Dark Swan

Storm Born is a keeper

Dark Swan (Storm Born Volume 1 by Richelle Mead)

*Review Copy Provided by Sea Lion Books*

There’s really only one thing to say about this series: quality is greater than quantity. Lately I’ve been reading a number of graphic novels that just haven’t drawn me in or been very satisfying. At first I wondered if it was because I’m more used to reading Japanese manga where they’re masters at flow, beautiful drawing styles, and storytelling mixed into one. Manga only produces an average of 18 pages a week, or about 32 pages a month depending on the series, so mangaka (the creators) have to master how to balance art and story within those limitations. Graphic Novels tend to give a bit more leeway when it comes to the pages and many times the artists and authors don’t take full advantage. There are issues with dialogue flow, action flow, character proportions, etc. which can lead to difficulties in keeping the story engaging. Storm Born has thankfully been one of the series that doesn’t suffer these short comings. I wasn’t blown away by the art, but I did quite like it along with Eugenie’s expressions at times. The coloring is well done and fairly vivid, too. Volume 1 is only about 25 pages, but I got more out of it than a few 130 page graphic novels I’ve recently read. It kicks off fairly quickly with the action, so don’t expect to be bored.

While not trying to give too much away, our protagonist is Eugenie, a sexy Shaman who is busy doing away with supernatural big bads as her “day job.” All in all, I can say that I like her. She’s pretty badass and we get a good feel for her character and personality.

I’m actually surprised at how the pages are short, but the story is rich and engaging. Eugenie starts out doing her ghost-busting thing, but it evolves into a deeper plotline. A teenaged girl has been kidnapped and taken to another realm by the Gentry (the PC form for “Fairy”). Eugenie is her only hope and will need to travel to that realm to save her. I am not familiar with Richelle Mead’s other works, but I’m assuming that these fairies aren’t the friendly Disney kind.

Because this is an on-going series, the major plot points are just beginning. So while there’s no resolution, I can say that I am definitely looking forward to the next issue. There’s always room for good urban fantasy and I look forward to what Storm Born can bring to the table.

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