Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Review - Red's Planet

Red's Planet (Red's Planet #1)
by Eddie Pittman
Date: 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Reading level: MG
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 192
Format: e-book
Source: library

Red’s Planet, an intergalactic graphic novel fantasy series from award-winning cartoonist Eddie Pittman (writer/story artist for Disney’s hit TV series Phineas and Ferb), is a nonstop adventure with a unique cast of characters unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined—across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian. Surely this can’t be the paradise she’s been hoping for.

Fans of Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra in Space and Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl will embrace Red’s Planet, a boldly illustrated and imaginative new series for readers of all ages.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a graphic novel that relies heavily on pictures. So heavily, in fact, that many of the characters don't even have names! Even Red herself is only ever identified by her nickname.

The plot is extremely thin, and rather boring. It starts off well enough, after Red runs away from her foster home and gets tossed in the back of a police cruiser. Before she can be returned home, the police car is stolen by aliens, and in an attempt to run from space pirates, the ship ends up on the other side of the galaxy, crashed onto an alien world (which, luckily enough, supports all sorts of oxygen-breathing life forms). Unfortunately, that's about all the plot there is. The various castaway aliens (including Red) wander around on the planet, meet its cranky caretaker, and try to figure out what to do while they wait for rescue. And... that's all you'll get until Book 2.

I wasn't a fan of the writing. Aside from not being able to consistently spell the characters' names, the text had lots of bolded words, seemingly for emphasis... but they often seemed like the wrong words to emphasize, which made the text seem clunky.

There were a few pop culture references that I don't know if middle graders would even get, so at times the book seemed like it was winking at adults... but the cast of characters that looked like it was out of a cartoon for preschoolers just seemed so juvenile; I was never really sure what this book wanted to be.

I wasn't impressed. I don't think I'll be reading any more of this series. The pictures are nice enough, but I need more of a story in the graphic novels I read.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Illustration: 4/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.25 out of 5 ladybugs

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