Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 1: Orientation by Thomas Siddell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comics Distributors
First Published: April 28th, 2015
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novels/Webcomics, Boarding School, Science Fiction Fantasy, Friendship, Mystery
Antimony Carver is a precocious and preternaturally self-possessed young girl starting her first year of school at gloomy Gunnerkrigg Court, a very British boarding school that has robots running around along side body-snatching demons, forest gods, and the odd mythical creature. The opening volume in the series follows Antimony through her orientation year: the people she meets, the strange things that happen, and the things she causes to happen as she and her new friend, Kat, unravel the mysteries of the Court and deal with the everyday adventures of growing up.
What a mysterious school. Well, this is no Harry Potter for sure, but Gunnerkrigg Court is very much magical also and full of secrets.
I won’t lie, I definitely want to enroll in this school. I may be too old, but maybe in another life, who knows. There are robots, ghosts, talking animals, dragons, dragonslayers, demons… I mean, one can only wonder how these all come together…
Well that’s what’s so peculiar about this graphic novel. It seems as though it’s a mix of quite random elements that make this world-building. But somehow… it works. Somehow it’s strange, but in a way that makes you eager to read more.
Antimony’s mother died, and her mother’s last wish was for her to finish her studies at Gunnerkrigg Court. So she is here. And while other students seem to accept the strangeness of this place with a shrug, Antimony is a curious young lady who wants to understand her surroundings. Also, unhuman souls seem to gravitate around her.
This is a story like no other. Seriously, I’m trying hard to connect it to another graphic novel series I have read, or maybe even a book series, but the only one I can loosely relate it to is Harry Potter, and even so, these two are COMPLETELY different works.
(Available online for free as a webcomic: http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/)
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