Friday, 1 January 2016

Review | Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

by Noelle Stevenson

My Rating: 

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.

It's no secret that 2015 was the year I really got into graphic novels, and while I love series like American Vampire, Rat Queens and Ms. Marvel, if I had a choice I'd much rather read a standalone graphic novel such as Through the Woods, Skim or Jane, the Fox & Me which are all graphic novels I enjoyed in 2015.

Having started out as a webcomic, Nimona already had a pretty substantial fanbase before it was published, but it was on my radar for a while before I finally picked it up. I'd heard nothing but good things about it, but I think that's what had me scared to read it - I can't help being a little wary of hype. Then I finally decided to just go for it and got my hands on a copy.

And? I loved it! In fact Nimona is probably one of the best graphic novels I read last year.

Firstly, I love Stevenson's art style; it's super cute and bright, and though it's fairly simple art compared to some other graphic novels out there she still managed to convey a lot through it. Add to that some dialogue that's both funny and, at times, heartbreaking and you've got yourself a darn good graphic novel.

I have to be honest, at first glance I thought Nimona was going to be light-hearted and bordering on the silly, but I am happy to admit I was wrong. This story is a lot more thought-provoking and tender than I expected it to be, and I so appreciated that; Stevenson takes fantasy and fairy tale tropes, mocks them, and then turns them completely on their head. I love that Nimona doesn't take itself seriously, and because it doesn't when Stevenson does tackle the darker parts of her story it feels more genuine.

Basically, I'm glad I finally decided to pick this up and I'll definitely be gobbling up more of Stevenson's solo work in future. If this is on your radar but you haven't gotten to it yet, I recommend it!


  1. Terrific review! You've really hit the nail on the head with all the reasons that this book is so special. I loved it too! Can't wait to read more by this author.

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

  2. Ah I loved this one, too! It's the first graphic novel in English I ever read (I read several translated ones years ago) and it's a perfect beginner's choice - but as you said, it can be deep and meaningful, too.
    I loved the artwork, it's amazing. That shark drawing at the end just killed me. :D
    If you're not following Stevenson on Twitter yet, I'd highly recommend it - if you like Star Wars silliness and pics of dogs and discussions on gender and so on. :)