Although well-wrought, the elaborate combination of atmospheric historical details and a Christian theological slant may be...

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SANCTUARY

From the Stone Man Mysteries series , Vol. 2

Prolific mother-and-son pair Yolen (Mapping the Bones, 2018, etc.) and Stemple (The Seelie King’s War, 2016, etc.) return with another installment in their gritty noir graphic-novel series featuring a mystery-solving Scottish street urchin and his gargoyle employer.

Picking up where the previous volume left off, orphaned Craig is still reeling from having to commit an unspeakable act against a dear friend. Despite his regrets, he continues to work as a detective for Silex, a stone gargoyle affixed to a church parapet who oversees the city below. When a seemingly anachronistic young woman shows up on the church doorstep claiming sanctuary, Craig and Silex must help her before another Mephistophelian force unleashes evil upon 1930s Edinburgh. Building upon the evangelical explorations of the first volume, this is a dark and introspective thriller mixing equal parts history, Christian theology, and mystery. Readers will notice a definite improvement in Zangara’s (Stone Cold, 2016) moody black-and-white art; while he has sustained the atmosphere, he has sharpened his lines, rendering previously sketchy characters clearer and more distinctive. Each volume completes a case, although readers are forewarned of the religious and literary importance of the number three, laying the groundwork for what could only be Craig and Silex’s next adventure.

Although well-wrought, the elaborate combination of atmospheric historical details and a Christian theological slant may be daunting for some. (Mystery/fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-1043-2

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A charming adaptation.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

From the Manga Classics series

A miscommunication leaves Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert responsible for a plucky, effusive orphan girl instead of the boy they’d expected to help maintain their farm.

Retold in traditional manga format, with right-to-left panel orientation and detailed black-and-white linework, this adaptation is delightfully faithful to the source text. Larger panels establish the idyllic country landscape while subtle text boxes identify the setting—Prince Edward Island, Canada, in the 1870s. The book follows redheaded Anne Shirley from her arrival at Green Gables at 11 to her achievement of a college scholarship. In the intervening years, Anne finds stability, friendship, personal growth, and ambition in Avonlea and in the strict but well-intentioned Cuthbert siblings’ household. The familiar story is enhanced by the exciting new format and lush illustrations. A variety of panel layouts provides visual freshness, maintaining reader interest. Backmatter includes the floor plan of the Green Gables house, as well as interior and exterior views, and notes about research on the actual location. A description of the process of adapting the novel to this visual format indicates the care that was taken to highlight particular elements of the story as well as to remain faithful to the smallest details. Readers who find the original text challenging will welcome this as an aid to comprehension and Anne’s existing fans will savor a fresh perspective on their beloved story. All characters appear to be White.

A charming adaptation. (Graphic fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947808-18-8

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Manga Classics

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A first-rate visual reframing: sensitive, artistically brilliant, and as charged as its enigmatic predecessor with profound...

THE GIVER

From the Giver Quartet series

An eerie graphic version of the Newbery Award–winning classic.

Russell (Murder Mysteries and Other Stories, 2015, etc.) pays no more attention than Lowry (Looking Back, 2016, etc.) did to continuity of detail or to justifying the counterintuitive notion that memories can be shed by transmitting them, but without taking significant liberties he skillfully captures the original’s full, creeping horror. By depicting human figures with uncommonly precise realism, bearing calm, smiling demeanors and moving through tidy 1950s style settings, he establishes an almost trite air of utopian normality at the outset…then proceeds to undermine it with disquieting (to say the least) incidents capped by an explicit view of Jonas’ serene dad “releasing” a supernumerary newborn by ramming a hypodermic into its head. He also neatly solves the color issue by composing his many small sequential scenes in blue pencil outlines with occasional pale washes—which makes Jonas’ disturbing ability to “see beyond,” from the red in an apple and a classmate’s hair to the garish orange memories the Giver downloads to his brain, startlingly vivid and presages the polychrome wilderness into which he ultimately vanishes. Jonas and the rest of the cast are uniformly light-skinned and generically European of feature, but that is explicitly established as part of the hideous scenario.

A first-rate visual reframing: sensitive, artistically brilliant, and as charged as its enigmatic predecessor with profound challenges to mind and heart. (interviews with the creators) (Graphic dystopian fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-15788-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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