The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Siblings, Adventure
This is a hard one to review. I received an advance copy of this book, and while the final copy is supposed to be in full colour, there was no colour in my copy and half of the book had unfinished illustrations. So my experience with the advance copy and your experience with the finished copy will be undoubtedly different.
But because the illustrations weren’t at their best, I focused my attention more on the characters and dialog. The dialog is on point. Not too much of it and not too little of it. The main characters, Hawke and Grayson, are likeable. The best part about the plot is Hawke and Grayson dressing up as girls to infiltrate a group of girls that spin magical thread.
The world building is, however, kind of vague. The story line isn’t hard to follow, since it’s pretty straightforward even if we don’t always understand the characters’ intentions. But I’m not sure how the Communion of Blue came into existence and why it’s named that way. I also don’t know anything about the other noble houses.
It’s an empowering story, though, with a beautiful message about being one’s true self without fear of being rejected by the ones we love. I enjoyed reading it, even if it didn’t wow me.
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