I recently mentioned that I wanted to start reading a few more graphic novels, so when I saw this book in a display at a local library, I couldn’t resist taking it home with me!
Feathers by Jorge Corona with Jen Hickman
Publisher: Archaia, 2015
Genre: Middle grade, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, Graphic Novel
Source: Public Library
Poe has lived in the Maze for his entire life. Covered in feathers, he spends most of his time in hiding with his adoptive father. But as he grows older, he has more and more questions about where he came from and starts exploring more of the dangerous Maze, where street-children disappear daily. Bianca lives within the enclosed City and dreams of adventures. When she escapes into the Maze, two lives will collide and reveal that there’s more at stake than anyone ever expected.
In his foreword, Corona mentions a link to Beauty and the Beast, but I don’t know if I’d have made that connection without his explanation. To me, this story seemed more a classic “mysterious city boy with dark secrets” meets “sheltered-but-spunky, rich girl” story. Even though this story has a lot of common elements, I didn’t find it boring or overdone. I think the characters are well-developed, even though we learn so little about some of them. There are plenty of tough, adventurous female characters, kind and caring men, and a good balance between people who represent good and those who stand for evil. I also like the fact that there seem to be a lot of hidden literary references throughout the story. Poe, covered in black feathers, reminds of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” the street kids look like they’ve walked straight out of a Charles Dickens tale, and there’s a mysterious Pied Piper character whose music helps trap the street kids, conveniently called “Mice.” There’s a lot to think about, and I think there’s quite a bit more than meets the eye with this story. It would be interesting to see how different the reactions to this book might be between an older and younger reader!
The art in this book reminded me a lot of the Wizard of Oz graphic novels I’ve reviewed previously. The character designs are clear and meaningful, and you get a good sense of their environment. The back matter in this book includes a pretty extensive discussion of the art in this book and explains its development at each stage of the process. For those interested in graphic novels and similar artwork, this is a really cool addition to the book.
This book is pretty open-ended; even though Poe and Bianca mostly solve the mystery of the Pied Piper character, there are still a lot of questions waiting to be answered. I haven’t seen any information about a sequel, but if you have, please let me know! I have a lot of questions and can’t wait to see what happens next for these characters.
For more information:
Check here for more of Jorge Corona’s work!
Jen Hickman’s official website
Hickman added the colors to the graphic novel.
Deron Bennett’s official website.
Bennett provided the lettering for Feathers.
***** 5/5 stars
A feathered boy and a courageous girl come together for an adventure in the Maze that will change both their worlds in ways they never expected.
Interesting story and art
Detailed explanation of process