Book Reviews

Mini Reviews: Graphic Novels

Hello bookworms! Recently I realized I’ve read several graphic novels and comics in the past few months which I haven’t reviewed. None of these really amount to a full, separate review, so I’ve decided to do mini reviews for these! These are mostly ARC’s, and I think you can still request some of these on Netgalley if you’re interested! Let us begin:

45025661._SX318_The Daughters of Ys by M.T.Anderson, Jo Rioux

Publication: May 12th 2020, by First Second

My rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fantasy, Myths

What is even 4.5? For me, it’s when something ticks every single box, and by all standards it should be something I adore, but it’s just.. missing something. The art in this graphic novel is gorgeous, it’s exactly the whimsical kind I love, and the color palette is beautiful. The story is based on a Breton myth I didn’t know of, but will read about definitely. Two sisters, Rozenn and Dahut, grew up together in the magical city of Ys, which was raised from the ocean by their Faerie mother, and is now ruled by their father. After the death of their mother, the elder Rozenn leaves the court to live a simple life in nature, and Dahut stays at court, enjoying intrigue and splendor, and continuing her mother’s work of keeping the city of Ys alive by any means necessary. But the king is old and dying, and his heir has left the court, so the fate of Ys depends on the bond of the two princesses. A beautiful folk tale with gorgeous illustrations which take your breath away.

 

40670402._SX318_The Muse by Zidrou, Oriol

Publication: February 14th 2018, by Europe Comics

My rating: 4/5

Genre: Magical Realism, Art

This was a short but unusual graphic novel, about a lesser known Catalan painter, Vidal Balaguer, who mysteriously disappeared at the very end of the 19th century, having previously destroyed most of his work. At the time of his disappearance, he was a suspect for another disappearance – that of his muse and lover, Mar Noguera Monzo. This graphic novel tries to explain his disappearance, and that of Mar, in a fantastical way, and to revive the memory of Balaguer through his paintings, which are introduced throughout and on the cover. Balaguer‘s art is truly beautiful, and Oriol’s complements it, so you can barely tell it’s by two different artists. I loved Zidrou and Oriol’s explanation of the mystery, even though we’ll never know the true reason of Balaguer‘s disappearance.

 

44774415._SY475_Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu

Publication: October 22nd 2019, by Oni Press

My rating: 3/5

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA

I’ve had this ARC since forever, and after I failed to read it in time for the publication I forgot it existed. Recently, I had a comic/graphic novel thirst, so I read anything I could get my hands on, including this. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d ever have read it. The story is interesting, even though it’s the same old cliche of two different magical species falling for each other (A witch and a warewolf.), which isn’t the main storyline, but it acts like it anyway. It isn’t obvious on a flip-through, but the art isn’t really complete, it looks quite unfinished, and even when it is finished, it’s anatomically incorrect and not really good. I’d recommend this to a teenager I guess, or someone who doesn’t care about art or story as much as about romance.

 

41557029._SX318_Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval

Publication: November 20th 2018, by Lion Forge Comics

My rating: 4/5

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

This one left me confused. I’m a big fan of Tony Sandoval’s art, so I was thrilled to read his graphic novel. The art is, of course, gorgeous and quirkily unique, but the story is kind of all over the place. It’s like Tony Sandoval was on drugs and then drew this. Or, like he had a dream and then drew this. But he was on drugs while he was dreaming. Or he just had tons of good ideas but didn’t know how to weave them cohesively into a single storyline. Anyway, it’s about Mila, a teen, who meets a ghost girl Agnes. They like each other, and there’s a bunch of dream sequences I don’t understand, but it’s revealed that Agnes has a connection to an ancient king, and her teeth used to be his guardian warriors (SEE). It’s a great graphic novel, but it left me lacking.

 

2795053The Umbrella Academy Vol 1 by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá

Publication: July 22nd 2008 by Dark Horse Comics (Volume 1)

My rating: 5/5

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Superheroes

You all probably know the Netflix series which was based on this comic, right? If not, then go see it, because it’s amazing! The graphic novel is amazing too, but very different. The storyline isn’t as straightforward as in the TV series, and it’s kind of all over the place, but in a good way. There are some things I like more in the show, and some I like more in the graphic novel. The art is simply amazing though, and it makes every page super interesting, I must have read it twice because I kept coming back to look again. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it’s about 7 extraordinary children, all born at the same time all around the world to different mothers, and adopted by the millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves. He raises the kids strictly, without love, valuing their superpowers and discipline above their feelings and character. The kids enjoy several years of fame, as the saviors of the world, but one of their brothers dies, another disappears, and the others are left damaged in other ways, estranged from each other. They reunite as adults on the occasion of their father’s death, when their brother suddenly reappears and their sister becomes involved in a plot to end to world.

 

Thank you for reading and have a great day! ❤

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