The Daughters of Salem

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

A really good story but the artwork was subpar. This is a book that begs for a grander scale. You get to learn about the characters and their motivations and to care about them that exceeds what is normally felt in  a graphic novel of this kind. Just wish the artwork had been better.
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I don't think this book was a good read for me. I liked it at first but then I felt like the illustrations were too violent/bloody for my taste. It's a good story and the art is great, but just not for me.
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I loved The Crucible by Arthur Miller so when i saw this was a graphic novel focusing on Salem I was really excited to read it however, it didn't not meet expectation. I found the book to be quite boring and I was not a fan of the illustrations within.
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Last year, my partner persuaded me to start appreciating the graphic novel. You see, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga is his Bible, so the graphic novels of the series seemed to spring out of nowhere in my house. I still haven’t read those but I found a new love for the genre and after a couple of really successful efforts, I was hooked. Now I try to find (and devour) quality graphic novels with a newly acquired confidence. This one seemed perfect. The Salem Trials is one of my favourite topics and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is one of my most beloved plays, the 1996 film version with Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor is one of the best films ever made and I had the fortune to watch the role revived by Richard Armitage at the Old Vic in 2014, a truly profound experience. So, my anticipation was immense. 

What I found was an abomination in every sense of the word…

The ‘’writer’’ creates an Author’s Note to inform us that he has taken some ‘’liberties’’ with the ‘’material’’ (because according to him, History is ‘’material’’). He goes on to compare himself to Arthur Miller and this continues for two paragraphs...So, imagine me reading this...Comparing yourself to Miller? We don’t start well, dear ‘’writer’’. In addition, the fact that you’re warning me is worrying. Honest but worrying.

Sneak peek: (''Hey, Abigail. Wait up!'' If this isn't absolutely, totally faithful 1690's dialogue, I don't know what is...)

I won’t tire you. Tell me if you had ever imagined that you would find the phrase ‘’it’s so cute’’ in the USA during the 1690s. No, I didn’t think so. The illustrations are horrible. I mean, they are out of this world ugly, the depictions of the characters and the landscape are unnatural, tasteless. The violence approaches the boundaries of torture porn and there is an utterly absurd focus on sex. This is a violent adolescent’s wet dream, not the story of the Salem Trials. With the pitiful excuse of bringing women’s persecution over the centuries into focus, the ‘’writer’’ creates a...thing that makes you wish you couldn’t read. A horrible rendition, retelling, you name it, of a terrifying moment that produced a masterpiece. 

Congratulations, ‘’writer’’. You managed to turn a fascinating story into a bloodfested, sex-crazed B-movie. You need some kind of a prize for this. NOT. It would be better if ignorants didn’t touch what they cannot understand and respect. This was out of that man’s (restricted) league and it showed. Horribly.

ARC from Europe Comics and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com
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I was looking around for new graphic novels to read and when The Daughters of Salem showed up, it immediately grabbed my attention. The Salem Witch Trials are a widely known part of history, taking place in Salem after women and girls were accused of witchcraft. I thought it was really interesting to see it in a graphic novel format, and not in a story or play format as I have seen already.

I guess I can say that I started this graphic novel rather blindly, assuming what it was; a count of the trials. However, I did not realize that this graphic novel is a completely fictionalized count of the trials instead. This version did not stop from continuing as I was mostly interesting in how this was going go.

All it really comes down to is just the word “interesting.” You can take it either way as you like. It was interesting enough to continue, but not interesting enough to make it good. It seemed that some of it was rather pointless and just did not go well with the story that was trying to be told. Some of it just did not make sense.

Other than the artwork and style, I do not think there was much going on here. As a far warning, there are some scenes that are rather graphic as some deaths do occur (and not in the way you would think).
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Dark, terrifying, and sad.
A good read, with interesting art style and story telling, but also very graphic, and very hard to digest in one go. This is one of the only GN I read this year that I couldn't go through one sitting. But it was a very interesting read nonetheless.
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While I did enjoy the art and design, I don't think it felt very authentic. The dialogue was cringy, as was the development.
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A lifelong fascination with the Salem witch trials and how they came to happen in this country led to my easily choosing the graphic novel The Daughters of Salem to read. A brief introduction from author/illustrator Thomas Gilbert assures readers right off this is a work of fiction; that though players from the real-life events played out in colonial Massachusetts appear throughout, the author's main intention was in taking a much lesser-known figure of the village, young Abigail Hobbs, and giving her a backstory connecting her with the real-life Reverend Parris's daughter Elizabeth as a friend. Part One begins when Abigail is offered a gift from a young man in her village, and her stepmother sees it as Abigail reaching womanhood, drawing the young men now. A big no-no in this Puritan community circa 1690, so Abigail pretty much becomes a prisoner in her own home, to both school and "protect" her - until she finds ways to sneak out to gather food or wood, and begins a friendship with a male member of the native Abenaki tribe who plays music and allows her to dance and feel alive again, all as mass hysteria of demons and witchery begin to take hold in the village proper. Part One of The Daughters of Salem is darkly, depressingly illustrated to fit its time and subject matter, and cuts off at a cliffhanger, just as things get really ugly, leading you to want book two ... but overall the bleakness of story and art, along with knowing the story is more fiction than fact, left me cold and feeling oddly disconnected from any of the characters at all. Not bad, but sadly not enough for this reader to continue to Part Two.  3/5 stars 

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Daughters of Salem Part One
By Thomas Gilbert
Europe Comics

Subtitled “How We Sent Our Children To Their Deaths,” Gilbert says of the book in his intro that the story is his exploration of the problem of femicide in western culture and the dominance of patriarchy in these cultures. To do so, he takes elements of the historical reality of Salem while telling the story through the eyes of Abigail Hobbs, a 14-year-old Salem resident who recounts the events starting the day she became a woman.

