by Finn C., Age 13 , Grade 8, Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, OHIO UNITED STATES
Teacher: Emily Green
A lot of people say comic books are all pictures, and that calling them “graphic novels” is just glorifying them. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson proves that belief wrong.
Set in a dystopian kingdom controlled by an organization called the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, Nimona is a story about a young girl named Nimona who can shapeshift. She works with the infamous supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart. The Institution, led by their leader the Director, lies to the Kingdom, telling them that Blackheart is the villain, but with the help of Nimona and her shapeshifting powers, he hopes to fight back and show the Kingdom that the Institution are the evil ones.
Nimona is an amusing and exciting story, filled with twist and turns. It will keep you entertained for the whole book, and never has a dull moment. It's witty, edgy, and full of fulfillment that can apply to all ages.
As a story that's designed to be a spoof, Nimona is full of humor and amusement. Nimona’s character is witty and a bit of smart Alec, so the quips and wisecracks she makes towards villains as she dispatches them are very funny. Not to mention the banter she shares with Lord Blackheart. For example, near the beginning of the story, Nimona and Blackheart get into a fight with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his goons, and Blackheart thinks Nimona was killed. Nimona shapeshifts to look like the Director, the head of the Institution, and messes with Blackheart when she video chats with him. She then changes into a shark to scare him, and then transforms back to herself (Stevenson 16-17). This irritates Blackheart, making for some funny arguing between the two. Nimona is a free spirit, and the little quarrels she has with Blackheart about her methods and her recklessness prove to be very entertaining.
Just because the story is meant to be a parody of your classic hero vs villain story, it doesn't mean it isn't very exciting. Nimona and Blackheart engage the Director and the Institution in many situations, leading to high octane action sequences. Nimona utilizes her ability to shapeshift to take out the Institution's guards several times, including a time when she takes the form of an elephant (Stevenson 63).
The excitement pairs beautifully with the twists and turns that Stevenson implements in the story. For example, Blackheart’s relationship with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin isn't what it seems at first. With plenty of twists about each of the characters backstories and how they will affect the story, Noelle Stevenson keeps you guessing who's really good and who's really evil.To conclude, Nimona is a humorous and action-packed story fit for anyone who likes a good laugh with a little bit of action. Even if you don't care for comic books, I guarantee Nimona will be a good fit for you. Although it will probably appeal to millennials the most, this book can be entertaining for all audiences. With a mix of broad humor and jokes to appeal to youth, Nimona is cheeky enough to be appealing, but not so cheeky that it's irritating. It has a theme that will make readers rethink everything they thought they knew about benevolence and malevolence, good guys and bad guys, and the true meaning of friendship.