Monday, May 25, 2015


Nimona tells the tale of heroes, villains, intrigue, adventure, dragons, magic, and science. It looks like a sword and sorcery yarn, but it is so much more than that. It follows the titular character, a young female shapeshifter who seeks out the land's most nefarious villain, Lord Ballister Blackheart, so she can become his sidekick and wreak some serious havoc.
As you can see from even the brief excerpt, this book has an excellent sense of humor, timing, foreboding, and storytelling. I know it is a debut book but it seems much more an assured and mature work, where the creator has a firm handle on comics conventions.

On top of all this excellent craft, the story itself is full of much suspense, and it is subversive in the best possible ways. Almost nothing, from the vile villain to the golden boy hero Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin to Nimona to the protective Institution of Law Enforcement is as it seems. This book is full of complicated, interesting characters, unexpected plot twists, and I do not want to spoil much about the story, but I can say it was one of the most gripping and entertaining books I have read this year.

Nimona was originally published as a webcomic by Noelle Stevenson. She has drawn a few other comics, but this is her debut graphic novel. She is also known for co-writing the series Lumberjanes from Boom! Studios. She talks about comics and her work on Nimona in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been full of praise. Tasha Robinson called it "a fleet-moving, breathless story." Ana Grilo gave it a "Perfect" rating and playfully wrote, "OH YOU BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BOOK LET ME HUG YOU FOREVER." J. Caleb Mozzocco smartly commented that "Stevenson uses the conventions of popular fantasy, science-fiction and superhero narratives to explore the way in which society imposes labels and roles on us all." Jenn remarked that "the world Stevenson crafts is quite brilliant. Set in Renaissance times, but with the technology of modern times.  Truly brilliant."

Nimona was published by HarperCollins, and they have a sample and much more here (or you can just skip right to sample below):

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