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Author: Jonathan Hill
Published: 10th November 2020 – Oni Press
Format: eARC (Netgalley) – 319 pages
Hello Hello! How are you all?
Today I’m bringing you a short graphic novel review for Odessa by Jonathan Hill! I actually haven’t read that many graphic novels yet (so if you have any recommendations, please tell me about them), and I have been trying to broaden my horizons over the past year, so when I saw this book and read the blurb, I knew I had to request it.
I’m a bit strange because I have been reading a lot of dystopian, destruction, pandemic type books this year, which is very bizarre considering the state of the world at the minute, but I have always loved dystopian, end of the world settings and I found this one to be really intriguing! If you want to find out more about this graphic novel, keep on reading!
Thank you so much to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a free review. All opinions are my own.
Three siblings search for their missing mother across a ruined America in this original graphic novel perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Neal Shusterman.
Eight years ago an earthquake—the Big One—hit along the Cascadia fault line, toppling cities and changing landscapes all up and down the west coast of the United States. Life as we know it changed forever. But for Vietnamese-American Virginia Crane, life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left and never came back.
Ginny has gotten used to a life without her mother, helping her father take care of her two younger brothers, Wes and Harry. But when a mysterious package arrives for her eighteenth birthday, her life is shaken up yet again. For the first time, Ginny wants something more than to survive. And it might be a selfish desire, but she’s determined to find out what happened to her mother—even if it means leaving her family behind.
Odessa by Jonathan Hill is a young adult science fiction dystopian graphic novel that explores the lives of Ginny (Virginia) and her brothers Wes and Harry as they travel through the United States but not one that we know. About a decade before the narration in this book, there was some form of massive earthquake that destroyed half of America and made strange creatures and mutants appear, so there is definitely a big dystopian vibe coming from this book.
I only started reading graphic novels last year, and have been dipping in and out of a few subgenres to see what I liked the most. My favourite so far has been the books in the Heartstopper series as they are just so cute and I love them. So when I saw this book on Netgalley and read the blurb, I just had to request it because it sounded so good.
I think this is going to be a series as it ended on “to be continued” and I think I might continue it because although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting, I feel like it has a lot of potential and I’m intrigued to see what will happen to the characters next.
If you are not a fan of seeing vivid depictions of violence, death, cannibalism, abuse, murder, destruction, and a very realistic dystopian setting, then I would steer clear from this because it is fairly vivid and although I don’t mind any of these themes, I could see that it was quite violent at times.
I have to say that I found the drawings of the landscape and cities so amazing, I really loved the pink, white and black tones, I thought it was such a beautiful combination and I hadn’t ever seen this in a graphic novel before. I am more of a fan of realistic drawings of people though, so I found these ones a bit… rushed maybe? I don’t know I just thought they didn’t go with the landscape and that bothered me a bit because I just thought it didn’t go together and it was a little jarring to me.
The story was good, I wasn’t that hooked because the drawings of the characters were not my favourites, but I did enjoy the ending a lot more and I think it is a nice set up for more volumes in this series.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a really fast, intriguing and enjoyable graphic novel. I loved the drawings and colour combinations of the landscape, the setting, the cities and I struggled a little bit with the characters, finding them a little bit immature at times, but I am hoping that book 2 will look more into them and I’ll find out more.
The premise is a really interesting one, I liked the setting and I think there is still a lot to learn about this world. I know graphic novels are short and sweet and don’t usually have massive plot twists or a lot of intricate detail, but I feel like this one is going that way, so I am interested in reading more.
I gave it 3.5 stars because I liked the setting and the drawings of it but I found the characters and their drawings really jarring and it bothered me a little bit. I also liked the plot but it didn’t seem to actually be going anywhere until right the end. I did enjoy it though, it was just not really the best choice for me!
If you like graphic novels with dystopian settings and you don’t mind some gore, violence, blood and destruction, then I think you will like this book.
Once again, thank you so much to Netgalley for approving me for this book and providing me with a free copy of it.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
Atmosphere – 7
Start – 5
Pacing – 5
Ending – 6
Characters – 3
Theme – 6
Style – 4
Total = 36