One of the *coolest* things about blogging is that it’s introduced me to genres I never would have considered otherwise. The biggest change in my reading since I started is that I now read graphic novels- which now that I think about it makes sense, because I love art and I love stories, so in the words of Joey from Friends…
Anyway, way back when I did a wrap up about my first foray into the graphic novels and now that I’ve accumulated a few more graphic novels in a row, I thought it would be fun for round two!
Nimona– gosh this was good. It was funny, it cleverly subverted my expectations to add to the humour and had some excellent character development. Somehow, this story about villains also managed to have a sweet ending. I thought the illustrations were a lot of fun as well. My one niggling thought with this though was that it was a little young for me. But I happily gave it:
Rating: 4/5 bananas
The Sleeper and the Spindle– I wasn’t crazy about this Sleeping Beauty retelling. It was basically another *strong woman saves the day* story- and if you’ve been reading a lot of my posts in the last few months, you may be able to tell that I’ve grown bored of this trope. There’s a lot of the typical tropes that go along with that of course like the useless prince- which at this point are becoming worthy of an eye-roll. However, the writing was beautiful and I really liked the evocative world. Evidently, this was not the best Gaiman I’ve read- but let’s face it, even the not-so-great Gaiman is gonna be a decent read. And in true Gaiman fashion, there was a pointed ending with a bold twist.
Rating: 3/5 bananas
Monstress Volumes 1-2– first of all it has to be said: the artwork is stunning. I was *blown away*by how beautiful it is to look at. The imagery also lends itself to some extensive world building. I will say that in volume 1, the story didn’t grab me and I was a little lost at times. However, the expansion of the story in the second volume really grabbed my attention and by the end it left me breathless. So I do think that if you weren’t blown away by the first one, just know it gets better! The one thing I wasn’t keen on throughout was the use of lectures/history lessons to infodump points about the world. I don’t see how talking about trade routes is interesting at the best of times and for me this wasn’t the way to do it. Other than that, it was a compelling graphic novel series I’d like to continue. Also, this was the first graphic novel I tried on my kindle and I was a bit worried about how that would turn out at first- but I needn’t have worried, because the way you can click on panels worked brilliantly for me.
Rating: 4/5 bananas
Persepolis– this was another brilliant graphic novel and I think the type I lean towards the most. As an autobiography, it worked superbly well. I appreciated the insight into Satrapi’s life and found it very educational with regards to the Iranian Revolution. Split into two parts, the story of childhood and the story of return, I ended up preferring the latter as Marjane had more room to grow and faced greater personal struggles. By the end, I was engrossed in her story and felt like I’d seen first-hand the conflict between liberation and oppression. What was especially bold was that it didn’t shy away from some of the more unpleasant things she did to stay alive and free- like getting a randomer arrested when she nearly got caught wearing lipstick. While this troubled me deeply, I also thought it was brave to present her flaws, as raw and real as they were. The artwork, while not my favourite style, was solid and did convey strong emotions. Ultimately, I was glad I picked this up.
Rating: 4/5 bananas
Wicked + Divine– this was another one I unfortunately didn’t love. Initially, I was digging concept and that it was set in London. I also liked Lucy and the chapter titles. HOWEVER I did not like the main character at all- and the fact that she was self-aware about her celebrity obsession didn’t disguise this unlikeable trait. I also felt a lot of characters weren’t characters but reduced to traits. I didn’t feel like these characteristics were blended seamlessly into the story and consequently they ended up feeling gimmicky. The artwork was simple and colourful- but unfortunately not to my taste at all (I’m afraid I can’t pinpoint why, it just wasn’t doing it for me). Ultimately, this is a one and done situation. There are definitely reasons to like it, yet I didn’t connect with it and I don’t feel any urge to continue.
So have you read these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!