Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

NimonaNimona by Noelle Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit

First of all, I did not read this as a graphic novel, so I won’t be commenting on the artwork. I read it as an audiobook (yes, even I was a bit curious about how you adapt a graphic novel to an audio book) which I must say was done brilliantly. The story goes like this – Nimona is a shapeshifter who becomes the sidekick of a supervillain, Lord Ballister Blackheart who doesn’t actually know how to be a supervillian. He was actually training to be a hero along with his friend/lover(?) Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, but was removed from the Institution because he lost a hand in a duel with the latter (who he hasn’t forgiven for). Now, with a prosthetic arm and a burning desire for vengeance he metes out his own form of revenge with his strict moral code. Nimona, however, has no care for moral codes and is quite murder happy (her childhood as an experimental specimen may be the cause for that). The story is mostly him and her trying to bring down the Institution and possibly dismantle the monarchy, and explores the characters with nuance and consideration for their backstories. It does feel a bit underdeveloped when it came to the world-building, though, or it is not apparent without visual cues as it is in an audio format. As for the unusual audiobook edition, they do it with a full cast, and with complete sound effects as well as occasional narration (much like an audio drama) – it was a delight to listen to, as it is immersive. I might read the graphic novel someday if I get my hands on it, but this audiobook is also brilliant.

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Buy links

Amazon | The Book Depository | Wordery

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