July Book Discussion: Nimona

Yay, this is the first time that we are going to try out the new format! Be gentle, I don’t have much (haha, any) experience with this kind of thing, so forgive the weird long pauses (I was trying really hard not to say “um” and “er” a whole lot!). I would love to hear what you think about the new format (love it? hate it? ambivalent about it?), if you have any suggestions for making it better, or if you want to scrap it completely. And of course, most importantly, what did you think of Nimona?! Comment below! <3


Summary of points covered in audio discussion:

  • A simplistic concept with on-the-nose character names (Goldenloin and Blackheart, seriously?) led to a surprisingly layered story about morality.
  • Blackheart’s morality is generally reserved for heroes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Clark Kent; our first hint that he was going to be our actual hero, not Goldenloin or the Institute and in contrast to Nimona’s apparent love of destruction.
  • In my opinion, Nimona wasn’t just a monster. She wouldn’t have loved Blackheart if she was. She was being the monster that she had been made into.
  • Class issues were brought up several times in the story but it felt heavy-handed and unnecessary to me because it never really went anywhere.
  • Gloreth = girl power, rah rah!
  • I find fight scenes in comics so hard to follow. 🙁
  • Goldenloin and Blackheart just set aside their years of fighting and were totally fine? Hmm.
  • OH! And I forgot to mention one thing completely! Thoughts on whether or not the girl at the end was ACTUALLY Nimona or if Blackheart just wanted it to be?

See the rest of the Young Adulters Book Club posts here.

Vote for August’s book selection here.

July Book Discussion: Nimona

12 thoughts on “July Book Discussion: Nimona

  1. Jeri says:

    I really enjoyed the audio commentary. It was interesting to listen to your viewpoint. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but I do read some. I was very disappointed in Nimona. I had been looking forward to reading it as it was on my ‘to read’ list. I didn’t enjoy Noelle Stevenson’s art style or her writing style. I found the story disjointed and it didn’t sweep me up and into Nimona’s world. I was going to read the Lumberjane series, also by Stevenson, but now I won’t bother. You brought up a number of points that I overlooked in the book, but even with that persepective, I didn’t enjoy it enough to read more by this author.

    1. : It is interesting that you bring up Lumberjanes. I didn’t realize that was also by Noelle Stevenson. I actually tried to read the first one in that series a couple months ago and could not get past the first few pages. I was very disappointed as I had heard great things and was excited for a great girl power story.

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Nimona
      .. Do you think you’ll try any of the other suggested ones? I’m looking forward to hearing what Carlia thought of Friends with Boys!

      1. Jeri says:

        I have read “Outside the Circle” which I believe was one of the choices. I would highly recommend this graphic novel to everyone. A very realistic look at the cycle that many natives find themselves in and the difficulty in breaking away from it.

  2. Carlia says:

    So YAY! I’m totally audio famous now thanks!!! I loved the audio commentary, it was really great to hear your thoughts and I found I could connect more what you were saying because I could hear your voice and the differences when you talked about one part or another.

    I’m very much new to the graphic novel scene and I like the straight forward story line approach without the million pages in-between to set the scene or express a feeling, I think I read the Twilight graphic novels when they came out but that’s really about it. I’m almost finished Friends with Boys and will put something up as soon as I do.

    Your comments let me look at the story in a different way then how I originally experienced it and did make me stop and rethink some of my thoughts, specifically around Blackhearts morality and Nimona’s monster-because-i’m-a-monster-monster. However i’m more in Jeri’s direction and didn’t particularly enjoy the writing or art style, at some points it was almost too basic “lets kill them, rawr, zoom, cat, monster, die, life is special, tortued and abuse Nimona monster, cat” it wasn’t what I was expecting from this story line. I completely believe that it was Nimona at the end because I don’t think she would have been able to hold herself back from checking on Blackheart and being a little sneaky.

    1. I absolutely burst out laughing at “let’s kill them, rawr, zoom, cat, monster, die, life is special, tortured and abused nimona monster, cat.” So accurate. Haha. This is the first graphic novel that I have found that to be true with, though, so perhaps it is because the author was trying to skew younger? I’m not sure.

