Piper by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: October 31st, 2017
Recommended Age: 10+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Retellings, Teen Romance
When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side.
The boy of Maggie’s dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare…
Believe it or not, I have actually never read or heard about the original story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin before, so although this is a retelling, I would not be able to point out what details were changed or added.
But the Piper did remind me a lot of Peter Pan, since the latter is also very good at controlling other people and has a darker side. Plus the Piper himself gives off this vibe of being immortal – a legend more than a human being. And if we want to compare the two in terms of style, hello, they both can’t get enough of the colour green.
In short, what happens is that rats are destroying the grains of a village, so the Piper comes along and offers to rid the villagers of all the rats, in exchange for payment. Somewhere else in the village a girl dreams of romance (because that’s all girls do, snort). The two meet, sparks fly, and deceptions occur.
I was so surprised to see this book was written by Jay Asher (with Jessica Freeburg) that I had to double check it was not a novel. But no, it’s a graphic novel for teen readers with lovely illustrations.
I have a feeling those who are familiar with the Pied Piper of Hamelin will not enjoy this very much. It’s a simple story that attempts at depth in its narrative and characters, but fails to move us, possibly because of its shortness. Truth be told, this is one of those stories that would make better novels without the graphic part.
However, it is pleasant if all you’re looking for is an engaging enough read with beautiful visuals to admire. I would read this in the bus or metro if I were you. It is interesting, just not memorable enough, especially since the romance left me shrugging. Nice little dark twists, though, that’s for sure.
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