Rummanah Aasi
    I've read nothing but rave reviews for Saga, the latest graphic novel series by Brian K Vaughan. I was interested to see if all the hype of what many call "Star Wars meets Romeo and Juliet meets Games of Thrones" upholds for the novel. While I can't officially say if these statements are true, I do see how the connections are made. I enjoyed the first volume of Saga and I'm curious to see where this series goes.

Description: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. 

Review: The first volume of Brian K. Vaughan's award winning, Saga, clever combination of science fiction and traditional fantasy. Filled with witty dialogue, action, suspense, and amazing art Saga is a graphic novel that I haven't encountered before. Saga has a very simple story: Marko and Alana, a pair of star-crossed lovers who have abandoned their own warring planets and just want to settle down to peacefully raise their newly born daughter, Hazel.
Within a few panels we  have come to understand where are characters are coming from and care for them. Alana is from the planet Landfall, a place of great technological advancement, and their planet is in constant conflict with the magic-wielders of that planet's moon Wreath, where Marko is from. Despite being from opposite sides of the war, Marko and Alana have a lot in common as both were disgraced in their military services. Several months have gone by and a pregnant Alana is giving birth to their child, Hazel, the actual narrator of the series. The moment is intimate, funny, and fragile as their happy moment quickly vanishes as all three lives are put in danger since they are being pursued from both sides of this galaxy-wide conflict. 
  While trying to escape from their pursuers, Marko and Alana are in search of a legendary Rocketship Forest so that they might get off the planet with their new baby, we are introduced to all sorts of new, strange, frightening and wonderfully rich characters. We meet Prince Robot IV, a humanoid being with what appears to be an old-fashioned TV set for a head, who is the one primarily tasked with the elimination of Marko and Alana. Prince, just like Marko and Alana, want the war over so he too can start a family. We also meet two of the bounty hunters and ex-lovers that have are in a bidding war to get the fugitives, The Will and The Stalk. The Stalk is a terrifying looking spider-like alien- an armless, naked woman on top and spider on the bottom- who carries weapons in all of her additional appendages, and The Will is humanoid, but has with him a very helpful sidekick named the Lying Cat, a talking cat that can tell when someone is lying. Also characters in their own right are a legendary group of terrifying killers called The Horrors, which, like all characters in this book aren't quite what they seem. All of our secondary characters are fully realized and they each have their own motives, which is what makes them interesting. As the volume progresses, we learn about the character's frailty and their limits that will not cross as they are put to the test in many ways. 
  Vaughan's writing is as strong and despite the characters being alien, there is quite a lot of English speaking slang and idioms used which actually feels natural. I am guessing though as we delve deeper into the other planets Vaughan has created will see see many other languages spoken by a wide range of races. The pace of the graphic novel moves along quickly, allowing for the character to flex its muscles as well as allowing for moments of great suspense and violence. Fiona Staples' art is brilliant and excellent balance of extreme detail to abstract lines and shading. I don't think Saga would be as great without her wonderful and detailed illustrations.   
  Readers unfamiliar with science fiction or fantasy graphic novels may be a bit disorientated with Saga at first glance, but I think the overall plot arc has a wide appeal. Saga is written for adults and contains adult content.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Strong sexual content, nudity, graphic violence, and language. Rated M for Mature. Recommended for mature teens (Grades 11 and 12) and adults only.

If you like this book try: Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman
1 Response
  1. My friend Flannery bought this for me a while back, but I have yet to read it because I am a bad, bad friend who has almost no experience with graphic novels. Thank you for reminding me. :)

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