03 January 2009

Review: The Demon of River Heights by Stefan Petrucha

Nancy Drew, girl detective, is now starring in a graphic novel series written by Petrucha and drawn by Sho Murase. The Demon of River Heights is the first in the series.

Nancy; her boyfriend, Ned; and girlfriends Bess and George are helping two budding filmmakers with their movie about the demon of River Heights, a local urban legend. The filming stops when the young men disappear, and Nancy suspects foul play. At about the same time Canton Angley II, a business tycoon, and his son show up in town, and Nancy is curious about what they're up to. The story follows the teenagers as they search for the missing students and investigate the Angleys.

This was a fast read (about 100 pages), and most of the drawings are well executed, although the twenty-first-century Nancy Drew clashed a bit with the 1950s image I had of her. This is the first graphic novel I've read, so I'm not sure if this is common, but I thought it was odd that some of the drawings were rather monotone, whereas most were in full color. Furthermore, in some sequences, the colors were inconsistent; for example, Nancy's skirt would be teal in one panel and brownish in another.

The mystery was light and not that difficult to figure out, but this is Nancy Drew and the reading level is age eight and up. I probably won't read more in this series. On the other hand, because I'm a long-time fan, it was fun to see a modern Nancy and to read a new mystery.

I read this book as part of a number of challenges, which are listed below. Be sure to click on the links above the progress bars (at the left) to read the rules of the challenges and to see what the other participants are reading.

Published by Papercutz, 2005
ISBN-13: 9781597070003
Challenges: Graphic Novels, 999, A-Z (authors), Winter Reading, 100+, Read & Review
YTD: 2
Rating B-


Anonymous,  1/3/09, 8:39 AM  

I didn't know that Nancy is starring in graphic novels now. Maybe a new generation will come to love her as we did.

jessi 1/3/09, 11:11 AM  

Is it sad that I was never that familiar with Nancy Drew? I'll have to check her out. I'm not sure why the coloring was inconsistent in your book; I've read a lot of graphic novels, and I don't think that's supposed to happen. :) If you're looking for more quick, easy graphic novel reads, I would recommend the works of Jill Thompson or Chynna Clugston. Barry Ween is another great series; it's very funny, but also crude. Enjoy your graphic novels!

Robin M 1/3/09, 11:32 AM  

Wow,I didn't know there was a nancy drew graphic novel. I agree with bermudaonion - it probably will introduce a new generation to her.


Beth F 1/3/09, 11:39 AM  

Bermuda & Robin: I'm going to pass my copy to my niece (8th grade), and I'll ask her what she thinks.

Jessi: You're probably the wrong generation for Nancy Drew -- but you can still find the books. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm collecting them for the Graphic Novel challenge.

Literary Feline 1/3/09, 11:47 AM  

A Nancy Drew graphic novel! How fun! When I was a child, I used to love solving mysteries with Nancy Drew. Thank you for your great review.

The Tome Traveller 1/3/09, 1:43 PM  

I have never read a graphic novel but I did love Nancy Drew when I was growing up. I am holding out for the Outlander graphic novel (for my first one). It probably won't be short, though! ;)

Beth F 1/3/09, 1:54 PM  

Tome Traveller: Jamie in a graphic novel! Ahhhhh, I've been waiting and waiting for it. And, no, it won't be short. I will be reading it though!

Nicole 1/3/09, 2:13 PM  

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Beth.

I think I read a Nancy Drew a year or two ago, I'll have to pick them up again... Maybe even the graphic novel version.

Framed 1/4/09, 12:53 AM  

I've never read a graphic novel although Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale tempted me. Still, I loved the Nancy Drew books when I was growing up and have a couple unread on my shelves. I'd better read them before I branch out into new things.

Unknown 1/4/09, 6:13 AM  

I liked Nancy Drew growing up, but I didn't read as many as say the Boxcar Children or the Babysitters Club. But, it is way cool that she's got her own graphic novel series. I'm going to have to check it out, even if its not the best. :) Thanks for the review!

Anonymous,  1/4/09, 4:02 PM  

I loved Nancy Drew when I was growing up and have several of them on my classroom shelves. I'll have to get this graphic novel. I'm hoping that it will intrigue some of my reluctant readers.

Anonymous,  1/5/09, 3:13 PM  

Nona is (or use to be) a HUGE Nancy Drew fan! She is growing out of them and I am so very sad.

Olga 1/6/09, 1:46 PM  

Gotta love the ND. Tell me--is Bess drawn as a chubby girl? That's what I remember vividly about the originals. Bess loved her ice cream lol.

Anonymous,  2/15/09, 12:27 AM  

I used to love Nancy Drew! I'll have to check out the
graphic novels next time at the library. Thanks for the review!

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