Let's talk about how great this book is, shall we?
First, I should say that I won it as an ARC in a First Reads giveaway, but that has no bearing on the rave review I'm about to give it. In fact, when I win books, I generally have low expectations. This time was no different-- I wasn't expecting much. I was unfamiliar with both the author and the illustrator, and the title and cover didn't do much for me. They're a bit generic for the fantasy genre, but once I cracked the book open, I was completely smitten.
The artwork is phenomenal. Really dark and moody and powerful. At first, I was thrown off by the back-and-forth between the two storylines of illustration and text, but after a while, once the dichotomy of the two clicked for me, I really admired and appreciated the decision to keep them separate.
The plot is full of action and suspense, and despite its swift pace, the author also takes time to flesh out the five main characters. For such a short book, I was surprised by how quickly I was able to connect with and root for them, which is a real testament to Kiersten White's writing. Also-- the ending is perfection. I won't say anymore.
This book completely won me over and is a new favorite of mine, which so rarely happens these days. I would recommend it to all YA fantasy and graphic novel lovers. It's such a treat for the eyes and mind. READ IT!
You can also find my review on GoodReads.