BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review of Grave Sight Book One by Charlaine Harris & William Harms, art by Dennis Medri

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Release Date: June 14, 2011

Series: #1 of Grave Sight Graphic Novel Adaptation

More Info:  Amazon   The Book Depository

Book Blurb (from goodreads):

Acclaimed New York Times Bestselling author Charlaine Harris, the writer of the Sookie Stackhouse series, has joined the Dynamite Entertainment family with the first book of her hit Harper Connelly series, Grave Sight. 

For the past five years, readers have been thrilled by the Harper Connelly series which follows a woman who has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who's passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she's providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living - but she's used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother, Tolliver, as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she's become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it's always urgent - even if the dead can wait forever.

At the age of 15, Harper Connelly was struck by lightning, an event that gave her the ability to find the dead and see how they died. Since then, Harper's scratched out a living selling her services to anyone with a checkbook. It's not the best life, but it beats the alternative - at least until Harper and her brother Tolliver roll into Sarne, Arkansas and find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery!

Paperback, 64 pages
My Thoughts:

I read the novel when it first came out but not since then. Despite that, the story came right back to me as I read the adaptation and so far, Harris and her co-writers have done an excellent job. The pace is good, the story flows and makes sense, and it stays true to the original in tone and substance while managing not to be cluttered up with extraneous details that fill out a text only book but clutter up a visual book. 

The story is not an easy one to adapt to a visual form, being primarily plot and character driven. There's not a lot of action, and much of the book's dialogue was kept. I didn't mind it but if you are used to action oriented graphic novels, you'll need to re-adjust your expectations.

Tolliver and Harper are step-siblings who live and work together, traveling around the country finding dead people for a living. Harper was hit by lightning as a teenager and ever since, she can find bodies and relive their last moments, seeing, feeling and hearing what they did as they died. It doesn’t bring her much comfort but since she’s drawn to dead bodies regardless of what she wants, she might as well put it to use. 

Understandably, people are distrustful or scared of her ability, even the ones who hire her.  We see her under attack, literally, by people who think she is evil or an agent of the devil; we also see her treated with suspicion and distrust by people who are sure she’s a con artist. Through it all, Harris balances showing us Harper’s reactions without manipulating our emotions. 

The story in Book One ends on a cliffhanger (unless you have read the original).I believe that there are two more installments planned.

The art is dark in tone and color but it perfectly suits the story and the lines are clean. I prefer a clean, non-cartoony style and I’m glad that the artists chose to use it. I think anything else would have undermined the story and detracted from it. Medri has a challenging job in showing us how Harper's ability works; it's not flashy or obvious. He opts for dream-style flashbacks; a few times the transition from present to "seeing" was not obvious but I imagine that might be true if such an ability actually existed.

You can easily read this if you have not read the original material and I recommend it. 

NOTE: There are at least two different covers for this edition. 

I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

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