Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Muirwood: The Lost Abbey

(Kindle Serial) by Jeff Wheeler 
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Publisher: Jet City Comics
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars :star :star
Date of Publication:  Aug 26th 2015

This graphic novel is a Kindle Serial published in five issues for one price. This serial currently contains one issue out of five total issues, with future issues delivered every month at no additional cost until the collected series is complete.

Told in graphic novel form, Muirwood: The Lost Abbey introduces an all-new chapter in Jeff Wheeler’s Muirwood universe.

Maia, the daughter of the king of Comoros, has been banished, her rank and station taken away. Although magic is forbidden of women in her world, Maia secretly learned...and now her desperate father has sent her on a dangerous quest to save their kingdom. Protected by a hired killer, Maia voyages to another realm—the cursed shores of Dahomey, where an ancient Blight has destroyed all the inhabitants. Maia believes she can restore the deadly lands by using her magic medallion, but if she’s discovered wielding her clandestine power, she will most certainly be hunted down and killed.

My Review

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like I need to preface by stating that this is NOT a graphic novel. It’s a “kindle serial” in the form of a comic issue. Perhaps it is a bit longer than a single issue, but not much. I feel like it’s confusing and I kind of was let down by the fact that it ended so shortly and felt abrupt. I get that and even expect that with comic issues (even electronic ones usually have the page number when you get it). So, hopefully that won’t be a problem for anyone who is thinking to read this.

You know the old adage, "Never judge a book by its cover.” ?? Blah blah blah… well, don’t. In this case, especially don’t.
Now I don’t know your thoughts on this cover, only my own. I liked it. I thought it looked very professional and like it was from IDW or even Dark Horse. Then I found out it was independent and was even more excited because, wow! Thing is, the graphics inside don’t look like they were done by the same artist. (I should probably check this, and I will when I am less pissed and feeling less like this thing played me). I know that this happens sometimes with graphic novels and I don’t mind that in and of itself, except for when the cover is clearly superior to the graphics inside.

It feels like I’ve been cheated. I feel like I was lured inside with a gorgeous cover and promises of an epic fantasy with haunted or lost abbey(s), a strong female heroine with magical powers and ghosts or dragons or something too.

Do we get any of that? Not really.
There is (what appears could be) a strong female heroine. Honestly, she is more like a heroine who may develop her strength (I’m being generous & optimistic.

The abbey isn’t haunted or cursed, or anything remotely interesting. The heroine is overshadowed by her enormous douche of a father who is also, surprise surprise, a king. *eye roll*

The story was kind of “meh” — a phenomenon that happens often enough for me to have an entire shelf on Goodreads dedicated to it. By the time (I mean, the exact time) I felt like “okay, this could be good I guess…even though it’s weird” it ENDED. I don’t know if hat’s a good thing in this case because of the other things I’ve mentioned that have made me a bit suiky. I don’t like that I was misled, even if it is “unintentional.” Also, get the caliber of graph8ics that are on the cover to match the pages please. That would be a step in the right direction.

Will I continue with this kindle serial? I don’t think so. There is potential here, or at least, in my mind there is. I do love that it is an independent/indie what seems to have people noticing the series. I think it needs to get a lot better. I think that there’s not much else to say except that it was “weird” (not good or bad weird, just weird). For the reasons I* mentioned plus the characters.

The characters were weird as hell. If one character is weird and you can’t figure them out, okay it’s a good thing. It’s a plot device, or whatever — I don’t know. In this case, we have a weird heroine, an asshole father who is very weird (both domineering possessive and manipulative of his daughter). She seems to hate him and yet does exactly what he asks because a  

...(wait for it)…

...mercenary hired by her father is there to “protect her” Oh, and he’s the weirdest of them all.
Of courseshe listens to what he says. Even though she doesn’t know him at all, and he is following her. And oh I love how it ends with her saying : something along the lines of .. I don’t know if I feel safer that he will be on the journey there or not. WTF?! THEN WHY ARE YOU GOING BITCH. OH IS IT BECAUSE your mercenary weiredo told you to go because your dad would “force” you to go otherwise? Or put you in a dungeon? And you believe that easily? If so, you snuck out! What is stopping you from running away? smh. SO confusing. Even worse, I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it one bit.
In a word, I feel frustrated by this teaser of an issue labelled “kindle serial” VOL. 1. A volume implies length, does it not? In my experience it does. So if you are considering reading it know this: expect a weird introduction to a story with potential to be great. If you have the next issue available right away, go for it. If you don’t and you don’t like covers that contradict graphics inside then leave this alone. (I also suggest opening the book on Amazon if you can so you can peek at the graphics prior to reading.)

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