Halt You Villains! Unhand That Review! Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Released: October 2014
Publisher: Marvel
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.

My Thoughts

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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Nimona is a shapeshifter AND SOMETIMES SHE TURNS INTO AN ADORABLE CAT. I mean, isn’t that enough?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Have you read anything written by Noelle Stevenson? What did you think of it? Did you know that she illustrated the cover of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl? Awesooooome!

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Twenty-something. Michigander. Bookkeeper by day, superhero and blogger by night. Some of my favorite things include: travel, the Japanese language, photography, video games, sweater-weather, and of course books and tea. The Harry Potter books are my favorite, and I can never have too much peppermint tea.

19 thoughts on “Halt You Villains! Unhand That Review! Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

  1. I’m not even much of a graphic novel person, but this still sounds absolutely amazing Jackie! I love books with antiheroes; it makes the story so much more realistic and relatable (because, really, who among us is wholly evil or wholly good?). Definitely going to have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

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    1. Thank you, Zoe! And, I do hope you’ll give Nimona a read! It’s definitely a book I would suggest to people who are reluctant to read graphic novels because it was just so much fun.

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  2. I haven’t read anything by her but I see her art EVERYWHERE and I looove it. So I definitely want to read this at some stage. Plus superheroes/villains?! I love them so much. :’)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. Yea, I suppose I’ve noticed this as well. Really, it’s the three-star reads that sort of slip from my memory. But, there are still some four-start books that I passionately suggest to other readers– the Seven Realm series by Cinda Williams Chima (for example)!

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  3. This sounds like an amazing read! But I have to agree, sometimes it’s hard to rate books, even when they are great, There definitely is some unspoken feeling that defines our rating. It’s not all logical, I guess. I have actually never read a graphic novel, but have been wanting to lately, and this sounds like just the right one to get started, no?

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    1. Yes! You’ve said it perfectly here:

      There definitely is some unspoken feeling that defines our rating. It’s not all logical

      That’s exactly how I feel!

      Nimona would be an excellent choice for a first graphic novel read. It’s an absolutely charming story!

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  4. I’ve been eyeing this for a while but a shapeshifting protagonist who can turn into a cat? SO COOL. I really like what I’ve seen of the illustration style, too!
    Haha and gigglesnorting is my favourite response to funny books – though it does look decidedly weird if I’m listening to an audiobook on my headphones in public and people see me stifling giggles for no good reason. I’ve gotten some weird looks because of that (I’m listening to the Harry Potter series now and there are loads of funny scenes…).

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    1. Michigaaaaaan!!! I always get overly enthusiastic when I discover bloggers from the Mitten State.

      I would still suggest Nimona to readers who don’t often read graphic novels or for readers who are reluctant to read them. It’s that good!

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  5. I knew I recognized her artwork from somewhere else! I haven’t read Fangirl yet, but your comment reminds me that I should pick it up soon. I loved Nimona as well; the artwork, dialogue, and plot development were all so impressive! The Lumberjanes books all look like fun reads as well – off to add those to my Goodreads shelf 🙂

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  6. Ratings are always tricky, I have read a few 4 star books where I almost don’t have any complaints, but giving it 5 stars doesn’t feel right. Or a 3 star book I really enjoyed, but I had enough issues not to feel a 4 star rating is right.

    This book looks like a lot of fun, I recently read another review for it that was very positive as well. The art style looks adorable, although I didn’t realize this was the perosn who did the art for fangirl, but now that you point it out I do see the similarities. I love shapeshifters and that sounds fun Nimona changes into a cat sometimes! I think not having an explanation of how she shapeshifts would bother me a bit as well, but it sounds like the rest more than makes up for it. The Lumberjanes series looks fun too! Great Review!

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