hate (unfortunately sometimes it’s after people are gone that others tend to figure that out).

All and all, this is a good story. My complaint is that it comes in a 11 x 17 hardcover. It’s a beautiful hardcover book, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t fit on my bookshelf. The art is all digital, which pops out really well and makes the characters seem more lifelike. It’s always a hit or miss with this type of art, so I’m glad it was actually good. If you enjoy a romantic war story, then go ahead and give this a try.

Grade: B

Romeo and Juliet: The War is available now.