Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

mini reviews

Recently, I have pushed myself to explore books outside of my comfort zone which is young adult contemporary books. One areas of books that I started to pick up more books in is graphic novels. After reading Wires and Nerve, the first book in the graphic novel spin-off of The Lunar Chronicles, I decided I was ready to explore more graphic novels outside of a universe that I already knew. Here’s my thoughts on March (Book One) and Nimona:

March (Book One) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

March: Book One (March, #1)

The March graphic novel series by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell chronicles the life of congressman John Lewis through the Civil Rights movement. In Book One, the series focuses on the early life of John Lewis and his early involvement in the Civil Rights movement throughout college.

I heard about March in my college education classes that focused on literacy. My professor and the librarian from my college’s library specifically for education majors had nothing but positive reviews from this book. They remarked that this graphic novel series does a great job of making history more accessible to younger readers because it transforms a true story in a more interesting format.

I would have to agree with this statement as say it is true for older readers as well. Even though I love history, I don’t usually gravitate towards it when I’m in the library or at a book store. While I enjoyed the artwork in this graphic novel, I would say it’s strongest point is the actual story. I learned not only a lot about the life of John Lewis, but more about the attitudes and reasoning behind different groups of people, organizations, and protests.

I gave March (Book One) five out of five stars and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series!

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson follows Lord Ballister Blackheart, a villain who is approached by a young woman who can shape shift and wants to be his sidekick. With Nimona’s help, Ballister is able to dig up some dirt on the hero institution that shunned him after an accident. However, Nimona may be more powerful and destructive that she lets Ballister believe

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Nimona recently, but wasn’t exactly sure of what to expect going into it. I knew a lot of people enjoyed it, that it was nominated for several awards, and the plot somehow revolved around a super villain. While there was aspects of this book that I enjoyed, there needed to be some improvements for me to give it the same hype that I heard before reading it.

I think my largest problem with Nimona was that there were so many aspects of the plot that I wished were either explored more in-depth or consistently. A lot of the character’s backstories remained fuzzy which made it a little more difficult to understand their motivations. Additionally, I found many of the characters and their actions inconsistent throughout the book. It made it difficult to know any of the characters extremely well and I didn’t really know who to root for throughout this book.

Throughout this book, I found myself waiting for the moment that would make me love this book as much as so many other people. However, I actually found myself enjoying the author’s fun extra scenes at the end of the book more than the book itself because I felt like I had a better sense of the characters. I gave Nimona three out of five stars.

 

What graphic novel should I read next?

Wires and Nerve Review

wires and nerve

Wires, and nerve, and Iko, oh my!

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer takes place after The Lunar Chronicles series ends and follows everyone’s favorite andriod, Iko. Even though Levana’s rule has ended, her mutant soldiers still walk the earth and cause more attacks on civilians. Iko decides to take the job of corralling the soldiers back to the Luna with the help of a few members from the Rampion crew and one of Cinder’s handsome guards.

Before Wires and Nerve, I haven’t really read any graphics novels. However, I’m a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles world and will pretty much read anything that Marissa Meyer writes that takes place in it. After being slightly disappointed with Stars Above, I didn’t go into Wires and Nerve with incredibly high expectations. Even though there are some aspects of this book that I would change, I overall enjoyed this graphic novel and plan on reading its next installment.

The highlight of this book definitely lies with Iko as the main character. Although she is one of the heroes of the Lunar Revolution, we never really see her perspective in the original series and she acts more as a cute and fun side character. With her bubbly personality, incredible fashion sense, and the only android character, it was nice to finally see her perspective. In this book, Iko’s voice really stands out and readers get a more complex look at her character, especially the discrimination she faces as an android.

Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was how easy and enjoyable it was to read. I read Wires and Nerve within a couple of hours in only one sitting. The story is very easy to follow and it was very fun to have more adventures with characters from one of my favorite series. Although some readers may not enjoy the primarily blue and red artwork throughout the novel, especially since some of the character may not look like how they pictured, I really enjoyed it. Since I’m not a huge reader of graphic novels, seeing such a familiar world made me really interested in reading more graphic novels outside of The Lunar Chronicles world.

That being said, there were a few things that I loved in the original Lunar Chronicles series that I found missing in the graphic novel. The first being that some of the original characters seemed a little out of character in the graphic novels series. Besides Iko, we mostly see Thorne and Cress from the original nine characters. While Thorne felt more true to his personality, for some reason, Cress seemed a little bit off to me. Cress always felt more comfortable in dresses, so it surprised me that the artists outfitted her in a loose fitting shirt and cargo pants throughout the whole novel. While Cress does get more brave throughout the original series, her boldness as well as some of her dialogue seemed a little off to me.

One minor complaint that I have with this novel is the romance. Iko’s love interest, Kinney, was introduced in Winter. Unfortunately, I feel like his character never really develops any more in this novel. Iko and Kinney definitely have a love-hate relationship, especially since Kinney struggles to see Iko as more than an android. Even we’re told Kinney is a good guy due to his loyalty to Cinder, I never see this in his actions, especially towards Iko. Whenever Iko and Kinney finally have “a moment” in the book, it really comes out of nowhere and it wasn’t something that I anticipated like I did with the other couples in the series. Hopefully, Kinney and his relationship with Iko develop more in the next installment.

Another issue that I had with this book was the plot and the pacing. In the original series, readers are offered multiple points of view throughout the story that hint at different story lines or make the story line at hand more complex. Even though we are offered multiple perspectives in this book, I found it not as successful as in the original series. In this graphic novel, I felt like the multiple perspectives told me what happened because it actually occurred in the novel, which took away an element of surprise. Additionally, I didn’t see as many layers to the plot as the original series which made the book a little boring at times.

Overall, Wires and Nerve is a great book for fans of The Lunar Chronicles. I definitely would recommend reading the original series before picking up this one in order not to spoil any outcomes for the original series and to understand the language and plot used within this book better. Since I really enjoyed reading about Iko and the graphic novel format, but had some characterization and plot issues, I give this book four out of five stars.