Book 190 of 200 ~ 2023
This was so bizarre.. great artwork.. trippy story lol but not too freaky deaky for a chicken like me hahaha
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This story was well-told and engaging throughout. I think it will definitely find its right audience and continue to inspire.
📖 Graphic Novels 📖 Thank you to @ironcircuscomic #letterbetterpublishing @netgalley for the digital copies in return for my honest reviews.
✏️ Stars, Hide Your Fire by Kel McDonald
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
The illustrations were good, but the story was just okay for me. The art work/theme felt 90ish which was fun. The story felt short of excitement and needed some more details for the storyline to be more interesting. The paranormal and middle-grade sense of wistfulness was an interesting combination.
I guess ultimately, I didn't connect with it. The art style is not my cup of tea, too dark and classic for the characters to have any expressions. The story was fine, I guess, but I would've rather read it as a short story than a graphic novel. The setting was confusing as well, and at first I thought the older-looking art style was supposed to show that we were in the 80s or so, but then the main character pulled out an iPhone and it felt like there weren't artistic choices being made, it was just what the illustrator could do. All in all, it was just not for me.
I really enjoyed both the art and story in this book — a unique look and feel. There is a supernatural aspect that works less predictably than many stories do. I would gladly add this graphic novel to my classroom shelf.
Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read and enjoy this beautifully written e-arc.
REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS. This story was so enjoyable I definitely recommend.
I got so invested in this, I didn't realise it ended. Fuck. This one got me good!
Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley and the publishers.
Never trust the fey. And NEVER be in their debt. And just as importantly, never have them indebted to you.
Andrea, regular human girl in a boring town, has freed a creature that claims to be a sort of fey. Access to such power is exciting, and Andrea is more than willing to accept her new friend's help, if it means SOMETHING in her life can change. But Andrea's childhood friend, Darra, is on alert, and the two soon learn that there is no safe way to make a wish.
I'd say this book is a bit more middle-grade than young adult. There's not a lot of social drama here, and the plot is simple enough for slightly younger readers. A few more pages, to get a resolution to Andrea's story with her mother, would have been nice.
There's subtle hints at queer romance, for those who are looking (perhaps just me?).
A fun evening's read, and a nice pick from your library or one of Iron Circus's many sales and Humble Bundles!
In a story about two friends wanting to get away from their boring small town life, they decide to explore an abandoned factory that's said to have a ghost. Their adventure dealing with a newfound supernatural problem and their high school fears is perfect for kids going into high school who also have begun to worry about everything that's in store for them and the feeling of wanting to escape from their lives.
Darra and Andrea are really bored in their small town. With no hope for the future, the teenage girls feel trapped in an uninteresting life. So, to spend time they explore old buildings, hoping they will discover something intriguing. As they step into a century-old abandoned factory, Andrea meets an unexpected girl. But is she really a girl ?
Stars, Hide Your Fire is really good. That graphic novel takes place nowadays, but also has a 19th century atmosphere. It is Urban Fantasy, but it is also about teenagers trying to follow their dreams in a hopeless town. It is about the fear of growing up and the uncertainty of life.
I love how Kel McDonald and Jose Pimienta followed the traditional Faery Folklore belief : here no cute tiny creatures flying all around. Faeries are dangerous creatures to deal with. You wish for something ? The fey will realize your dream, but at what cost ? Kel McDonald emphasizes how the Fair Folk can sometimes trick you if you make a wish without thinking of consequences. As someone that really love traditional folktales and Faery stories I appreciated the references of fairy ring, iron or folly.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this graphic novel (me and my love of picking random graphic novels on @netgalley just because I can), but I am really excited about that read ! Kel McDonald’s story is great, Jose Pimienta’s illustrations are really good as well. If you are in the mood for a Urban Fantasy graphic novel, it is perfect for you !
A story of how far desires and wants can get you. The promises of wish fulfillment and its consequences are well depicted in this book. I really enjoyed this as a warning that with all wishes granted can bring evil along with it as well.
Thank you NetGalley and Iron Circus Comics for giving me the opportunity to read this.
This graphic novel is about two friends, Darra and Andrea, that live in a small, boring town where there's not much to do. One day while exploring an abandoned factory, Andrea stumbles upon a woman trapped inside. Turns out that the woman, named Carmen, has magic powers and will grant Andrea one wish. Of course things don't go as planned and Andrea and Darra are on the search for Carmen's fairy circle. They are aided in their search by a local man named Liam who we find out has a connection to Carmen from a long, long time ago. Together, they search the woods for the fairy circle and try to banish Carmen back to where she came from - wherever that is.
Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was a quick read and pretty entertaining. The artwork was really good and so was the coloring. I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!
