As a rule, I do not review non-medical books on this blog, unless it forms part of a Top Ten Tuesday. However, since my recent discovery of the myriad of book blogs, Goodreads and the ability to read while maintaining my schedule has led to me rather bravely attempting a bookish challenge, I have decided to blog about those books.
For the Graphic Novel and Manga category I read Orchid Volume 1 by Tom Morello.
I don’t think I’ve read “graphic novels” since Asterix and Obelix or TinTin – if they even count for this category.
“When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed… The human settlements that remain are ringed by THE WILD, a dense, uncharted wilderness from which ferocious new animal species emerge to pray on the helpless… The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful… Iron-fisted rule ensures order with pitiless cruelty and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves.”
In the midst of this there is a floundering rebellion headed by a flawed and bookish hero, and Orchid, a young girl forced to trade as a street-prostitute unwittingly becomes involved in what appears to be a losing fight.
Like I said, I haven’t read graphic novels in a while. It was a challenge, not only because I had to read it on my computer.
It’s also weird not having to imagine things – instead the graphics are right there in front of you.
The artwork for this novel is – in my very limited opinion – exceptional. I love the characterisation, the expressions, and the creativity used with scene-setting. The novel is action-packed, but also gives a new meaning to “graphic” – it is graphic and I wouldn’t suggest it for sensitive viewers, especially in terms of violent scenes. There is also some crude language usage, but definitely fitting in context of the story.
I would have liked some more analysis of the “mask”, the rebellion, the rich and powerful, and the smashed genetic codes. But I think that philosophy is not really the mandate of a graphic novel, so perhaps it would be unfair to allow that to detract from the enjoyment of this read.
I love that it opens the floor for debate regarding classism and slavery and the degradation of society – kind of like a modern, global Lord of the Flies. I’d actually love being able to discuss this in a book club or a class. It’s not something to be kept selfishly to yourself.
I give it a rating of 4/5, and would love to read Volume 2 when it becomes available.
Disclosure: I received this from the publisher via NetGalley.