Mini Review Monday – Graphic Novel eARCs

Hi all!

As we tend to read quite a few graphic novels but don’t want to do a full post for each one of them we decided to do weekly mini reviews to sum up the ones we’ve read recently and hopefully get more people interested in this fascinating genre. We’ve noticed that graphic novels go quite unnoticed in the book blogging community but some of them are phenomenal and deserve to be shared. Just as audio books can be an acquired reading format, so too are graphic novels.

We hope to share some of our thoughts and favourite reads with you in the hopes that it inspires more people to try this genre!

Pre-Order Princess de Cleves here and Tamba Child Soldier here.

La Princesse de Cleves – Written in 1678 by Madame de Lafayette, ‘The Princess of Cleves’ is a founding novel. The young Miss de La Marche took her first steps in the court of the King of France, Henry II. Between cabals, gossip and gallantry, she meets love in a world full of conventions. By returning to her advantage the stereotyped feminine ideals of the time (solitude, silence, secrecy, restraint, decency and discretion), the princess exhibits a new form of feminism, based on self-esteem where reason triumphs over passion.

☆ ☆ ☆

As someone unfamiliar with the original Princess of Cleves written by Madame de Lafayette, the introduction to this graphic novel was intense. There was a lot of information provided that was essential in understanding complex dynamics between characters. Luckily, a family tree is provided. Unluckily, I received an eARC (which I usually don’t mind) but it made going back and forth to the family tree quite cumbersome. If you’re familiar with the story however, it may not be an issue for you. Nevertheless, once I was able to get my head around all of the socialites and their family trees, the story was quite interesting!

I found myself becoming invested in the uncertain future of La Princesse de Cleves. The premise perfectly outlines the unusual feminist stance taken in this story. I can’t quite say I was in approval of it but I’m not living during the time period. In terms of meeting historical romantic conventions of the time, this story definitely achieved that. I was so intrigued by the Princess of Cleve’s choices. Her refusal to be with the man she loved, and whom loved her back, was definitely not what I had been expecting! I’m a HEA kind gal.

The side characters were also quite enjoyable and the graphics themselves were delectably embellished with small details that perfectly set the scene in the time period. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, literature or are just keen to try something new then I’d recommend you try this!

ARC provided by Darguard via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tamba Child Soldier – “My name is Tamba Cisso. When I was eight years old, I lived in the village with my father, my mother and my sister. I went to school and had learned to read. I knew there was war in my country, but I didn’t know that children could wage it.” Providing a testimonial to one of the most heart-wrenching and chilling developments in modern warfare, this graphic novel chronicles the realities of hundreds of thousands across the world, kidnapped and forced to commit atrocities.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Wow. This book was hauntingly honest and completely stole my breath. The horrors that happen for the sake of greed, power and money are unimaginable. Except, this novel attempts to shed light on the deplorable acts children are forced to commit daily around the world. This novel forced me to imagine what that living hell would be like. I was utterly heart-broken and yet in awe. The graphics in this novel were some of the best I’d seen. The vivid colours and striking scenes almost pulled me out of the story they were so good!

What really made this book stand out from the crowd was the emphasis it placed on the rehabilitation and healing process of the people when the war ended. While kidnapping and forcing children to fight a war they don’t understand is unimaginably harsh, the after-effects of the war were arguably as bad. You’d expect freedom and peace with the cessation of fire. Instead, a land was left torn from the destruction its own people had caused. Children were murderers and seen as the perpetrators of extensive human rights violations. How does a country come back from that? How is peace attained? And who is ultimately responsible for the horrors committed?

This depiction of an attempt to create peace after shockingly vile and destructive events was poignantly written and tore apart my heart. It was so authentic and achingly real. I loved the inclusion of the author’s own history that had inspired this novel. This is one I would recommend everyone (who is aware of the triggers) to read!

ARC provided by NBM Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jen

Mini Review Monday – Graphic Novel eARCs

Hi all!

As we tend to read quite a few graphic novels but don’t want to do a full post for each one of them we decided to do weekly mini reviews to sum up the ones we’ve read recently and hopefully get more people interested in this fascinating genre. We’ve noticed that graphic novels go quite unnoticed in the book blogging community but some of them are phenomenal and deserve to be shared. Just as audio books can be an acquired reading format, so too are graphic novels.

We hope to share some of our thoughts and favourite reads with you in the hopes that it inspires more people to try this genre!

IN A WORLD OF BLUE

Skyward – One day, gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Twenty years later, humanity has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, a woman born just after G-day, it’s…well, it’s pretty awesome, actually. You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t get mixed up in your Dad’s secret plan to bring gravity back that could get you killed…

My review –

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ /5 STARS

This story had such a simple premise of ‘Low G’ but it created a completely new world. One in which the fear of drifting away was inherently real and a daily fear. The dangerous nature of the world without gravity resulted in a society split apart in to the reckless fliers, agoraphobic safety-conscious folk and the rich ground walkers (capable of affording magnetic boots). It was very easy to get immersed in this new world and the GN was packed-full of action to keep me interested.

What let this GN down in my opinion was the inclusion of a trope of the duplicitous bad-guy being an old family friend who was a scientific researcher with Willa’s father. Their prediction that the earth would suffer Low G was laughed at but the subsequent occurrence Low G life on Earth solidified their scientific work as a legitimate theory. With Skyward’s perfect simplicity of a premise, I was expecting something a bit more unique for the ‘dangerous’ aspect of the story and this felt a bit overdone. However, it didn’t hamper the story completely. The plot line for this was developed well and still kept me interested through to the end.

While the main character Willa was such a capable young woman and deserved my full appreciation, the disability rep in Skyward completely captured my attention. My favourite character was Edison, a quadriplegic young man who had embraced the freedom offered by a Low G lifestyle. His witty humour and innate kindness completely stole my heart and had me excited to read the next volume in this series!

Worlds Unseen – 1906. William is ten years old when his family leaves London for Barellito, a small Italian fishing village. The quiet of the village will not last long, however, thanks to the ripples created by the arrival of William and his family. His own life, too, is about to be upturned, in this remarkable and wondrous new land where he will find new southern landscapes, a new kind of liberty, and above all new friends: Paolo, Nino, and the charming Lisa, united forever by an extraordinary event and a strange object

My Review –

First page showcasing vivid colours and well-placed panels.

☆ / 5 STARS

The cover of this GN looks so cute. I was imagining that it would be an exciting adventure of childhood experiences and whimsy set apart by deeper themes of technology’s impact on the fishing trade and cultural assimilation. What I got wasn’t nearly as good as that sounds.

The story itself was pieced together in an almost incoherent manner that left the main character arc quite confusing to follow. The setting and culture were described quite well and were easy to imagine however, throughout the story there were so many elements that left me completely clueless that it took away my ability to understand the deeper messages in the text. Worlds Unseen spoke of technology’s impact on fishing as well as a small town that refused to accept outsiders however, I couldn’t tell which way the story lent in terms of approval for these factors.

There were instances in which absolutely random events happened in the midst of the story, as if to create a side-story of which we were not told the characters, events or time period. There was absolutely no connection or relevance to the main story line, that I could gather, and so this completely confused me.

The artistic aspect was the best part of my reading experience. The colours were vivid, the lines strong and the speech was well balanced on the page as a ratio to graphics. The panels were well placed and easy to follow.

ARC provided by Europe Comics via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

// have you read any of these GNs? what were your thoughts on them? //

Jen