My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First of all, a brief synopsis from the publisher:
One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular–and notoriously reclusive–author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.A mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, Hemingway, and Greek mythology, drawn in moody black-and-white charcoal, Sailor Twain is a study in romance, atmosphere, and suspense.
Now my review:
Sailor Twain is one of the better graphic novels I have read in a while. Unfortunately, because I downloaded an ARC copy of it from NetGalley, I had to read it using Adobe Digital Editions. I may have to buy a print copy of this when it is released next month as it was bit awkward reading it on the computer. I was still able to enjoy it, though.
The story concerns Captain Twain, a steamboat captain on the Hudson River in the late 19th century, and his encounter with a mermaid. This mermaid is not the creature of children’s stories, but mermaids as they used to be depicted – beautiful in appearance, but deceptive and dangerous in nature.
The book is well-drawn and the story is well-written and different. The book is not for children, but may be enjoyed by older teens. As a cautionary note to parents, the mermaid is depicted as topless throughout the book, which may be a guide to those wondering at its suitability for their young ones.
One of the positive things I found about reading this was that it wasn’t predictable. It also had enough moments of mystery to make me want to keep on reading. As well as the mermaid and Captain Twain there are quite a few memorable supporting characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but everything in the story is not always what it seemed at first. It’s not a long book, although it is fairly bulky for a graphic novel. It could easily be read and enjoyed in one sitting. If you are a fan of Mark Twain or Edgar Allan Poe, or similar authors, then this book is for you. The black and white drawings also add to the mood of the book, which I think would not have given the same effect had it been drawn in colour.
This is a graphic novel I have no problem in recommending, especially if you are a fan of some of the people and things I have mentioned. If nothing else, it will keep you entertained and guessing for a while on one of those dark winter afternoons where the best option is to stay inside, keep warm, and crack open a book.
(Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy of this book from NetGalley, but this in no way influenced my opinion or review)