Graphic Novel Mini-reviews: Anya’s Ghost, Cinderella, and Hera

Anya’s Ghost

Vera Brosgol

224 pages

Publication Year: 2011

Publisher: FirstSecond Books

Source: Won it.

Anya Borzakovskaya is your typical teenager: she would rather be anywhere else instead of school or church, her mother embarrasses her, and she thinks no one understands her. One day while ditching school, Anya falls down an old well and meets Emily Reilly, the ghost whose bones lie at the bottom of the well for the past ninety years. Anya may have thought her life was dull before, but after meeting Emily, things will never be the same again.

Any adult who reads this book remembers what it’s like to be a teenager who doesn’t fit in. As the daughter of a Russian immigrant, Anya does all that she can to fit in better with her peers: learns English, loses her accent, smokes, and ditches school. What Anya forgets is that being yourself is better than fitting in any day.

Anya’s Ghost is a book that was perfect for the R.I.P. Challenge and this autumn weather. The black/white/purple illustrations blend well with the content of this story. I love how Brosgol starts this story off so simple and normal before the creepiness of Emily the ghost inches slowly through the storyline, scaring both Anya and the reader. Anya’s Ghost is a book that’s great for middle school readers and their parents alike. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love

Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus

114 pages

Publication Year: 2010

Publisher: Vertigo

Source: Public Library

I’ve been a reader of Bill Willingham’s Fables series for years, so when I saw that there was a spin-off of the series featuring Cinderella, it was a no-brainer for me to read this.

 Though many in Fabletown think Cinderella is just some dumb blonde who spends as much money as she can, she’s really a super spy who sabotages Fabletown’s enemies at every turn. When someone starts smuggling magical items from the Homelands into the real world, it’s up to Cinderella and Aladdin to put a stop to it.

Cinderella is a character that you don’t see much of in the Fables series, so giving her a spin-off was a great idea. She’s smart, not scared to get in a fight, and has some baggage of her own to deal with. The writers did a great job with keeping the same style as the Fables series while giving readers something different.  My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory

George O’Connor

80 pages

Publication Year: 2011

Publisher: FirstSecond Books

Source: Public Library

Author George O’Connor is on fire with his Olympians series. The first two books in the series were Zeus and Athena. Hera is the third volume. The problem with dedicating a whole book to Hera, the Greek goddess whose story is intertwined with the infidelities of Zeus and the hero Hercules, is that not much of her story is hers. There’s not a lot known about the goddess outside of her role of wife which is the reason why most of Hera is about Hercules and Zeus. Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory was a great read but not finding out more about the goddess left me disappointed. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.