Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Undertaking of Lily Chen - Danica Novgorodoff

17934370This book isn't what I was expecting.  I was expecting some sort of magical realism, I think, with lots of ghosts and specters and cool shit like that, and some really complex moral dilemmas, and some intense character development, and I just didn't get that.  Maybe it's because I'm just not a graphic novel person.  I try and I try and I try to enjoy them, but I really just don't get as complex of a story out of a graphic novel as I do out of a prose novel.  Anyway, let's get down to it.
I liked the art in this.  It's a pretty unique style in regards to how the people are drawn, but the scenery is what really got to me.  There are some absolutely stunning full-page scenery pictures in here that I would love to be able to purchase as full-size posters.  The story had really great potential.  It revolves around a man named Deshi, whose brother Wei dies in an accident.  Deshi's parents want him to find a dead girl to serve as a "corpse bride" for Wei so he won't be alone in the afterlife.  Deshi sets out to complete his mission, but it turns out dead young women are few and far between in his neck of the woods.  In fact, the only young woman to be found at all is Lily Chen, and she is still very much alive...
But no matter how much potential the story had, I think it just fell flat.  I didn't get a ton of character development out of this, and some of the stuff, from the romance to the ending, just seemed to come out of nowhere.  This book is also Lord of the Rings-esque, and not in a good way; there is a lot of walking, without anything else much happening for much of the book.
Overall, I was disappointed.  I think I might have loved this if it had been written as a prose book, but as a graphic novel it just didn't capture me the way I thought it would.

2 stars out of 5.

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