Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Genre: Fantasy, graphic novel
Publisher: HarperTeen , 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Re-readability: I would definitely revisit this one, especially if the webcomic ever continues!
Reviewed by Pete
Nimona follows a teenage girl (for whom the book is named) and her mentor, a downtrodden villain named Ballister Blackheart. Nimona is unusual—she can shapeshift into any creature that exists, which makes her a force to be reckoned with in a fight.
Together, they attempt to disrupt the rule of King Goldenloin, Blackheart’s former friend who was responsible for Blackheart’s fall from grace.
But this story isn’t as simple as a classic “overthrow the king” plot. The book is more about Nimona and Blackheart’s friendship than anything else, and the characters are constantly questioning the morality of their actions.
The book is set in a sort of wonky-fantasy world that reminds me of Adventure Time’s mix of fantasy and sci-fi. Starkly modern elements, like laboratories and movies, often appear, reminding the reader that this isn’t traditional fantasy.
At the beginning of the story, Nimona’s shapeshifting abilities are brushed off as something the reader shouldn’t think about too much. But later on, the exact science of her powers is examined in a surprising reversal.
Stevenson’s art style is charming and unusual, and if you pay attention to the characters in the background, you’ll notice a very diverse group of people, which was a nice touch that made the world feel more real.
Nimona is a great little read that will surprise you with its themes and surround you with a great cast and an unusual world.