by Noelle Stevenson
Reviewed by SA
Yes, I know, I’m breaking this blog’s trend a bit by talking about ANOTHER graphic novel (and not a recent one, or one about to come out!). But it’s for good reason. This amazing book came out last year, though I’ve only now gotten a chance to read it and review it. Because I have to say, it is epic in so many ways. So strap in – we’re going to talk about Nimona.
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.
What first attracted me to this book was the promise of “Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!” which are all things I love. I have a love of villains and novels thereof, and being a scientist in training, seeing them all come together with dragons is like christmas. I even bought a hardcover: I’m so glad I did, I will love this book forever.
When you start off the novel, it seems as though Nimona will only be the sidekick, a character for us to follow the story through. But as the story progresses, you can see she is much, much more than that. Her story is deeper than you would expect, and she’s more dangerous than the cheerful beginning would suggest. There is something dark to her… something that urges you to keep reading and know more. But this blog is spoiler free, so you have to pick it up to read it!
The world itself is amazing: while it appears to take place in medieval times, there is a firm knowledge of science, which is fundamental to the plot. The villain combines traits of both a knight and a scientist, which I now realize I want to be when I grow up. Lord Blackheart is awesome, smart, has an evil backstroy, but he also follows a set of morals, which is great to see in his kind of character. Magic is also seen as not so unusual in their world, so magic and science come together on a day to day basis.
While the novel follows the usual super villain tropes, it does so to perfection, both to poke fun and to add to the genre. It makes this book an incredibly fun read. I found myself laughing at some point, and then gripping the novel in anticipation as it threw me a curveball. I did not see that ending coming, and was swept off my feet.
So if you’re a fan of science, magic, knights, dragons, and super villains, you will love love love this graphic novel. Enjoy!