Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nimona (A Book with a One-Word Title)

Pro: Fun and funny
Con: I would have gone for graphic novel dimensions for larger images
The Bottom Line: If you want something fun to read that’s a little on the unexpected side, this is a good bet.
This is yet another book I saw while at work and took a peek inside. I found a girl with the ability to turn into a dragon, a bad knight turning good, and a purposely stereotypical hero with flowing, golden locks.
Sign me up.
Turns out that Nimona is a webcomic created by Noelle Stevenson that, happily, has been collected and turned into a book – or rather, a graphic novel. The title is the name of one of the main characters, a girl who is actually a shapeshifter. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s a damn good shapeshifter, and Nimona certainly knows what she’s doing.
She pops into the life of Lord Blackheart in order to be his sidekick. Because good villains need good sidekicks. Although Blackheart is kind of an odd villain – he has a thing about killing people, and his plans are always getting foiled (so, like most comic book villains). Nimona hopes to help him change that, though soon things are getting a wee bit out of control – including Nimona’s abilities.
And that’s just the story in a tiny nutshell. There’s a lot going on in here that some people might not expect from a web comic (though to be fair, we should all know better these days). I liked the blending of science and sorcery – one minute people are swordfighting and the next someone sees a laser gun on the ground and snatches that up for extra firepower. It’s a neat story, too. Definitely not something I’ve ever come across. I also enjoyed the snappy dialogue and the art itself. The interesting juxtaposition of bad guy vs good guy even though bad guy isn’t really bad and good guy works for a group that sucks is always a neat twist, though not everyone can pull it off. Stevenson does so easily.
Okay, so basically I liked everything about this. It was simply a really fun read that has snicker-worthy moments as well as serious moments and an ending I didn’t see coming. At all. The copy I got was from the library and in hardcover (didn’t know it was available in hardcover). While it’s pretty sizable, I wished it was larger – like hardcover graphic novel size. Some of the panels are pretty small, which is a shame because Stevenson’s drawings are so much fun. I’m sure it worked out much better online because she could upload large images and readers just had to scroll through to read them. Here they’re kind of compacted which also occasionally shrinks down the text to quite small.
But that’s the publisher’s decisions so, eh. What can you do?
If you go searching for this book, you’ll actually end up in the teen section (at least at Barnes & Noble – other bookstores may have it placed elsewhere). When in doubt, just ask. It’s worth it.

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