Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel Challenge 2013 Review

So this year since I said that I would try to get to Level 3 of the Challenge That means I need to have at least 25 books read before the end of the year. That's at least 2 books a month. (and one extra one in at least one of those 12 months)   As a change from last year I'm gonna be putting the reviews up here as I get them done and then linking them in the monthly round-up at Mother/Gamer/Writer.  I also plan to try to remember my update my Challenge page at the end of the month. Want to see what the other people in the challenge are reading this month? Click here!

Hawken: Genesis

Amazon Summery:

Based on the Free-to-Play Massively-Multiplayer online shooter Hawken, this original graphic novel serves as both a prequel and sourcebook for the game world, offering players a glimpse of what came before the game, and what might come in the months ahead. Hawken: Genesis focuses on the relationship between Rion Lazlo, the man who would be king, and James Hawken, the brilliant inventor who paves the way for Lazlo's success. What begins as a mutually beneficial partnership developing magnificent technology for the planet's largest corporation state devolves into betrayal and conflict that soon leads to a man-made cataclysm that changes the face of the planet forever! This lush hardcover graphic novel is written by Jeremy Barlow (Mass Effect, Star Wars) and features artwork by some of the greatest concept artists, comic illustrators, and painters in the industry, including Francisco Velasco (Hellboy 2), Alex Sanchez (Star Wars: The Old Republic), Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), Bagus Hutomo (Shrapnel), Michael Gaydos (ALIAS, True Blood), Federico Dallocchio (Modern Warfare 2: Ghost), Nathan Fox (DMZ, The Haunt), and Christopher Moeller (Iron Empires, JLA: League of One).

My Review:
So I have never heard of the game Hawken, much less played it.   However after reading the graphic novel, Hawken: Genesis, I have to say it does look like it would be interesting.  The story of Illal and its fall from grace was intriguing.  Getting to see those behind the scenes and how they manipulated and brought about Illal’s destruction held my attention. I wanted to see who would come out on top and what they were willing to do to get there.
However there were a few things about this graphic novel that I wasn’t so keen on. 
First the art work.   Honestly it just wasn’t a style I could get into.  It wasn’t so much the darkness, as it was the grittiness of the majority of the panels.  I tend to like panels with more attention to detail and more attention to the background.  I’m not saying that all of the artwork lacked this.  For example, the artwork surrounding the edges of the ‘articles’ was detailed. But the majority of the work wasn’t and I just didn’t enjoy it.  The backward part is I do feel the artwork fit well with the story.  At least in its dark overtones and grittiness.
Also there were ‘articles’ inserted to add helpful background or more insider information on key points of the story.  I guess it was an interesting way to do it.  It’s just I’m expecting a graphic novel, not extra pages of text without the graphics.  The ‘articles’ were interesting and they did add the extra information, just seeing whole pages of text to read wasn’t something I was expecting, and it kinda threw off a bit.
The final thing that kinda annoyed me was how certain things were left out.  I understand the story jumped ahead by months, years, etc.  But some information just seemed to get skipped along the way.  An example, when Hawken’s lab blew up.  You know they are going to do something drastic, but I really was waiting to see how it happened or read how it was rumored to have happened.  Just little things like that.
Overall the novel got its point across.  The history behind Illal and how it became infected with the Hawken Virus was made clear.  It wasn’t a bad book; it just wasn’t entirely my style.  I definitely think that those interested in Hawken the game would find the back story enlightening.  Although to be interested in the graphic novel I don’t think that it would only be those who know of the game and if it looks like you type of thing definitely pick it up.

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