Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn, Illustrated by Molly Ostertag
Colleen Cavanaugh used to be one of the Great Families. But her home was invaded by the Derichet and now she lives alone, determined to let no one into her heart. Then she meets a handsome rebel and she begins to wonder is she is capable of love, after all. The story is a pretty standard romance with Colleen’s growing activism taking a backseat to the focus on her love life. Molly Ostertag’s illustrations are easily the most enchanting part of this graphic novel. (Source: Library) Three Stars.
Last of the Name by Rosanne Parry
Twelve-year-old Danny O’Carolan and his teenage sister Kathleen arrive in New York City alone during the American Civil War. Jobs for a boy are scarce, unless Danny wants to become a drummer boy in the Union Army, so Kathleen hatches a plan: Danny will become a “girl” and serve with her in the house of a rich family in the city. But tension is brewing as the Irish immigrant population opposes the new draft, and Black and Irish workers compete for the same low-wage jobs. This historical fiction will likely appeal to its target middle-grade audience. Personally, however, I found the writing stilted and the characters unconvincingly lifelike. I wanted to immerse myself in the Irish immigrant experience, but ended up having to drag myself through the book to finish. (Source: Library) Three Stars.
Runaways: The Collected First Volume by Brian K. Vaughan, Illustrated by Adrian Alphona
Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Nico, and Molly meet once a year so their parents can work on funding for their charity. Then they learn that their parents are not philanthropists, but super villains. Now they’re on the run–from the law and from their own families. It is easy to see why this comic would appeal to teens, but it is also an engrossing read for comics fans of any age. And those just starting out in the world of comics will be glad to know this volume requires no background knowledge on their part. They can simply begin a new adventure! And, if you like this one, be sure to check out Rainbow Rowell’s current run writing the Runaways. (Source: Library) Four Stars.