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Title & Author: The Bullywol Visitor: A Not For Childrens’ Book (Volume 1), Cardigan Broadmoor

Genre & Publication Date: Sci-Fi/Fantasy graphic novel, February 15, 2015

Book Description: “Thousands upon thousands of years ago, the tucked away Bullywol Mountains received a visitor from the cold of space…and now you can read all about his first adventure! Stubborn stars, stumbling Wumpuses, solemn vows and sleepy aliens are just a few of the curious things you will find in this first installment of the new Not-For-Children’s book series starring Father Amblisnow.”

First Line: Thousands upon thousands of years ago, before there were any humans stumbling around those parts, the tucked away Bullywol Mountains received a visitor from the cold of space.

My Take: This book was provided by the author for review.

At its core, the story is about an ancient man from a distant planet who has lived his long life alone and in silence. One day he sees a shooting star, grabs the tail, and off on an adventure he goes!

The book had some great themes around solitude and companionship, exploration and the yearning for home. The main character sees and learns many things during his time among the stars, and though he’d like to go home, he doesn’t want to return to the same isolated life he had before. A nice character arc established in a just a few pages.

The main character’s adventures also convey a strong appreciation for the natural world as well, which I liked seeing since this idea is often underrepresented in the Science-Fiction genre.

There was some word repetition that called attention at one point. I realize this was done intentionally for effect but it took a couple of steps past the acceptable number which, strangely, lessens the intended effect.

The illustration was fantastic. Black and white, framed in emerald green, each drawing might seem simple but in fact holds a complexity of movement and contrast that is difficult to pull off with such a restricted palate. Definitely a good example in how less can truly be more.

The Magical: The formatting gave the novel a storybook feel: green lettered text on a black background displayed on its own page, opposite an image drawn in black, white, and green. An eclectic feel and I loved it.

The Mundane: The end left me wanting. As this book includes “Volume 1” in the title, I’m sure there’s more to come, but I wish this one had been tied off with a bit more satisfaction. It’s possible to still dangle open story threads while resolving a few to tie off the installment.

And I hate to nick pick but when the issue is in the title I feel it’s a responsibility: “Childrens'” is grammatically incorrect. The word “children” is the plural for “child”, thus no ‘s’ needed. The sentence “A Not For Childrens’ Book” is already an awkward sentence structure, and really, why can’t children read it? The art and themes are appropriate for them too.

Summary of Thoughts: Currently, the book is $5.00 on the Kindle or $12.70 for a dead tree version. Here is whimsy with a dash of the philosophical. I enjoyed this book and all its imaginative creatures. This artist has great talent and I adored the illustrations.  While the story could use a little tweaking here and there, the read was fun and I definitely recommend it.

Many thanks to author Cardigan Broadmoor for providing a copy of the book to review!


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