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mar╚Ťi, 23 octombrie 2018

Review: Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval

23 octombrie 0 Comments

Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost. And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors. 

Three-time Eisner Award–nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval presents a wondrous world of secret places and dreamlike magic hidden in the everyday corners of our sleeping imagination.
Genres: graphic novel, paranormal fantasy
Length: 144 pages
Publisher: Lion Forge Comics
Publication Date: November 20th, 2018

An e-book ARC copy was provided by the publisher via the NetGalley service, in exchange for an honest review. 

Going in, I wasn't sure what to expect. The artwork on the cover seemed very bad-ass, so after reading through the lines of the synopsis, I knew I was in. The book pulls you right in the story, with hints of the past, and a very smooth transition to our main character, Mila, a pale Morticia-like figure of a teenager who is bathing in the sea, who is startled by Agnes, a girl we soon learn to be a ghost - it's no spoiler, it's right there in the synopsis, though for me it was a surprise since I've forgotten about that by the time I actually read the ARC.

It seems to be a normal encounter between two adolescent girls who may be attracted to each other - Mila is strangely attracted to Agnes' teeth for some reason and this is the least strange thing about the pair. Soon enough, it all turns into a creepy adventure none of them asked for. Agnes carries the essence of an ancient king by a childhood accident that resulted in her death. Also, her teeth are actually the former guardians of the king - I know, I told you it gets stranger and stranger. 

Positive aspects

  • the artwork, as I had predicted from the cover
  • everything has a sort of cool, washed out tone
  • it is grotesque at times, and weird, in the good kind of way
  • the character design

Negative aspects

  • some scenes transition to others with no explanation whatsoever, and all of a sudden
  • not enough information about the past and who the "bad guys" are
  • parents are absent: we don't get to see Agnes' parents at all and Mila's are completely unaware and uninvolved
  • vague information thrown in

  • the lesbian romance was underdeveloped
  • the story feels underdeveloped as well

All in all, the graphic novel had a very high potential, but it failed to deliver. I felt really sad to see such an interesting plot idea and such unique art style go to waste.