Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a fantasy and science fiction graphic novel, that was started by the author as web-comics during her studies in 2012 and this year in May was first printed by HarperCollins. Noelle Stevenson is an co-author of the series Lumberjanes, but let’s be honest, we know about her because of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – she is the one who created the cover art we’ve been adoring and although I did not like Fangirl, I loved the art work. Apparently Nimona’s fans can get hyped because it has a deal to turn the graphic novel into an animation.
It is set in a place that looks like Middle Ages, but has robotics and weaponry more advanced than we should expect in near future, and, oh… looks like a children’s book.The graphic novel is about super villain Ballister Blackheart, his side-kick Nimona and his arch-enemy/friend Ambrosius Goldenloin. Blackheart pairs up with Nimona, not knowing her full power, but once the city is in danger and it’s not the super villain’s fault, Nimona and Blackheart starts to argue about what is right and what is wrong, what should be their actions and if they should fix the situation. They argue about finding the source of Nimona’s power as she claims it is magical, while Blackheart believes only in science.
I know that the artist (I feel like this is the best word to describe the authors huge input) has been compared to many famous and brilliant people and her style is simple, yet unique, but I cannot stop myself from saying that it is childlike and too simple for my taste. The artist kept true to her style through the chapters and there were minor things that seemed slightly standing out from the common image, but that’s because she was learning and actually progressed while doing this. I think she did a good job at drawing the pictures, but that doesn’t make me like them, I liked the pale colour shades, but that’s more or less about it.
The book is advertised as a young adult graphic novel. I was slightly confused by the genre because the style looks like it was made for a children’s book, but the events include murders, blood and chopping of legs, so not really that much of a children stuff. Then again, I don’t feel like it is for adults or teens because it repeats many popular superhero comics, so there’s no place for a surprise. Of course it is not exactly the same, but it is pretty close and while reading it, I knew that I have seen all this before and it just feels like a cliché. The origins for the heroes of the stories might be different, but the powers, relationships and emotions are all the same. So for a person who knows basic superheroes it should be boring.
And here comes in the ‘but’! But everyone loves it. Everyone in goodreads, everyone in their blog reviews, I spent a long time and did not find one negative review of it. Which means that I’m having some rotten tomatoes for dinner, right? Why does everyone love it? I do not understand. I mean, I didn’t hate it and didn’t really mind it, but I definitely have seen all that before and was not really enjoying it. So why? Please, tell me why! I honestly got bored while reading it. Almost everything was predictable. Sure, there were some things that couldn’t be predicted, but that was a really small part and wasn’t enough for me to like it or get excited about it. So tell me, please, why?
I didn’t like the characters either, none grew on me, perhaps Blackheart could be my favourite one, but honestly they were not developed and weren’t shown enough to the reader to understand them better, the way reader tries to understand character’s emotions was pretty primitive and sometimes with the pictures wasn’t enough. We also don’t get any explanation to Nimona’s ‘default’ look, which I thought is pretty important as she chooses it. Of course there are always the guesses and thoughts why it is like it is and sometimes it is good in the book that it leaves you hanging, but this time, I felt like I should know more about her.
The artist has included funny places and jokes and I smiled few times while reading it, but wasn’t really laughing out loud. There are some cute scenes as well, like the well-known shark scene, which I will not retell to avoid spoilers, but in my reading experience, the murders and blood killed all the jokes and cuteness, I couldn’t look at the cool scenes with the naive attitude I had before seeing what can happen in this book, I really did not like it at that point, because it build up to be this positive and heart warming book and then it crushed my expectations and me under the weight of too much violence.
I said before that I don’t really know in what genre should I put this graphic novel, I think teenagers might like it and probably adults who haven’t had any experience with superheroes in their lives. I might say that some children (those computer game kids) might love it, but I wouldn’t give it to a child who hasn’t had any experience with the brutality our world can offer. But honestly? Just go and get it and read it. Everyone loves it, you should too. And then come and tell me why you loved it. This book received two stars out of five from me on my goodreads page.
I am really disappointed in books right now, because I am in a bad reading spot right now and have tried to choose my last few books as ones that I would love, but it hasn’t worked out. So, if you think you know something that I will definitely like, let me know in the comments bellow.