Sunday, July 7, 2019

Review - EndGames

EndGames (NewsPrints #2)
by Ru Xu
Date: 2019
Publisher: GRAPHIX
Reading level: MG
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 208
Format: e-book
Source: library

Blue arrives in the capital city of Altalus, where she is determined to find her friend Crow, the boy who was created to be a flying war machine, and Jack, the engineer who built him. But soon she is inadvertently kidnapped by Snow and Red, twins from the enemy side of their ten-year war. They set off on a dangerous adventure that brings them to the front lines of the war, and eventually realize that they must work together to help end it. But with larger, more powerful forces at work, the fight for peace — and survival — will be more difficult than they ever imagined.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Based on that ending, I guess this is just a two-book series. Which is fine. However, I'm kind of disappointed with the quick wrap-up feel that this book has, especially toward the last quarter or so.

Blue is on a quest to find her friend Crow, but the long war is still raging. She teams up with a set of twins and, together with various other allies, they work to put an end to the war.

What I really liked about the first book was the relationship between Blue and Crow. Unfortunately, we don't really see that in this book. They have a little bit of contact, but mostly they're just trying to find each other. Most of the plot in this book is taken up by the war, and for some reason, I found the whole plotline very confusing. I simply couldn't remember which side was which! (I suspect that may be because of Blue; she's from Goswing, but her yellow hair makes her look more like a Grimmaean.) I'm not big on war stories and political maneuvering, so the plot of this installment fell a little bit flat for me.

The world-building is pretty cool in these stories. The Art Deco, 1920s vibe is still there, but it's sort of steampunk-ish as well. There are also plenty of nods to Mother Goose and the Brothers Grimm, so there's a definite fairytale flavour. Diversity and acceptance play a larger role in this story, too, with both a blind character and a trans character.

Some readers may find aspects of certain character arcs a bit disappointing (I know I did), and there are still some unanswered questions. Unfortunately, so many ends are wrapped up here that I don't think there's enough material left for another installment of the story.

I rarely enjoy sequels as much as the first books in series, and NewsPrints and EndGame are no exception. However, taken as a whole, they are still an enjoyable duo of graphic novels with fun world-building and memorable characters.

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

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 ladybugs

No comments:

Post a Comment