In which skepticism turns to adoration ...


Nimona joins forces with Lord Ballister Blackheart, the biggest super-villian in the kingdom, to overthrow Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, Champion of the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics. Nimona is a shape-shifter, and Blackheart needs her talents in taking down Goldenloin, his arch nemesis. Together, the duo are unstoppable: Ballister for his talents in science, Nimona for her passion and magic.

According to Blackheart, Goldenloin is not the hero the public proclaims him to be, and he is determined to reveal Goldenloin's villainy. Nimona infiltrates the Institution and finds top-secret files that show the institution plans to use the poisonous (and illegal) jaderoot to manufacture weapons. When Goldenloin learns that his project has been uncovered, he is ordered by the Institute's Director to find and kill them.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I LOVE graphic novels. I love art, so I was really looking forward to reading this. At first, I was a bit skeptical, because the layout didn’t seem to stand out. I found the beginning to be a bit fast-paced, with little introduction and plot foundation. The first chapters are standard, rectangular comic frames, with no narration or description. HOWEVER, as I continued reading, I ended up really loving this book. The layout and art vary a lot more as the book progresses. I really love the use of colors to set the mood. The drawings are simple and yet charming.

As to the story itself, the plot is incredible and how it progressed. Although the writing is limited to dialogue only, the language was rich and humorous. It highlights the contrast in personalities between Nimona and Blackheart very well. With many characters speaking about their inner thoughts, fears, regrets, identity struggles, etc., there is a greater depth to their development as well as the plot. There is a very good build-up, climax, and resolution that guided the story process.

If you’re into fantasy or sci-fi stories, you would adore this book. If you’re a graphic novel fan, that’s also a bonus! I read Nimona while listening to the audiobook of the story, which adds additional, complementary narration and description, as well as sound effects, background music and very talented voice actors. I have listened to many audiobooks before and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better storytelling experience than this one. Listening to the audiobook and following along with the graphic novel is a whole other wonderful experience on its own. I would strongly recommend this, although it’s not necessary. It is easy to still enjoy the graphic novel for itself.

I recommend Nimona for readers 12 and older. I counted five instances of swearing, but otherwise, there is very minimal offensive language. It is a graphic novel, and there are scenes of blood and swordplay/other weapons, but nothing is too graphic or triggering. I think the plot itself would be well-liked by younger readers too.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Incredible plot and great art. It's going to be hard to pull readers away from this one. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Minimal, mild profanity and some violence.

Type of Book:
This is a graphic novel adventure.
Educational Themes:

This is a graphic novel fantasy to enjoy as leisure reading.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. A fantastic fantasy sci-fi lovers will read and re-read many times.

Title Nimona
Author Noelle Stevenson
Publisher Quill Tree Books, Imprint HarperCollins Children's Books © 2015
Illustrators Noelle Stevenson
ISBN 9780062278227
Material Paperback
Cost $14.99
Genres Fantasy, Humor, Comics | Graphic Novels
be the star you are Cybils
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