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Book Review| Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

nimonaPublished: May 25, 2015
Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Young Adult
272 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
My Rating: 4.5 stars, rounded up

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

This was gifted to me by my OTSP Secret Sister. Nimona has been on my to-read list for a while, but because I speed through graphic novels, I tend to have a hard time justifying buying them. Thankfully, my Secret Sister has been amazing at sending me great graphic novels (Lumberjanes Vol. 1-3, Giant Days Vol. 1). They’ve also been amazing to read while I’m in college and swimming in papers.

I was surprised that Nimona took me a few days to finish. I found myself really enjoying the artwork (which makes sense, since Stevenson has worked on Lumberjanes) and the story line.

what i liked

The Characters

When I first noticed this book, I had no idea that Nimona would be a sidekick to a supervillain. That’s completely my fault because it literally says so on the back of the dang book. For some reason, I just assumed she was going to be a hero, and I really thought Ambrosius Goldenloin was a woman until he was introduced. Again, spoiler from the back of the book.

I really gotta start reading those…

Nimona is hilarious and strong, but keeps herself guarded from other people. She hates looking weak in front of anyone, including her “friends” (Lord Ballister Blackheart, in this case).  She’s an extremely tortured soul, but refuses to talk about why. The reader doesn’t really get a backstory for her until later on in the story, but it gives us more insight into her character’s emotions and actions.

Blackheart & Goldenloin were both surprising characters. I fell in love with Blackheart. He’s such an atypical villain; he doesn’t really want to hurt people, he doesn’t really want to be King, and he doesn’t fall into the evil genius category either. He’s angry at the Institution for its unfair treatment of him when he lost his arm, he’s angry at Goldenloin for his part in the same accident, but he tries so hard to keep innocent people out of harm’s way.

The Story
Sometimes graphic novels can be tedious in their story telling. Sometimes they don’t really have an end in sight. Most times each issue is just a random moment in the life of the characters, not holding too much significance like any typical filler. Nimona doesn’t have that problem. It reads like a fluid novel, with highs and lows and a climax that made your heart drop. The characters are likable when they’re meant to be. There are allusions to social issues happening now, like police brutality.

final thoughts

I didn’t add a “Didn’t Like” section because I didn’t dislike anything, really. I wish there would have been more to the epilogue, but that’s a personal thing. I dislike ambiguous or open-ended stories, unless it leaves room for another book of course!

If you’re a fan of unconventional stories, graphic novels, women and men who break stereotypes, then Nimona is definitely for you.

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