06 July 2015

Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle StevensonSometimes I'm hesitant to read a book that everyone else loves because I'm worried my expectations will be too high. But I'm glad I didn't put off Noelle Stevenson's Nimona; it's a fun read with a tough, impulsive heroine,; good humor, and terrific art.

What's it about: Nimona shows up at the headquarters of the realm's infamous villain, Lord Ballister Blackheart, offering to become his sidekick. Blackheart is understandably unenthusiastic: not only has he been fine all these years by himself but he wonders how a teenage girl could possibly help him finally defeat his lifelong nemesis, the hero Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. As it turns out, Nimona is a game changer in the fight between good and evil.

What's it really about: This smart, funny comic starts out as a kind of mashup of common superhero, fantasy, and sci-fi stories. We have an academy that trains knights, complete with jousting. We have a hero-villain pair with a complicated history. And we have Nimona, who quickly reveals that she's actually a powerful shapeshifter. Oh and don't forget the futuristic technology (computers, weapons). After a relatively light beginning, the story evolves into something darker and more thoughtful. The big question is, Who or what is in need of being saved?

Themes: friendship, good vs. evil, breaking rules

What surprised me: The complexity of the characters. Nimona, Blackheart, and Goldenloin are introduced as stereotypical characters in a familiar story line, but Stevenson adds layers to their personalities and histories, allowing us to see them in new ways. I was expecting light and fun and got so much more.

The Art: I loved the contrast between the angularity of the character's faces and the rounder shapes of their bodies (click on the cover to get an idea of what I'm trying to say). The colors are vivid and the panels have just enough detail to give us a good feel for the action and emotions. The facial expressions are simple but telling.

Things to know: Nimona started out as an art project, which eventually became a web comic. Noelle Stevenson has won several awards for her work.

Who should read this: Um, everyone? Seriously, if you're at all inclined to read comics, you'll probably love this book. I'm not sure why Nimona was published under the Harper Teen imprint because there is nothing particularly young adult about the story. Noelle Stevenson's Nimona breaks new ground with a fresh look at a seemingly familiar story.

Published by HarperCollins / HarperTeen, 2015
ISBN-13: 9780062278234
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Unknown 7/6/15, 7:03 AM  

Definitely sounds like a lot of fun for anyone. With the movie Minions this summer, Nimona offering to be a sidekick seems very current.

Vicki 7/6/15, 7:14 AM  

I think my granddaughter would love this book.

bermudaonion 7/6/15, 9:01 AM  

I know everyone's loving this book but I think it's probably too sci-fi/fantasy for me.

Vasilly 7/6/15, 9:02 AM  

You're so right about this book. The art is very different and at first, I was surprised about it. Yet it fits the book.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads 7/6/15, 9:41 AM  

I think my son would really like this one. He attended Comic Con that took place here in Montreal this past weekend.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 7/6/15, 10:24 AM  

This sounds like something my son might like.

Heidenkind 7/6/15, 11:25 PM  

I can't wait to read this!

Tif Sweeney 7/7/15, 2:42 PM  

So much chatter lately about this one. I think I had better check it out!

Belle Wong 7/7/15, 7:34 PM  

I'm in the middle of reading this right now. I have it out from the library. But before I even got to it, both my sons read it. And then my younger son picked it up again (telling me he was going to carefully bookmark my page) and read it again! So we've decided we probably need to buy this one for our collection, because when he likes a graphic novel, he loves rereading it.

Daryl 7/8/15, 10:47 AM  

i wish i could get into comics ... i did just finish an excellent novel .. Gangsterland ... awesome read, excellent characters .. and now i am beginning but already hooked on Martian ....

Unknown 7/28/15, 4:17 PM  

This is one that is definitely on my want list!

Unknown 7/28/15, 4:17 PM  

This is one that is definitely on my wishlist!

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