Sunday, July 14, 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!

Jacob is a 14-year-old Ugandan who is sent away to a boys' school. Once there, he assures his friend Tony that they need not be afraid -- they will be safe. But not long after, in the shadow of the night, the boys are abducted. Marched into the jungle, they are brought to an encampment of the feared rebel soldiers. They are told they must kill or be killed, and their world turns into a terrifying struggle to endure and survive.
In time, the boys escape. Hunted by the rebels, stalked by a lion, and even pursued by river crocs, they miraculously succeed in reaching safety. However, it is no longer enough. Jacob wrestles with the question of whether we are all really beasts inside. He decides the way through the pain is to record his story.
Daniel Lafrance's powerful, striking, and poignant artwork and the crisp, evocative text vividly capture the haunting experiences of a young boy caught in a brutal war.
This graphic novel is based on an award-winning YA novel by Sharon McKay. Sharon has spent time with child soldiers and based this story on real-life accounts.

My Review:

War Brothers is not the type of graphic novel that I usually read.  While it is not a true story, everything that happens in the novel has happened in real life.
This novel IS graphic.  I wouldn’t recommend it to younger audiences.  However the novel itself IS extremely moving.  If you’re an adult I would definitely recommend picking it up. 
From the beginning I really cared about the characters.  Given the fact that this life is a reality for many children in that area I hoped that all of them would be able to make it out ok. 
The story itself is extremely moving.  There were quite a few parts that simply broke my heart.  But even with those scenes it is a story that needs to be told.  Someone needed to give a voice to the children that have been kidnapped by the LRA, otherwise known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The artwork isn’t as violently graphic as the story.  The actual violence is done mostly in shadowed scenes, is cut off the frame, or from an unclear distance.  This isn’t to say the artwork isn’t well done, just that it isn’t gory. 
Minus youngsters, who it may be too traumatic for, I think that everyone should pick up this book.  People need to know what is going on and how the LRA is kidnapping children and how it effects their lives. I think putting the story into a graphic novel form was a great idea because it really brings to life their plight. 

I was lucky enough to receive and e-copy of War Brothers from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment