Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Released: October 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
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Synopsis: Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is one of those books that makes me questions my rating scale. I’ve been thinking all week about how fun this book was, how I wish I could trick Jon into reading it, how the artwork was fun and quirky, and how the characters in this book turn our hero/villain archetypes on their heads. It almost appears to be a book that has the qualities of a five-star read, yet…it’s not? What then is it lacking that prevents it from five-star status on this blog? Is it something that I cannot quantify in words? I mean, I can hardly think of a flaw! In fact, here is a list of why you should read Nimona:
- Nimona’s got zest, she’s got spunk, she’s fearless, and I loved reading about a female protagonist (or is she an antagonist?) that embodied those characteristics. Nimona is such a force that she drove the plot forward instead of circumstance.
- Noelle Stevenson plays with the hero/villain archetype in her graphic novel, which was fun although it was a little predictable. This of course doesn’t diminish my hatred of the Institution for what they did to Nimona and Blackheart and Goldenloin.
- Nimona is a shapeshifter AND SOMETIMES SHE TURNS INTO AN ADORABLE CAT. I mean, isn’t that enough?
- Something about the artwork and the banter between the characters combined makes this book laugh out loud funny. I lost track of how many times this book made me gigglesnort.
- This graphic novel is a blend of fantasy and science fiction, which fascinates me. Weapons of choice are either big plasma guns or trusty swords. I don’t know how this works, it just does.
The only downfall of Nimona is despite the origin stories and despite the scientific research about Nimona, I still don’t understand how she gained her shape-shifting powers or how they really work. Of course reasons 1-5 make up for this, but I still wanted to be able to close the book and be able to say, “Ooooh, so that’s how it happened”.
In the end, Nimona was an excellent read– fast-paced, funny, and a rip-roaring adventure. It also convinced me I need more Noelle Stevenson in my life; during my next library visit, I’ll be searching for the Lumberjane graphic novels, another series Noelle Stevenson wrote/co-wrote.