June 8, 2010

Mercury by Hope Larson: Review

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After Chris (Stuff As Dreams Are Made On) reviewed Mercury by Hope Larson, I immediately requested it from the library.

Mercury, a graphic novel, is told from two points of view: modern teen Tara and 1850's teen Josey. Tara's old family home has burned down, a house Josey once lived in, and she's living with her relatives until her mom gets settled out west. Tara is dealing with a myriad of teen issues on top of her burnt home: her parents divorce, fitting in at school, and boys.

Josey lives on the homestead with her family when a strange young man named Asa Curry arrives. He makes a startling revelation; there's gold on their land. Josey's father is all for the scheme of gold prospecting but her mother has suspicions regarding Mr Curry. Meanwhile, Josey has fallen quite hard for the young man.

The two stories run parallel to each other with both girls balancing the needs of their families with their own desires. For Josey, it's the love of Asa Curry while for Tara it's her wish to stay in the town where her family has roots. The two story lines eventually meet in the conclusion of the book.

Hope Larson is 'from away' but manages to capture an authentic Nova Scotian voice in Mercury. Tara has a parent working in another province which is a fairly common occurrence these days. Larson also incorporates local folklore into the book with forerunners and treasure hunting lore. It's quite magical!

I'm amazed at the ability of graphic novelists to create fleshed out characters with so few words. Tara and Josey are completely believable teens. I understood their angst and their frustrations. I grew to love these girls.

As for the illustrations, they were a joy to look at. Just stark black and white drawings but filled with detail. Take a look!
So glad I read Mercury. I hope you will too and enjoy a little piece of Nova Scotia.

Highly recommended.


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7 comments :

  1. I've been wanting to explore graphic novels more lately and this seems like a great one to check out. Thanks for the review.

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  2. I read a different Hope Larson book (Gray Horses) and really enjoyed it; you've reminded me that I need to read more of her!

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  3. I need to get this! I really enjoyed everything of Larson's I've read so far.

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  4. Oh good!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :D I had a feeling that you would!

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  5. Sounds like it's worth reading for the setting alone.

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  6. This sounds like a must-read. Thanks for the review.

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  7. Swapna- I'd also recommend French Milk if you're looking to start GNs.

    Eva- I'll have to look for that one.

    Ana- Hope you get it!

    Chris- Thanks for reading it!

    Kathy & Trisha- Hope you give it a try!

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