Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Nimona - Noelle Stevenson

Summary: The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. (Summary and image from

My ReviewI often have trouble getting through my lists of books to read because I'm one of those people who constantly returns to re-read favorites.  This week, it was Nimona.

I like Nimona because it is so off-the-wall and unexpected, a fast-paced adventure of heroes and villains, but not in the typical sense.  It's set in a non-distinct time period that feels like the future and the past all at once, while still giving off the vibe of a medieval fantasy, which is a nice twist and lends to a lot of fun imagery and ideas.  It turns the tropes of good and evil on their heads, showing what it means to be a villain, a hero, a monster, or just overall different.

The humor in this book is great, and may be what you'd call dark or deadpan (which happen to be my favorite kind).  Nimona, the girl working for the city's villain Blackheart, is a goofball, and keeps the story lively with her wit, jokes and constant shape-shifting, despite the pain hiding deep within herself.

Which leads me to what I love most about this story: the heart.  Wacky as it is, it's a surprisingly touching story about friendship and trust, and I love how Blackheart comes to care for his crazy sidekick, as she changes from employee to friend.  I love funny stories, but if they are funny and have heart, then they win me over and stay with me.

My Rating: Four Stars

For the sensitive reader: Does have some killings--sword, gun, and monster related, as well as some mild swearing.

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