Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel & Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen (Reviews)

Paranormal, Vampires, Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publication.Date:August 23, 2011
Pages:144 (paperback)
Published By:  Razorbill
Website:Richelle Mead

Emma Vieceli (Illustrator)

Leigh Dragoon (Adapter)

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel on Goodreads
My review copy:Borrowed from the library

Where to get:

After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.

Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

     I have heard plenty of good things about the Vampire Academy novels. I've had the first one on my TBR list for quite sometime, but I never actually got around to reading. Part of me thinks this may have to do with the fact that the model on the cover looks like Angelina Jolie. But that's just my hangup.

     Also, I'm not to keen on the idea of starting a series that's six books long and finished. I feel like if I were to commit to that, I'd need to start back when the book first came out in 2007. But again, that's just me. So when I saw that the first book in the series had been turned into a graphic novel I thought "Great! I can do that! It won't be as fulfilling as reading the novels, but at least I'll get to read the series." Well that backfired.

     I don't know if something got lost in translation between the novel and the graphic novel, but the plot wasn't the least bit interesting. I'm not really sure what was going on, even. I mean, I was able to grasp the plot, but it was very basic. Almost as if it was the outline Rachel and used before she starting putting the meat into her novel.

     The drawings weren't bad, it's obvious that Emma is a talent illustrator, but the drawings themselves were bare bones. There wasn't much detail put into the background and the some of the characters looked similar, just with different hair color. I'm not a big graphic novel reader, but Joe (who is), says the layouts were too similar as well. That there wasn't enough variety to be eye catching. He used some technical jargon, but I can't remember it for the life of me. Something about paneling and what not.

     This graphic novel is not something I'd recommend in place of the novel. It might be a fun addition to read if you have read Vampire Academy, but for a newbie like me, all it did was turn me off of the series. Have you read the series in it's whole (or are currently in the mists of it)? Should I not allow my poor experience with the graphic novel deter me from reading the actual novel?


Fantasy, Magic, Werewolves, Graphic Novel, Adult
Publication.Date:September 23, 2013
Pages:112 (hardcover)
Published By:  Marvel
Website:Dan Thompson,  Corinna Sara Bechko (Text)

Mike Henderson, Stephanie Hans, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo (Illustrator)

Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen on Goodreads
My review copy:Borrowed from the library

Where to get:

The Evil Queen has, quite literally, captured the Huntsman's heart -- and now he's her slave. Based on the world of ABC's hit primetime series ONCE UPON A TIME, this is the never-before-told tale behind their twisted relationship -- and what happens when a good man is forced to do bad. When Regina cooks up yet another devious plan to capture Snow White -- this time by allying with a pack of power-hungry werewolves -- the Huntsman comes face-to-face with his past...and an independent spirit in Red Riding Hood that just may match his own. Can these two break free of the forces that bind them and save Snow White? When put to the test, where will the Huntsman's loyalties lie? Has the Evil Queen stolen his heart in more ways than one?

     I am a huge fan of Once Upon a Time. I can't not watch this show and if I had to only pick one current show to watch, it would be this. I'd sneak in episodes of How I Met Your Mother too, but it's in it's last season so that's okay. The nice thing about Shadow of the Queen is that it's not a graphic novel from of an episode, but an entirely new story that we didn't see on the show. It's a short story and doesn't really affect the series, but you get insight into the Huntsman and what happened to the werewolves after Ruby "betrayed" them. In all fairness, they did start it.

     The story itself was done very well. It was involved and helped the viewers of the show to connect more with the Huntsman - who don't see nearly enough as it is. I wouldn't stay the story is necessary to the plot from the television show, but it is a fun additive.

     The drawings were done very well with attention paid to all details. The illustrators did an amazing job of capturing the likeness of the actors, even down to facial expressions. Joe's comment on this graphic novel was that the layout was done nicely with a nice variety and the drawings one of the better that he has come across. Side note: This comment was in reference to those illustrators he hasn't heard of/come across before. He can be such a graphic novel snob! But I love him so I just roll my eyes and go with it.

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