ARC Review: Mystery Girl Volume 1

Mystery Girl Volume 1
Mystery Girl Volume 1 by Paul Tobin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Trine Hampstead knows everything. Just knows it. Ask her a question like, “Where are my keys?” or, “Is my husband cheating on me?” or, “How can there be perfectly preserved mammoths in the ice of Siberia when the ice isn’t that old?” and she just knows the answer. She’s the Mystery Girl. The only thing she doesn’t know is anything about the last ten years of her own life, including what happened to give her this ability. But that’s a mystery for later. The mystery for now is about those mammoths. Trine knows why they’re there but surprises anyone who knows Trine by demanding to leave her London-based sidewalk detective setup to go to Siberia with the archaeological team to see them for herself. And close behind is a vicious killer who is targeting her for reasons even Trine doesn’t know.

Mystery Girl has an interesting premise – about a woman who knows the answer to every mystery, except her own. Her uncanny ability draws the attention of everyone, and Trine is a helpful person of the community. She is nice to people, and has a complicated relationship with her friend who is in love with her. But it can’t be denied that she loves the people of her neighborhood. When a chance to get to Siberia to see actual mammoths comes, she jumps on it. However, a psychopathic hitman is out to make her his next victim, and becomes more interested when he learns of her abilities. Determined to outdo her, he and his company set a trap for her, one which she evades and later falls into. Still, her resourcefulness and her abilities manage to rescue her from dire situations.

The plot is pretty interesting, and the characterization is quite good – the subtle nuances of the personalities shine through even in a visual medium. But I did not find the artwork to be impressive – it is done in what I consider an old style, reminiscent of older superhero comics, with a bit theatrical expressions and the like. Compared with the detailed and amazing artwork coming out nowadays, this felt a bit boring. And since it is a graphic novel, this factored majorly in the rating I give this book – the artwork is half the soul; and I couldn’t like it enough to be compensated by the story or the plot. I would give it 3.5 stars.

Received a free galley from Dark Horse Books, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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