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Saturday, June 18, 2011

'Dark Swan: Storm Born Volume 1 and 2' by Richelle Mead, Grant Alter and Dave Hamann

Received from the Publisher

From the BLURB:

Eugenie Markham never asked for any of this. Until now, she’s been content with her job as a freelance shaman, battling and banishing Otherworldly creatures.

When a prophecy suddenly makes her the Otherworld’s most popular bachelorette, Eugenie finds herself fighting off unwanted supernatural suitors, as well as the evils that begin emerging from her past…

Eugenie Markham has spent the majority of her young life sending supernatural creatures back to their natural, magical habitat. Eugenie’s work day consists of the usual banishments and exorcisms, carried out with her trusty wand and with the help of protective, magic-infused tattoos. But something strange is happening to Eugenie and the creatures she banishes . . . her name is being bandied about and dangerous fae spirits are making untoward sexual advances. Something is going on with the Sidhe, and Eugenie is somehow in the middle of it all. . .

‘Dark Swan’ is the new graphic novel serial from Sea Lion Books, based on the series by urban fantasy author Richelle Mead.


I am a big fan of Mead’s ‘Dark Swan’ series, having jumped on the Eugenie bandwagon back in 2007. Mead’s ‘Georgina Kincaid’ series brings the sizzling sex appeal, while her highly popular ‘Vampire Academy’ is a fantastic blend of romance and action. ‘Dark Swan’ is the perfect blend and balance of Mead’s two more popular series. It’s set on a grander scale, wandering between the human world and a fae dimension – complete with Sidhe kingdoms. ‘Dark Swan’ is also the most violent of Mead’s books, often delving into dark abandon and gory sensationalism.

I have always thought it’s somewhat unfair that Eugenie is perhaps the least popular (and lesser known) of all Mead’s work. Adults have ‘Georgina Kincaid’, while ‘Vampire Academy’ is beloved world-wide. Eugenie often gets pushed to the backlist (to the point that publication of third novel ‘Iron Crowned’ was delayed a year because Mead had too much publicity work to do for her ‘Georgina’ and ‘VA’ instalments). So I was thrilled to learn that a graphic novel adaptation was in store for Eugenie . . . and now having read Volume 1 and 2, I am beyond delighted to say that the folks at Sea Lion Books have treated Eugenie Markham and ‘Storm Born’ to the fantastical fanfare it justly deserves!

The first two issues are covering quite a lot of back story, with plenty of scene-setting and character introductions. Those unfamiliar with Mead’s ‘Dark Swan’ books may think the beginning is a slow-go, with lots of Eugenie’s interiority and necessary segue’s introducing her family, roommate and clients. But I really have to applaud scriptwriter Grant Alter – he has done a marvellous job at plotting and laying the foundations for an epic series. Loyal readers of the ‘Dark Swan’ books will know that all of this plotting preparation is necessary – now that we are three-books deep into the series, it becomes apparent that Richelle Mead has had an end-game in mind all along, and if you go back and reread ‘Storm Born’ there’s lots of intricate foreshadowing and build-up. Alter has done a brilliant job of leaving breadcrumbs throughout Volume 1 and 2, writing just enough back story to educate, while also trailing plenty of loose-ends to scintillate.


The artwork is phenomenal! I always heap praise upon Richelle Mead for writing action scenes that pop on the page and read like a movie scene. Artist Dave Hamann had a dually hard and easy task of visualizing Mead’s breathtaking scenes – she writes action very fluidly, but with plenty of precise direction. Hamann’s drawings are a lovely representation of Mead’s story and Alter’s script - vividly beautiful and stunningly complex. He does a brilliant job of bringing freakish fae creatures to popping life on the page, while also perfectly visualizing beloved characters. Eugenie is pitch-perfect, at once ab-tastic and stunning (I loved her tattoos!) while her love-interest, Kiyo, is gorgeously hunky. I especially appreciated Hamann’s artwork when it came to the lush, sexy scenes – this is another important component to the ‘Dark Swan’ series, and if Eugenie and Kiyo’s scenes are any indication, fans are in for a treat when Eugenie gets intimate with a certain fae King.


Volume 1 and 2 of Richelle Mead’s ‘Storm Born’ graphic novel is a visual treat and phenomenal urban fantasy. The novel is the perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with Eugenie, while also being a superb adaptation to delight and excite long-time fans of the darkly fantastical series. I can’t wait for Volume 3, since things are sure to get dangerously interesting when Eugenie literally crosses over to the other side. . .

5/5

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Published by: Sea Lion Books
Written by: Richelle Mead & Grant Alter
Art by: Dave Hamann
Coloured by: Nelson Cosention De Oliveira
Lettered by: Dave Lanphear
Cover Art: A- Jennyson Rosero; B- Dave Hamann
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Release Date: September 20th 2011

3 comments:

  1. Awesome review!

    I LOVE this series and this GN looks amazing!!!

    Cant wait!

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  2. I cannot wait to see the next installment!

    (am reading book 3 now - I can't get enough of this series!!)

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  3. Richelle Mead is Amazing! I love her stuff! I read the first two books in this series month or so ago and abso-freakin' loved them! Can't wait to dive into Iron Crowned- As soon as I get on the ball!!

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