Monday, July 4, 2016

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson....

Publish date- 2015.
Publisher- Harper Collins.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
There's a villain (Ballister), a sidekick (Nimona) and a hero (Ambrosius) and all of them are connected and interconnected and there's fighting, treachery, body swapping, and really it's fabulous.

What I thought:
Nimona is a highly enjoyable, rompish kind of read (which esentially means it's an adventure story with quirky characters, aka: perfect for me), although at first I wasn't so sure what it was or how I felt about it.

It's a bit confusing at first, becaise it seems somehow so unexpected: a villain gets a new side kick, she is rambunctious and delightfully vicious and over enthusiastic, likes changing her hair colour and style with as much notice (although possibly less prior planning) as I do, and she can turn herself into anything she likes (although Nimona does favour sharks, which was the moment I began to love this graphic novel). She was such a polar opposite, in every respect, to Ballister. She was perhaps more vicious, which could be rather amusing, and her way of caring was so touching (as was his). They were a perfect duo from the start. If a slightly terrifying one.

I also took a little while to get used to the art style, which verged on feeling unfinished at times. It's cute, and nice, but not what I expected and that did take some adjusting to. I always find with manga and graphic novels that I expect the art on the cover to be the same as the art inside. It never is, but I always anticipate it and it's always a shift in perspective when I don't get it.

It is the characters, above all else, that seal the deal with this sgraphic novel, though. Nimona, Ballister, and Ambrosius are all wonderful and unique and their dynamic and interactoins are often priceless. I love Nimona's spur of the moment personality, beneath which she is fragile and hurt and determined, how she sweetened Ballister and encouraged his plans with everything she had (occasionally making them better), how Ballister and Ambrosius were just about the cutest, most pained almost-couple I've ever seen. Everything about them in a room together was just so bittersweet because betrayal and longing and hearts broken everywhere; it's definitely subtle, and I'd have liked more in every respect, although I did love what I got.

It's both positive (because I know I want to own and reread it) and negative (because forgetfulness) that the plot is the perhaps the most easily forgotten part of this graphic novel. I definitely felt like it was the characters (and Nimona's humour) that were the strongest and my favourite parts of the story. I did enjoy the plans for taking over the city, but it was how they got there, and the interactions that led the way, that I really loved.

Rating: Excellent.
This is such a lovely, wonderful, delightful graphic novel. I truly cared for the characters and was surprised by the plot and the characters; I would definitely read future Nimona-related releases. These have become some of my favourite characters, and I would definitely not say no to more of them.


  1. I'm so glad you liked this one!

    I find it somewhat hilarious that you didn't really mesh with the art style because I really liked it. I like the sharpness and the really subtle facial expressions. Especially on Ballister, who is pretty much the precious of all precious muffins in the world. Who totally deserves his own graphic novel with heaps of kissing and hand holding scenes with Ambrosius. Because their almost relationship was probably the most disappointing thing in this graphic novel for me. Representation should be overt and lovely and in your face in a way that no one could read them as just friends.

    I'll definitely read more by this author because her art style is cute, and she has said that she'll do better with representation in the future, so yay!

    1. I feel like you and I had pretty different specific reactions to Nimona (which means I expect a review, Chiara, so I can see just how differently we felt in specific areas); I also feel like I need to reread it, though, because I read it a while back. And I liked it so much. I've gotta buy myself a copy.

      Aah, that would be amazing! I would definitely read an entirely Ballister focused graphic novel. And I would, absolutely, buy his merch. BALLISTER MUG. COAT. JUMPER. Yes, please and thank you.
      Whilst I do agree with you that it would have been so lovely, if they had been overtly exes or lovers, I did enjoy the subtleness of their relationship. If I had the choice between what we got and what I wanted, I'd have had some kissing scenes, basically (they were 100% needed) but having read LGBTIQA+ books I saw the relationship. I saw it in every subtle word and gesture, and all of the longinggggggggg. And I think it would be heartbreaking to have missed that.

      I hope you enjoy Lumberjanes! It is so sweet and there's an A++ relationship and all the yes. It's so good. And her art and storytelling, it's just lovely and I love it. And I'm looking forward to a gorgeous couple who have a brilliant, very clear relationship. ALL THE LOVE. xx

  2. I've heard so many great things about this graphic novel! Obviously I need to make more of an effort to read it at some point.

    1. It's definitely worth the read, Bec- I mean, I'm wholly keen on owning and rereading upon rereading it, so I'm certainly going to give with high recommendations! xx

  3. I did open up Nimona and think that the panels were smaller than I expected. Though I probably adapted to the art style a little quicker because I knew beforehand that it had started as a web-comic. The dash-like style seemed to suit Nimona's frenetic personality.

    I'm glad that this is a story that you enjoyed (and I agree so much on the character dynamic between the three) but also, that you shared what could be improved upon. Reflecting on what we love and what is missing can be hard sometimes but also freeing.

    1. I hadn't been familiar with the actual webcomic, which is unfortunate because I think I'd have loved it so much more if I'd come to it with that prior love, but I did know it had originally been a webcomic. I love the art, but it wasn't what I expected. I think... that's probably a good thing. I like to be surprised.

      I feel like, each time I reread it, I'm going to get so much more and feel different things, but I suppose that's true of most all rereads. Ah, thank you! That means a lot to me.xx

  4. I don't really read many graphic novels but this one sounds very interesting with the well-founded characters! I love the sound of the character of Nimona. I'm glad this was such a great read for you!

    1. This is a really marvellous place to start, graphic novel-wise. I mean, all stories are completely unique, and this is unlike anything else I've ever read, but it was so wonderful. I'd love to hear how you went with it, if you give it a go.

      Nimona was such an interesting, layered character. She's flawed, certainly, and fragile and brash, and I love her so much. She's definitely a favourite. xx

  5. I haven't read graphic novels but this one sounds fun. It always seems that heroes have sidekicks but you never hear about a villain having one. And Nimona doesn't seem anything like a villain :)

    1. It's well worth the read; graphic novels and manga are just so wonderful, and this is truly an enjoyable and wonderous story. Nimona is very much a "villain" in this story, actually. She's a lovely character, but ferocious and vicious and more villainous, probably, than Ballister.


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