Published: 24 October 2017
Publisher: Lion Forge
Category: Graphic Novel/Fantasy/Young Adult
Morrigan Moore has always been moody, but her new home is the worst. Her novelist mother has dragged her to the countryside, drawn by the lost myth of the King of Crows, a dark figure of theft and deceit, and the Scarecrow Prince, the only one who can stand against him. When Morrigan finds herself swept up in the legend, she’ll have no choice but to take on the Scarecrow Prince’s mantel, and to stand and fight. For her town, her family, and her own future. This lushly drawn graphic novel will pull you into its sinister secrets and not let go till the final page. For fans of Coraline and Over the Garden Wall
Rating: 1 Star
I looked for this on NetGalley at the recommendation of someone close to me who had seen it somewhere and thought it might be interesting. Luckily it was on NetGalley as a Read Now option, so here we are. With the line “for fans of Coraline…” in the synopsis, I thought it might be interesting enough. That’s one of my favorite books and movies, after all.
Morrigan is, right off the bat, described as “always moody” in the synopsis. From what I could tell, however, she acted like a teenager that had had her life disrupted in what she thought was an unfair way: because of the job of her mother and bother, novelists that chase myths and legends. While her snark toward the new landlady was a bit biting and obviously rude, I understand where she was coming from and rather felt like she was being painted as a brat when she was simple reacting as one would expect her to have in such a situation. That doesn’t mean I liked her, as such, but I understood her bratty-ness.
Sophie and Edgar Moore were an odd pair of characters. I didn’t get much of a sense of personality from them, besides that of absentminded authors. What I’m still wondering about it, why mother and brother? There wasn’t enough detail about them to flesh them out and see them as such. To be honest, without the brief mention of his being her brother at the beginning, I would have thought Edgar was her father. He and their mother came off as absentminded author parents, really, rather than a brother working with his mum. Plus the language used to talk about them, “your folks”, is most often used for parental figures.
The King of Crows was by far the creepiest, most perverted character in the book. I disliked his mannerisms, his way of speaking; for a thousands year old creature, he sounded like an entitled modern man full of arrogance. I hated him when he started making sexual advances toward Morrigan, our fourteen year old heroine, and nothing is said in the text about it. He’s a bad guy because he took her parents, not because he’s trying to seduce her or because he made a comment about a four panel page scene earlier in the book when, after escaping from his kingdom, she pleasured herself. What. The. Hell. was that about??
The final battle between Morrigan and the Crow King further feeds into this creepiness because both characters are completely naked at the end. The Crow King has his lower half covered by crows/shadows, but Morrigan? The child in this book? Not a stitch, nothing. It was a rude scene change in the narrative and added nothing that I could see. If the mantle of the Scarecrow turning evil and needing to be stripped away was so important, I feel like the author could easily have managed this without parading Morrigan around like he did. It made a read that was somewhat dull into one that was downright uncomfortable.
The book is touted as being for fans of Coraline and I can almost see that, but I think it shared a bit too many similarities with Coraline to really stand out as a unique work of fiction that might appeal to fans of both books. If you didn’t use names or the details about the crows, I think people might not be able to tell the difference very well and that seems a problem for me because this could have been wonderful. The idea of a Crow King haunting a small English town sounds eerie and mythical. It was a bit sad that it didn’t quite reach that level for me.
The art seemed rather rough around the edges, like static on a television. Then, the coloring. It was quite flat and didn’t seem to flesh out the story. It was like filling out a coloring book page with one colored pencil or paint pen and not doing much in the way of shading or layering.
Ultimately, even if the art had been of a higher quality, I don’t think I could rate this higher because of the story and gratuitous nudity.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.