Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Published: May 19, 2015 by HarperTeen
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic." 

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones. 

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.

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

About six months ago I got really into comics. It was never something that was in my reading repertoire and I'm really glad I did. Since then I have read some really fantastic comics. So now I can add graphic novels to the mix. I had heard good things about Nimona and thanks to my OTSP Secret Sister who got me a copy I decided to read it as part my fantasy month. I'm so glad I did because this was a fantastic story.

There is seriously so much going on in this book. I absolutely loved the plot here. Not only is there tons of humor and lighthearted moments but there is also lots of serious moments too. There was so much mystery and action throughout the book that I couldn't stop reading. I just cruised through the book not wanting to put it down. The themes and concepts addressed here are some that I absolutely love reading about no matter what format they are in. Things like an analysis of good and evil, friendship, trust, and being true to yourself. Part of what I love about books with superheroes is that there is always such great analysis of good and evil and Nimona is not exception. Stevenson plays with or perceptions of good and evil in so many different ways throughout the book.

And because she played with tropes of good and evil the characters were so interesting and complex. Practically all of them lived in a very grey area walking the line between good and evil. Many of them even change and evolve throughout the book that I'm not even sure how to classify them. They're all so odious which you probably know that I love. Ballister Blackheart who you could argue is the main character is a fantastic anti-hero. He has a strong moral code but isn't afraid to do the wrong thing it's for the right reason. His sense of morality is often at odd with many of the other characters from both sides.. There is his arch-nemesis Sir Goldenlion who doesn't always do the right thing despite meaning to. Even the titular character of Nimona is more chaotic neutral than anything else. The characters are so interesting and complex which really makes for a great read.

But because this is a graphic novel I want to take a second to talk about the art. It is engaging and interesting drawings that attract the eye but it isn't too distracting. It sounds like a weird thing to say but sometimes the art can be a little too much for me. But it can sometimes be too little. At the beginning it seemed a little basic and simple but as the book develops it becomes much more complex and beautiful. I thought it walked the line really well. If you aren't a big fan of comics and graphic novels this might be a good one to start with because the art is a little bit more simple.

But it's also a good graphic novel to start with because the story is so fantastic and engaging with characters who are likable and interesting and lots of themes that you see in traditional novels. On the whole and interesting and complex read that I loved.

I give Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of graphic novels or not this is worth a read. If you arelooking for a complex story about heroes and villains or something a little different as a palate cleanser then check out Nimona. I'm so glad I read it.

Have you read Nimona? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. Great review. I’ve been seeing this book everywhere lately. Everyone seems to love it. I don’t read many graphic novels, but I might have to pick this one up.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I've seen seeing this one pop up a lot too and now I'm all intrigued! Great review, Cassi. I'll definitely add this one to my TBR! :-)

  3. I haven't read many graphic novels or comics, but I have read a few and always loved and enjoyed them! I might have to add Nimona to my TBR pile! Great review Cassi!