Abigail’s experience is essentially one of something resembling innocence being forced to accept a role in a paranoid world that sees women only as sexual prey responsible for their own safety against the overtures of men. Shame is revealed as a burden passed between women through the generations and utilized by society as a prison to keep them in their place.

This is the lens through which Gilbert presents Tituba and Abigail’s contemporaries in Salem, as well as Abigail’s secret interaction with a Native American lurker in the forest that she calls the Man in Black because of the dark face and body paint he wears, but whose presence the other villagers use as proof of the Devil’s interaction. The collective racism brought on by Tituba and the Man in Black, along with the blinding rage of their religious beliefs and the misogyny inherent in their culture, all mix to work against the peace and bring danger and death to the community.

This is an excellent and intense beginning that mixes history with extremely relevant fiction, taking care to comment on current events without skimping on the allure of the drama because of preachiness.
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Title: The Daughters of Salem
Author: Thomas Gilbert
Publisher: Europe Comics
Publishing Date: January 16, 2019
Format: eBook Graphic Novel
Pages: 106
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m not sure how I feel about this graphic novel. I didn’t like the subject of the story because it wasn’t enjoyable to read. I thought it was about actual magic, but it was about a side town of Salem. The difference is that instead of the women separating from one another as blame was being thrown around, these women banded together. The subject matter made me uncomfortable, mad, sad, reiterated why I really don’t like religion. And before you go after me, no I am not bashing any sort of religion. I encourage you to believe in anything healthy that helps you get up in the morning. The art style of this graphic novel was pretty unique. While no graphic novel is perfect, this one just had more of a raw sense to it that helped add to the story a little bit. This graphic novel was more on the graphic side when it came to injuries. Spoiler Alert, a dog gets beaten to death and I almost got sick to my stomach. I am NOT about that by any means! That dog sensed evil and was just being defensive. I almost put it up for that reason but I was almost done with the story and just finished it to get it over with. I honestly don’t know what to feel with this story. It was good in the sense that the plot made sense and kept you curious, but it wasn’t a good story. I didn’t come out of it feel happy and content.
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Could not even acess this title with my kindle! Such a disappointment I wanted to read it so bad! If you get the kindle edition let me know!
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A great reimagining and update on a story many of us are familiar with. Thomas Gilbert pulls double duty here and does so pretty masterfully, the artwork and story are fresh and perfect for a new generation of readers. At least compared to when I read The Crucible in high school! What I appreciated about Gilbert's work here is how he deftly weaved the fear of the feminine with broader societal fears of change that were so elemental to that time. To see how the older women of this community passed down the fear of female power were some of the most powerful scenes in this story. This tale never stops being heartbreaking, and it doesn't shy away from the horror of vigilante justice, prejudice, bigotry, and hatred for that which you may not understand. Some of the visuals may prove disturbing for some readers but this one is worth picking up, reading, and discussing.
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Oof. I knew going in that this was going to be a darker story, but this ended up being just too dark for me.  I love the cover art, but do not think it is representative of the story or the art within the pages. I'm left feeling like this is a story I *should* have enjoyed (or at least appreciated), but what I really feel is a bit dirty. 

Approach with caution.

Thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for providing me with a DRC of this book.
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TW: racism, murder, gore, abuse hidden as preserving God's word, blood, animal cruelty

I don't even know how to appropriately rate this one. For most of the book I just wanted to DNF it and be done with it. But it's a graphic novel and quite short, but yow, it was hard to get through. I started it easily enough but then it was hard to keep going. I spend three days convincing myself to go on. 

It's possibly a nice story, but it just wasn't for me. I couldn't concentrate and then I'd cringe sometimes because of some of the situations. I wanted to like this, but nah, it wasn't for me.
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I an fairly new to comic books but it is a genre I am exploring with relish. I found The Daughters of Salem to be an intriguing read. The premise was interesting but I found the plotline a little vague. The illustrations were unrelenting grim and thus I found the reading experience a little hard going. I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough or was hooked enough by the story to seek out the next issue.
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I didn't like it. It is too dark, horrid and unnecessary cruel. Also the story doesn't make sense to me. I am well aware of the Salem witch trials in 1692-1693, but the comic book handles the topic in a bizarre fashion without historical accuracy. Maybe it will appeal to other readers.
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The Daughters of Salem was intriguing and intense.
I liked the art style and the writing, can’t wait for volume 2.
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It wasn't awful and the author did state that they were taking creative liberties with the story. But it felt like too many creative liberties were taken to make it still a story about Salem.
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I was originally intrigued by the concept of this graphic novel, but I just couldn't get into it. The story line seemed to be all over the place, I (personally) wasn't into the art style, and while I am all for graphic scenes, I just can't do animal abuse.
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I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I am interested in history and the fictional retelling of the Salem Witch trials made me interested to read this. Although it is fictional, I liked how the author managed to portray the root of why the village men did what they did. The xenophobia, sexism, religion, among other reasons caused the deaths and chaos in the village. It made me think that those issues are still present today and like that fictional village, deaths happen in the modern world due to those. 

I somehow like the first part and looking forward to the next. The art style fits the narrative and I like how the colors change to depict the kind of mood the scene has.
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