      I can recommend some other graphic novels that I think are truly incredible stories if you are interested. 🙂

        1. Hands down, the best graphic novels I have read are the Saga series by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. There is some graphic sexual content, so be warned if that offends you, but the story is straight up INCREDIBLE. And I think I am equally in love with Markus and Alanna.

          Alex + Ada is an interesting short series that deals with artificial intelligence in an emotionally resonant way.

          Through the Woods is a great collection of horror stories, if you’re into that.

          Blankets by Craig Thompson is a good high school relationship one.

          I have also been told by several people that Local by Brian Wood is phenomenal as well but I have not read it myself.

          If you read any of them, I absolutely want to know your thoughts!!!

  3. Valerie says:

    I liked hearing your comments rather than just reading them. I am also okay with non-audio; I will leave that up to you. I have to admit, I read the book quick because I was trying, at every turn of the page, to enjoy my experience. As I read (and heard) the comments about the depth to the story, I am digging deep into my near 50 brain to remember a time I felt there was any true depth to the story. Perhaps pure dialogue with graphics just doesn’t work for me. The graphics I found oddly disturbing and I couldn’t seem to fit what I had going in my mind with what was being said or illustrated.

    Blackheart being the good guy was given away too early in the story. You could just tell by the way they illustrated Goldenloin (kind of arrogant and slimy) and the ‘oh to obvious’ position of being the Institute’s chosen one. The Institute was very ‘Big Brother’ so their champion could not possibly be benevolent. Nimona was just too messy a character for me. Maybe that is the nature of graphic novels because you only really have dialogue to develop character. Like I have posted before, I am a character driven reader. I did like how Blackheart seemed to smooth some of her edges. Her aggressiveness seemed to be in his face all the time and he never shied away from her or abandoned her.

    So I can’t say I will seek out further graphic novels but I won’t turn away from the either.

    1. Yes! One of the very first thoughts I wrote down in my reading journal was “Blackheart is clearly our hero and Goldenloin is clearly an arrogant ninny” or something of that nature. It was just telegraphed so early, and I think that the names were part of that, too. Like, a character named Blackheart couldn’t actually be blackhearted right, that would just be too simple. And he was definitely the best character in the story; I thought he was the most layered and realistic.

      There are some truly incredible graphic novels out there, but this is the first graphic novel that I have read geared towards young adults. I can recommend a few adult-oriented ones if you would be interested. 🙂

  4. Carlia says:

    SPOILER!!! Friends With Boys

    I wanted to share a few thoughts on Friends With Boys as it was one of the other selections for July. I liked the simplicity of the story line, girl who was home schooled now has to transition and navigate through high school. The art was well done I found myself looking at the images well after I had read the content and picking up different things. I liked that there were many underlying thoughts and story lines with each character and how they all mixed and somehow came together. It has some great insides into high school culture and lightly illustrates some class issues.

    I have no idea what the whole being haunted thing is about, aside from the reason for bringing the group together and resolving differences at the end of the book, which was a pretty minor section comparatively, it was irrelevant. We don’t really know who the ghost is, although we get an idea of who it could be, she just appears and disappears no “haunting” things, no speaking, nothing, just there and then not. It also turns out some of the other family members are also “haunted” by the same ghost but they just wave it off like it’s no big deal.
    “I’ve always seen it. Ever since I was a kid”
    “Why didn’t you tell me?”
    “…well, geeze [points to ghost-busters shirt] I only wear this shirt like, every day.”
    That explains it all folks! It left this issue slightly unresolved for me.

    I am starting to think that maybe Young Adult graphic novels are not the best for me, they seem too basic and safe, I might have better luck with adult ones.

    The best part has to be the Alistair after they watch Alien.
    “I retract the previous statement. I did not look lustfully upon the kickass lady in her underoos.”

  5. Meghan says:

    I tried more then once to pick it up and read it. It was hard for me to get into. I very much enjoy graphic novels and comic books but for some reason I just wasn’t gripped into this one.

    1. It seems that most people were really not into it this time around! Which are your favorite graphic novels? I am always looking for more to explore in that genre. 🙂

      Hopefully the next selection will be more enjoyable for everyone!

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