Hallstein Thordsson returns to his home in Iceland having spent seven years in exile . On his return he finds that all is not well and that his past still hovers over his family. He discovers that his stepmother has a suitor and she’s not interested but the man will not leave her alone. Hallstein’s return threatens the suitor’s power and all of Iceland may suffer with the weight of the Exile’s return.
I … I really don’t know what to make of this short graphic novel. I have such mixed feelings about this.
The story is quite compelling – it’s not an action/adventure story as one might think, given the title and the cover, but rather a human interest story. And I liked it. But … It grew dull. The pacing of the story is slow and methodical all the way through. And the art does not help this.
Imagine going to a movie and every single scene began the same way – with a long shot, slowly pulling in to a cottage on a shore, birds flying over the water. Every scene! That’s what this book is like. So – many- scenes- begin exactly this way. It’s so repetitive, and while, yes, it establishes both place and mood, we don’t need to establish it when it never changes.
The art otherwise was fine. I didn’t find it overly exciting, and the people as drawn were sometimes much more ‘cartoony’ than I generally like in a graphic novel, and I found the style to be a cross between realistic and a woodcut-looking stylized.
I’ve seen looked at some of the reviews of this book and other works by author/artist Erick Kriek (who seems to have a good following), and I must have missed something that others are finding, but I really found this to be tepid and it doesn’t make me want to rush out and read more works by Kriek.
Looking for a good book? The Exile is a graphic novel by Erick Kriek that could be a really interesting human interest story, but gets bogged down in its setting and mood.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Erick Kriek
artist: Erick Kriek
publisher: Living The Line
hardcover, 192 pages