Graphic Novel Review | The Graveyard Book Vol. 1 by P. Craig Russell & Neil Gaiman

the graveyard book
Title
: The Graveyard Book Vol. 1

Author: P. Craig Russell (Adapter), Neil Gaiman (Author)

Genre: Graphic Novel | Middle-Grade | Fantasy > Paranormal

Synopsis: Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.

Would I recommend? It’s a fun, interesting read. If you’re into paranormal middle-grade, definitely give it a go.

Final Rating:graveyard rating

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Aimal’s Review:

I’ve had my eye on Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book for a pretty long time now. Even though I’ve only read one Neil Gaiman book before, I’m in love with his writing. I’ve met him once, and he’s the kindest, awesomest person alive. He has such a brilliant mind; creative, imaginative, wonderful. I don’t know why I decided to pick up the graphic novel before the actual novel, but that’s what I did, and I can’t say it was the best decision. Maybe it’s because I’m in sort of a graphic novel fix right now, and I’m trying to get as much reading done as I possibly can- trying to cut down on my TBR, and graphic novels seem to be a good choice at the moment. Either way, I wish I would have picked up the novel first. Which is not to say that this graphic novel was bad- by no means was it bad. It was actually very enjoyable, but I believe I would have liked the depth of a novel more.

Plot:

Bod (short for Nobody) stumbled upon a graveyard, as a mere infant, the night his family was murdered by a man named Jack. The occupants of the graveyard (ghosts and such) take Bod in, taking responsibility for him. And so Bod grows up in a graveyard with ghosts as his family, ghouls and witches and hounds as his neighbors. But it’s not safe for Bod to leave the graveyard because Jack is still after him, still thirsting for blood, still wanting to finish the business he started that fateful night.

I don’t know how Neil Gaiman does it. The premise is so creative, so fascinating. The moment I heard what the novel was about, I was sold and I knew I wanted to read it. The plot was great. It was fast-paced and fun throughout. The pacing was fantastic; there were barely any slow parts in here. I enjoyed the sense of adventure throughout; a place as limited as a graveyard seemed so limitless. There’s a lot going on in this as Bod embarks on different adventures, a slave to his curiosity. Because there’s so much going on, sometimes it felt a little disjointed- almost as if the separate chapters were short stories within their own right. I’m sure that in the novel, these stories are brought together a little more cohesively.

I wish that there was a little more emphasis on the relationships between Bod and his ‘parents.’ We see two ghosts take Bod in, and I would have really loved to see his relationship with his ghost parents; the difficulties that may have taken place due to the fact that he’s alive and they are dead. His relationship with Silas was fascinating, but I wanted to see it expanded a lot more than it was. Again, I think the novel may provide more insight.

Characters:

This graphic novel is more plot-based than it is character-based. There are a lot of characters in this, but our main focus remains on Bod. Even though Bod is a very lovable young boy, and even though I was invested in his story, I didn’t think he was a good character, per se. I liked how dominant his curiosity was throughout, and I liked how consistent this trait remained from start to finish, but I didn’t see anything particularly outstanding about him as a character.

Silas was, by far, the most interesting character in this book. I almost wanted the entire book to be from his point of view, because there’s an aura of mystery surrounding him that really drew me in. When I pick up the novel (I will pick up the novel!), one of the main reasons will be Silas’s character.

Artwork:

I think one of the most interesting things about this graphic novel is that each ‘chapter’ is illustrated by a different person. I’m not sure why this decision was made, but I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. For the most part, the tone remained the same, and all the illustrators were obviously extremely talented. The amount of detail that has been put in this graphic novel is astounding. But some illustrators would put in more detail than others, so sometimes it was obvious there were multiple people illustrating. For some reason, this broke the flow for me. The first ‘chapter’ would be my favorite when it comes to illustration; there was a sense of simplicity to it, which I enjoyed.

I’m not sure I’ll pick up the second volume. I definitely won’t pick it before having read the actual novel first, but this graphic novel definitely pushed me to read the novel. The story is great, and I believe the main problems I had with this will be resolved in the novel. Overall, it’s definitely worth a try, but I would suggest picking up the novel first.

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