Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Naja by Jean-David Morvan & Bengal - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors/Magnetic Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Naja
Authors: Jean-David Morvan & Bengal
Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Paul's Review

Synopsis: Naja is the perfect killer - because she feels nothing. Literally. Her body registers no pain, nor does her heart, coldly executing jobs given to her by her mysterious boss, known only as "Zero."

When another killer in Zero's organization targets Naja for elimination, she has no choice but to fall off the grid and seek answers, as bloody as they might be. 

Written by international creative powerhouse JD Morvan (Sillage, Zaya) and illustrated by French sensation Bengal (Meka, Luminae), this volume collects the entire five-book Naja series into a single, lavish album!


Review: Naja is a really interesting character with a very troubled past that has led to her becoming the perfect assassin. She can literally feel no pain, physically or emotionally. She follows her orders and kills without regret, simply because her orders tell her to. But then, a mysterious stranger enters her life and warms her cold, unfeeling heart. 

And that's only the beginning of the tangled web that is Naja's life. I mean, I've read some pretty convoluted stories, but Naja definitely takes the cake. Nothing is as it seems, no one is who they say they are or who they appear to be, and Naja's life is way more ridiculous than anyone could ever have guessed. Throw in some assassins, assassins fighting assassins, assassins fighting armies, and even a Columbian prison, and this story is also pretty epic.

One of my favorite parts about this graphic novel was the way that it's told. Everything is seen through the eyes of an outside narrator. We don't find out his (or her) identity until near the end of the story, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Naja's life and her past and this story through the eyes of someone who may or may not be connected to it all. There are flashbacks throughout the story, and I thought they were well placed within the story happening in the present. 

I also really enjoyed the artwork in this graphic novel. It fit very well with the story - the colors match the mood and what's going on. Each character is distinct and it's easy to tell who is who and who might be related and all of that. I've never heard of Bengal before, but  I will definitely be looking more into his works just to see his art! 

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. There is quite a bit of nudity, blood and gore, and some totally messed up familial connections (especially near the conclusion), so I would recommend this book for mature audiences. I don't think a younger audience would really understand a lot of what's going on anyway. If you love assassins and are looking for a different story featuring them that includes excellent story-telling and artwork, you should definitely pick up Naja! 4/5. 


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