Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Stand Alone or Series:1st book in the 5 Worlds series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 3/5 stars
“The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .
• The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.
• A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.
• Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?
When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!”
I got this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. I was very excited to see a new middle grade graphic novel series being released and hoped that this would be in the same vein as the “Amulet” series by Kazu Kibuishi or the “Cleopatra in Space” series by Mike Maihack. The story ended up being okay but I felt like the writing was awkward and dumbed down. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the curvy illustration style; additionally it’s a bit hard to follow what is going on at points.
I will note that the review copy I got was mostly in black and white (there were only a few pages of color) and I felt like the black and white portions were really lacking in depth. I think having the review copy in black and white made it a lot harder to follow.
I also think too many characters were introduced too rapidly (and then in some cases we never saw the characters again). You get a pretty good feel for Oona (out main heroine) and her background but everyone else’s introduction is pretty quick. The story just felt so shallow despite the increasing complexity as it continued.
Overall this was an okay middle grade fantasy novel but I didn’t love it. I just thought it was too hard to follow and that the story and characters weren’t engaging enough. Additionally I wasn’t a huge fan of the artwork. I wouldn’t recommend and won’t be continuing with the series.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– New Release Reading Challenge
– Graphic Novel Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge