Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: The Dam Keeper - World Without Darkness

Title: The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness
     * Volume 2
Authors: Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi
Illustrator: Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi
Publisher: First Second
Pages: Hardcover; 160
Recommended Age Group: Middle Grade/YA
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Source: NetGalley

Beyond the dam lies certain death—this is something every citizen of Sunrise Valley knows well. Yet, when a poisonous black tidal wave carries Pig, Fox, and Hippo over the dam and into the wastelands, they don’t find death. Instead they find bustling cities, each with their own dams. Pig can't help but wonder, who is the mysterious dam keeper behind it all?

But he doesn't have time to unravel this mystery. The wave of deadly black fog will return to Sunrise Valley in four days, and its dam can't withstand another assault. In a stolen truck and with a deranged lizard leading the way, Pig and his friends are in a race against the clock. but can they reach home in time?

I can't believe that I failed to write an actual blog review for the first entry in this series, because I fell for it hard. Kondo and Tsutsumi have created this beautiful world that is also filled with darkness. It's a world that pits cute, sometimes fuzzy, lovable characters against an entity that is so mysterious that it's terrifying. I never thought I could have as many feelings about a pig as a main character as I do now. It's absoutely wonderful.

Before anything else, I have to commend the illustrations in both these books. They are more of a watercolor style, so everything is gorgeously blended and has a mystical feeling. I fell in love with the art style before, and I fell in love with it all over again this time around. It sets the mood beautifully, especially as this particular volume is very much about the journey these characters are part of. Kondo and Tsutsumi have captured my heart fair and square. I'm all in. 

As for the story of The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness, Pig, Fox, and Hippo ended the last book lost and on a mission to get back home. The huge cliffhanger ending of the last book had me ravenous for more, and so I was more than eager to get started with this installment. Although I had an inkling at the back of my mind that this book would be a little slower than the first, it still set me back for a bit. As I said above, this book is very much about the journey. A lot of traveling, a lot of discovery, and only a little of the intrigue that I loved the first time around. This installment takes patience to get through, although the illustrations definitely help.

I warn you all, there is another massive cliffhanger ending. Be prepared now, and then settle in with me to wait for the next part of the story! Was this installment perfect? Perhaps not, but that doesn't negate the fact that I am utterly in love with this whole story. When Pig, Fox and Hippo are ready to move on to their next adventure, I'll be here waiting.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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