So much fun!!
I remember Noelle Stevenson back from the old Tumblr days (which now feel like a bygone era) and she was an amazing artist and creator then. Now, unsurprisingly, she’s even better. I followed a lot of the original plans for Nimona when it was only a web-comic but never finished it, so I’m glad it was fully released as a book!
Nimona is a shapeshifter who wants to join the world of villains. She volunteers her services to Lord Ballister Blackheart, the most well-known villain in the area. Although Ballister doesn’t see the need for the a sidekick or apprentice, Nimona’s power is too amazing to be denied. While Ballister follows the rules of villainy, Nimona is more concentrated on causing as much chaos as possible which causes tension between the two. Their overall mission and the plot of the book is to reveal all the villainy behind the scenes at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, their figurehead being Ballister’s longtime frienemy, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. Goldenloin and Ballister go way back, all the way to their hero training course days, and of course, there was a massive incident that causes a falling out and kickstarts in motion Ballister’s shift toward villainy.
The book is presented with really gorgeous and fun art, and as Nimona starts to grow with her powers, we along with Ballister realize there is more to her than meets the eye. Her unpredictability is a reaction to the things she’s experienced, and when her need for control meets up with Ballister and Sir Goldenloin’s relationship, things begin to go off the rails.
This was so incredibly fun and I wished there was a second part to this series. The language and dialogue are engaging and draws you right in, as does the world-building. Stevenson is also the creator of the popular series Lumberjanes, which is freaking awesome as well, so I would highly recommend checking out any of her works. You won’t be disappointed!
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Three Descriptors: Quirky, Plot-Driven, World-Building
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Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
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