I’ve tried to be a little pickier about the graphic novels I request and review, but since I’m not really familiar with a lot of the authors and artists working in the graphic novel industry today, occasionally one slips by me that doesn’t appeal on any level. Such as this one.
Scarlett Hart is a teen (or pre-teen?) and comes from a family of monster hunters. She is determined to prove that she is ready to fight monsters as well. With the aid of the family butler and a number of steampunk-like weapons – often larger than she – Scarlett fends off a number of monsters. But perhaps the most perilous of monsters is Count Stankovic – the family arch nemesis who is out to discredit the Hart family.
I recognize that this is targeted to a younger reading audience, but even school aged children deserve fiction that has plot, motivation, and character development. This is primarily lots of preparation sequence, followed by a quick fight, then a threat, then more preparation…repeat. It is dull and repetitive and the threat of Stankovic (nice name!) is only slightly redeeming.
The last portion of the book – if a reader can make it that far – is a little bit interesting, when Scarlett finds the family airplane (an unusual gadget that she flies quite easily), but even this doesn’t reach much potential.
The artwork is incredibly sub-par. I was so hoping that this was just a rough draft, but nothing describes it this way. The sketches included at the end of the book are better drawn and more detailed than the ‘finished’ art throughout.
I found nothing about this book that would make me want to buy it or recommend it to any aged reader.
Looking for a good book? We’ll have to keep looking because this isn’t it.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter
author: Marcus Sedgwick
artist: Thomas Taylor
publisher: First Second
hardcover, 211 pages