Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Out of this World Wednesday: The Raven's Child by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780425279076
Ages: 12+

Thomas E. Sniegoski has entranced audiences with his exploration of the Batman universe, thrilled fans with his Buffy the Vampire Slayercomics, and uncovered the paranormal with his Hellboy spin-off series, B.R.P.D. Now, he introduces readers to a mesmerizing dark world filled with monsters, where humanity’s only hope lies in the bravery of one woman…

When the Throng came, the human race never stood a chance. The monsters were simply too strong, too numerous. It only took a few months for them to take over and leave the few poor souls who survived cowering in terror for years to come.

But even the monsters fear something: the dark goddess known as the Raven’s Child. Legend says that she alone is destined to destroy the Throng and free those under their cruel power.

And whoever wields her name and image could become the bane of the Throng and an inspiration to humankind—even if she were only a young woman, like Carissa Devin, who has vowed to reclaim the world for the human race, no matter what the cost.

What’s Out of this World?

  • Illustrations: Of course, the first aspect of a graphic novel that you are bound to notice is the illustrations. The novel presents a gorgeous apocalyptic world where humans have been overtaken by the Throng, a species that arrived to this world and brought chaos and death with it. The illustrations are clear and precise, depicting both fear and bravery with subtle shades of darkness and the quiet intensity of light. Some pages are full length illustrations that allow the reader to see the smallest details.
  • Heroine: ​Essentially there are two, but the main character is Carissa. Saved by one of the creatures, Claudus, Carissa has become a representation of The Raven's Child, a dark goddess that is foretold to come and pass judgement. Fighting for humanity, Carissa believes she can make humans believe in themselves again. She begins with Kiley who is walking with her baby brother. Attacked by scavengers, Carissa proves that the creatures can be killed, and Kiley incites anger and revenge in those she comes to know. Kiley is headstrong and confident that humans can retake their home. So nice to see to see two females in the lead while the guys remain hesitant.
  • Villain: ​​There are two villains here: the High Lord Caitiff and the Lord's Magistrate Bleak. Caitiff has grown tired of passing days with no challenges and is actually excited at the news of The Raven Child's existence, at least as far as he knows. Carissa has been leaving the Goddess's symbol with her kills. The Magistrate is a mealy old man who reports to Caitiff the happenings and rumors of the prophecy. While typical bad guys, the illustrations bring these two to life and really show off their despicable tendencies.
  • Accessible: ​​Teen girls will identify with both Carissa and Kiley, probably more so with Kiley. While Carissa is strong and brave, Kiley's humanity and compassion is more relatable. Boys will appreciate the story line and the action, probably identifying more with the gruesome creatures. Adult readers will also be satisfied as they follow an exciting, dark tale of survival.

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