I really enjoyed this book, the illustrations are well doe and the story well constructed. I can’t wait to read more from this author! Thank you for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Here's the gist of the story: two girls, best friends about 14 years old, live in a small Massachusetts town. Darra is feeling lots of academic pressure from her mom, and Andrea is desperate to get out of their small town and into the bigger world; she wants adventure. One night, the two of them break into an abandoned factory nearby, hoping to see the ghost rumored to be there. Andrea sees something, and goes back the next day to investigate further. She finds a fairy named Carmen, agrees to let the fairy out (she'd been trapped there by all the iron in the factory), and to help Carmen find her fairy circle. Darra comes looking for Andrea and finds Liam instead, a man who says Carmen is actually a demon who tricked him into a contract 100 years ago that of course went wrong. Andrea is tempted to help Carmen, believing it's her ticket out of there, and Darra agrees to help Liam send Carmen back to where she came from so she can't harm anyone else, including her best friend. Both parties need to find Carmen's fairy ring to achieve their goal. Will Andrea get caught in Carmen's spell, or will Darra be able to save her friend and banish the demon?
This story had a lot of potential, but it fell flat for me. The characters were mostly two-dimensional, not much personality to them. Andrea is vaguely implied to be queer (so vaguely it could be missed), but that doesn't go anywhere, I don't know that I could really call it queer rep. Darra is kind of mousy, torn between studying and doing well academically to please her mother and getting caught up in Andrea's recklessness, and she doesn't grow out of that really, so no growth there. Carmen is a tricksy demon, I'm not expecting her to be more than that, but Liam... I don't know about him, his story needed to be filled in more. Carmen wants to find her fairy ring because if it's destroyed, she doesn't have to go back to hell. Liam wants to find it so he can use it to trap her and send her back to where she belongs. But have these two been looking for it in the same place for the last 100 years, or have they been traveling and looking for it all that time? Who knows? It's not mentioned, another thing not explored. There was just too much story left out for me.
To be fair, though, this seems to be geared toward an upper middle grade audience, and I'm about 40 years too old for it. Perhaps if I'd read it when I was the right age for it, I would've liked it more, gotten more from it. It is a good story, it just feels a bit simple to me. But, not all kids' books hold up to reading as an adult, including some of my childhood favorites.
This wasn't really what I expected. It was fine, but also a bit anticlimatic. I liked the Massachusetts setting, I know exactly what town it is and have friends that work there. It felt kind of a bit old school at first, like it was set in the 90s. Which I liked actually.
This is the story of a fairy doing magic, but this is no old fairy tale, set in a by gone age, but a modern story, with two teens who hate where they are living, and want to get out of town, and travel the world.
And of course, that is what the fairy promises.
But all magic has a price, and the price of this fairy's magic is that if you get something, she takes it from another.
The girls are very real, and this is set in the frustration of the modern world, and when Andrea realizes that the fairy is real, it is all she can do to not want this magic. Even if it means it will mess up her best friend Dacca.
Is it worth the price?
Good, fast story. Well done. I like how stark the town was, vs. the glamor of the fairy, even as she drips poison flowers everywhere she goes.
<em>Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
Andrea and Darra live in a small town in Massachusetts. Andrea is frustrated beyond belief by small-town life, and she cannot wait to leave the town behind. Meanwhile, Dara is struggling with her mom’s push for Darra to be thinking of higher education, but Darra has no idea what she wants to do with her life and is still figuring out who she is; it’s all just too much for her she feels a little trapped, and overwhelmed by Andrea’s vehemence.
They go ghost hunting one night and Andrea discovers a young woman who claims to be a trapped a fairy, who tells Andrea that if Andrea helps her escape, they can travel the world.
At the same time, Darra encounters a young man who firmly tells her that the fairy Carmen is actually a demon and they need to get her away from Andrea, and they need to get rid of Carmen.
This middle grade comic really conveys that sense of wistfulness, claustrophobia, and fear about the future, but at the same time the desperate desire to leave what’s familiar and go on an adventure. The two friends Andrea and Darra both embody those feelings so well.
I enjoyed this story, and appreciated the tug of expectations versus the yet to be clearly articulated desires in both early adolescent characters.
This was an interesting story with some dark moments and believable stakes.
Thank you to Netgalley and Letter Better Publishing Services for this ARC in exchange for my review.
A well written YA graphic novel with a frisson of darkness running through it.
Andrea and Darra are best friends living in a small town without much to do. They decide to go ghost hunting in the old steel works in their town and they eventually encounter a deadly fairy who will do anything to stay living on earth, including making big promises which she later warps. She isn’t all that she seems to be.
When the two friends meet a young mad called Liam who is linked to the fairy they realise that she isn’t benevolent at all. They team up with Liam to find the fairy ring so that they can send the fairy to her homelands but first they need to trust one another and also trust. Liam.
This is a nice coming of age story with good artwork.
Copy provided via Netgalley.
I'm always on the lookout for new graphic novels for my library, and fantasy/supernatural are gaining in popularity. I was excited when I came across this one, and it does have a unique and interesting premise: an ancient fairy/demon is taking years from the living to help fuel the human she is tethered to...but she REALLY wants a new human.
My main beef with this one can be summed up in two words: NOT ENOUGH. There's not enough character development, not enough creep factor (which are the best parts of the book), and the ending feels extremely abrupt and rushed. Considering how short this one is (168 pages), I feel like there were some major missed opportunities to create some depth for Andrea, Darra, and the quest to stop Carmen that would have helped me be much more invested as a reader.
A fun exciting story for upper middle grades. The colors are vibrant and pop, and the artwork features bold lines with expressive faces. I think most youth can relate to the main impetus of the plot -- wishing to get away from your everyday life.