The Raven's Child, by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Thomas E. Sniegoski's standalone graphic novel The Raven's Child has all the right ingredients for an epic fantasy: an inspiring protagonist, a memorable cast of evildoers, and a detailed, visually striking world. The story is set in a modern day Earth overrun by the Throng, a grotesque army of people-eating monsters. Humanity is on its last legs, but a sliver of hope is created by tales of a monster slayer known as the Raven's Child. The Throng believe the Raven's Child is the “Dark Goddess” destined to destroy their race. In reality, she is a human woman with a strong will and an even stronger desire for revenge, but the rumors of her activities are enough to terrify the Throng... and inspire a handful of her fellow survivors to fight back.

The Raven's Child should have been much, much bigger—in both physical size and literary scope. I have an advance reader copy, but if Amazon is to be believed, the final version of this book is only 6 by 9 inches and about 200 pages. Tom Brown's black-and-white artwork (which looks like what would happen if you mashed together a Margaret Keane painting, The Dark Crystal, and Hieronymus Bosch's depiction of Hell) would be better appreciated via a larger format, and Sniegoski's story needed to be at least twice as long. Limiting this graphic novel to 208 pages is like trying to condense the entire run of Y: The Last Man down to the length of a single Archie volume; there is still the germ of an entertaining idea, but it falls tantalizingly short of what it could have been.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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