Series: Harper Connelly Graphic Novels #2
Genre: Paranormal, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 27th 2016
My Rating: 3 Cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The official graphic novel adaptation of Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris, the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries!*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.
Harper Connelly, a psychic capable of finding dead people and reading their last thoughts, discovers a grave in Memphis with two bodies: a man centuries dead, and a girl recently deceased. How the two bodies ended up together would be perplexing enough... but the sudden appearance of a third body the next morning makes this a mystery that perhaps even Connelly can't solve!
If there's one author that will always hold a dear place in my heart, it's Charlaine Harris. She was my first "contemporary" urban fantasy author, and while I haven't had the pleasure of reading all of her works, I'm pretty confident in saying that I'll be just as amazed by her worldbuilding and her writing style as I was when reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. That is why when I saw a comic book adaptation of one of her novels, I did a tiny happy dance, because here I could combine three of my favorite things, and be super in love with the result. Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly the case.
Let's start with what I loved first. As I was already expecting, I truly enjoyed the story. The idea of someone reading the last thoughts of dead people, of being able to help families of the some of the victims find closure and peace, solving murders, is fantastic. Harper Connelly felt like an edgier, darker, stronger, less whiny and more mysterious version of Sookie Stackhouse. I loved Harper. I want to learn more about her, I want to know what got her into this job, how she decided to transform her ability into a paying job, I want to know how her story ends, so I'll definitely go back to read the books. I also want to know more about Tolliver, her step-brother. The story was pretty interesting, although I feel like there are a few loose ends that I'm hoping will be solved in the rest of the books.
The art itself is pretty spectacular. A lot of the colors used are pretty dark, making the mystery and the suspense a bit stronger. And I liked how color was used to draw attention to certain moments in the story, or to certain characters. The panels weren't too crowded with drawings, and there were just enough characters to keep the story going and to not confuse me. There were a lot of dialogue boxes of inner monologue from Harper, which I kind of liked, because it made me understand the story and Harper, herself, more.
Which brings me to what I didn't necessarily like in this book. I did have an issue with some of the art details and the panel choices, which a lot of times pulled me out of the story. At times, the way different facial expressions was drawn was too comical, but not in a good way. I understand that it is difficult to transform text into drawings, but I would have wanted for some of their facial expressions to be more natural and to not look so strange. I also struggled a bit with the reading order, because every once in a while, the order of the panels changed, but not necessarily always due to the size of the panels, or at least it didn't feel like that some of the time. I also feel like there were a few inconsistencies in terms of timeline, mostly in the beginning. Towards the end the plot felt a bit too rushed, and the way the story was wrapped up felt too abrupt, comparing to the slower pace of the rest of the novel.
When I started reading this book, I honestly expected to have another 5 cups read on my hands, and I feel like the potential was there, but unfortunately that was not the case. I don't know if this was because I had really high expectations, or because it really is difficult to translate a written novel in a graphic version, but I felt like this was just an okay read. I do, however plan on reading the original version of this story, as well as the other books in the series earlier than I first planned on.