Friday, 17 July 2015

Review! Nimona- Noelle Stevenson- Harper Teen

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is just really great. You should read it. I could just leave it at that but I want to go on about it a little more. The story started as a hugely popular web series, which I was aware of but didn't keep up with (what a dummy), and was quite rightly snapped up by Harper Teen. The story follows Nimona and is set in a medieval/futuristic land, where Lord Ballister Blackheart is the villain to hero Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. The pair are arch nemeses, though they used to be close friends, with Goldenloin working for the Institution of Law Enforcement. Nimona offers her services to Blackheart as his side-kick, with her power to instantly change form (shark, cat, dragon, human, anything) and thirst for destruction wreaking havoc throughout the kingdom all the while exposing the Institution and Goldenloin's less than heroic intentions. 

Laura Sneddon wrote a great review of the graphic novel for the Independent, which sums up lots of my feelings very succinctly. 

Here are my five favourite things about Nimona:

1- The humour in the details. There is so much wittiness to be found in background details and sound effects. Some personal favourites: Grumble. Bonk. ARROOOO. Fooooosh. KCHOOOM. Scoot. Shuf.

2- The science fiction/ medieval combo. Goldenloin and Blackheart are knights with armour and capes. There's jousting and a King and dragons. The guards carry spears. There's a market, everyone is wearing tunics. But also there are science labs to steal secret plans from and phone calls on screens and computer files to decode and TV news and a hospital with drips and labcoats and giant KKCHOOOM blasting lazer guns. 

3- Nimona as an anti-hero. Nimona is a loveable ball of energy, who is trying to bring down the not-so-heroic Institution, but she is also incredibly destructive, murderous and violent. She is brilliant twist on the 'strong female character' as Laura Sneddon discusses, as she is literally the strongest person in that world: "That strength and her unique ability to blend in with her surroundings, disguise her own leanings into the dark side." It's hard to place where Nimona lies on the Hero to Villain scale, something that makes her so unique and interesting.

4- Nimona's body and style. That sounds creepy... but her body shape is awesome. She has a kick ass hair do; pink/purple and half shaved. She wears a short tunic/chain mail dress. And she is curvy and strong. Blackheart and Goldenloin are tall and skinny (and strong), and Nimona really contrasts with them as this curvy, short, feisty, ball of energy. 

5- Goldenloin Blackheart relationship. Are they just old friends? Was there any more to it? Either way their reconciliation in the end is a beautiful way to finish the book.

A photo posted by RuthLily (@ruthlily) on

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