Book Review: The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope, JT Petty, and David Rubin

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: The Rise of Aurora West
Authors: Paul Pope, JT Petty, and illustrations by David Rubin
Series: One of the prequels to Battling Boy
Publication Date: September 30th 2014

Synopsis: "Acropolis is rife with monsters and short on heroes.
Luckily, there's a new hero on the rise.
Aurora West has her hands full trying to fit in martial arts lessons between chemistry and math classes, helping her father on his missions, and unraveling the mystery surrounding her mother's death. The answer, she discovers, may be as close as her own childhood memories - if she can only survive the monster Sadisto and his murderous clan long enough to piece it together.
Set in the world of Paul Pope's hit graphic novel Battling Boy, this fast-paced adventure is the first of two volumes of mystery, mayhem... and murder!"

My thoughts: I will admit, to start with, that I have no read Battling Boy - nor had I heard of it before reading Aurora West. Whether that affects how I see this book, or my experience of it, in any great way - I'm not sure. But I suspect that it does.

Anyway, onto Aurora West. I really liked her character - a kickass female protaganist is a good way to get me into a book. At times, Aurora is shown as being a bit insecure/unsure of herself, and I really appreciated that side to her. In fact the whole book did a good job of not making the heroes seem completely infallible. We learn about their pasts a little bit - particularly Aurora's father's past - and that helps the book to come together.

However, I did feel like there was a little too much going on for me to follow well at times. This may have had something to do with the art style, which I wasn't a huge fan of - I can acknowledge that it's very well done, but I just didn't like it all that much. This may have also influenced how much I cared about what was happening to the characters within the book - I didn't find myself caring about them at all until about three quarters of the way through the book - before that I just felt like my brain was being bombarded with information and illustrations, and I was finding it hard to piece things together and understand where things were going.
To sum up, I found this book intriguing - it had a good premise, and a strong character - I just didn't feel that interested in the story while I was reading. I'm not sure if I will read the next book... I guess we shall see.

I received an Advanced Reader's Edition of this book from First Second Books.

You would like this book if: you enjoy David Rubin's art style; you're into heroes-battling-monsters with interesting back-stories.

Rating:  6.5/10

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