You'll see The Rise of Aurora West cropping up here and there in the upcoming Graphic Novel Week I'm planning, but today we're going to go a bit more in depth with my thoughts on it, as part of the Aurora West blog tour!
Now, by all rights, you should have already heard me talking about this one, as it was covered in my August Rewind...which never made it to the light of day. Yeah. So sorry to not already have been pushing this one on ya, 'cause I gotta say, I really enjoyed it. It's part of the award-winning Battling Boy storyline, and as I haven't actually read Battling Boy, I was a little hesitant that I was going to feel like I was missing things or not getting the full picture, and that the story would feel incomplete as a result. And though I have no doubt that there would have been things that maybe would have been more meaningful to me had I read BB, things that would have added another dimension, I have to say, I kind of liked that I wasn't going in with any biases or expectations of the story and where it would go. I liked seeing it with fresh eyes, and learning this world solely through Aurora (whom I love). And I certainly would have had biases and preconceptions, as Aurora West is a prequel to Battling Boy, which means I'd definitely know where the story was going, as it had already gone.
The only other thing I was a little hesitant on was the art, which, though it was fabulous and detailed, was VERY detailed (and small) in black & white, which was making my head feel a little chaotic in the beginning. I like to absorb as much as I can in each panel, and for the first few pages of this, I felt like I was losing things in the grayscale. Maybe it just took some adjusting though, or maybe I just learned to be a little patient and take a littke more time with each page, because it didn't bother me a bit after those few pages. (I'm not entirely sure it was the patience thing, though, because I found myself tearing through this.)
So, setting aside those hesitations that ended up being pointless, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this, to the point of actually, physically saying aloud, "What? No!' when it ended and I realized I had to begin the long wait for book 2. Aurora is exactly what I like in a heroine, competent, intelligent, a little bit fearless but also a little bit afraid, and a whole lot ready to dig in. I loved the glimpses of her backstory and the anticipation of where it seems she's headed. I liked the monsters and the sort of "BANG! POW!" style of the story that is tweaked just enough to turn some tropes on their heads... And I love (LOVE) that the good guys are called "science heroes." SCIENCE. HEROES.
That tickles me to no end.
But mostly I judge a graphic novel (or any story, really) on how it's able to emotionally engage me — how much I care about the characters if they're in peril, say, or whether I choose favorites or root for storylines. Aurora West affected me more than I was anticipating, and I definitely did find myself rooting for certain things to happen, appreciating character dynamics and quirks, and truly, honestly worried in one particular scene that had me very prepared to be sad (and I won't tell you whether or not my sadness was warranted. Spoilers!)
|Art c/o David Rubin & FirstSecond Books, 2014|
And now I leave you with an exclusive sneak peek of illustrator David Rubín's original art for what may be my favorite character (aside from Aurora...and maybe Grately): COIL.
Check it out, let me know what you think of The Rise of Aurora West if you end up reading it (preorders of this book are so cheap you guys, oh my gosh!), and if you'd like to share thoughts on some of your favorite graphic novels for Graphic Novel Week, please email me!
And don't forget to check out the other stops on the Aurora West blog tour!
Wednesday, September 24th – Bunbury in the Stacks http://bunburyinthestacks.com/
Thursday, September 25th – Green Bean Teen Queen http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.
Friday, September 26th – The Book Rat http://www.thebookrat.com/ - Hey! You are here!
Saturday, September 27th – The Book Wars http://thebookwars.wordpress.
Sunday, September 28th – Fly to Fiction http://flytofiction.blogspot.
Monday, September 29th – Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/
Tuesday, September 30th – Finding Wonderland http://writingya.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 1st – Fleen http://fleen.com/
Thursday, October 2nd – Beth Fish Reads http://www.bethfishreads.com/
Friday, October 3rd – Supernatural Snark http://supernaturalsnark.
Saturday, October 4th – Book Sake http://booksake.com/
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Get It | Add It
Paperback, 160 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by First Second
The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope's Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes... but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis's last great hero, Haggard West. A prequel to Battling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother's death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption. With a taut, fast-paced script from Paul Pope and JT Petty and gorgeous, kinetic art from David Rubin, The Rise of Aurora West (the first of two volumes) is a tour de force in comics storytelling.