Tag Archives: Gene Luen Yang

Graphic Novel Review: Saints by Gene Luen Yang

         First Second  Published Sept. 10, 2013             176 Pages
First Second
Published Sept. 10, 2013
176 Pages

I loved “Boxers” and had high expectations for “Saints”.

Its 1898 in China and Four-Girl is being raised in a family that does not want nor likes her enough to give her a proper name. After being told constantly by her Grandfather that she is evil she begins to believe such and decides to convert to Christianity which is considered evil to those of that time.

I wasn’t too pleased with this side of the story because it wasn’t a girl deeply in love with Christianity and to be honest I am not sure if she understood the religion completely. I feel that she joined the bang wagon because she had nothing else to go to. Her family didn’t love her and she thought herself as evil. I also don’t feel she died for her religion. I feel she was so stuck in her ways that she went with it.

What did like about the book was the ending and it pissed me off. I feel that the boxers didn’t really believe in what they were doing . . . well some of them and my point was proven at the end.

This book also didn’t prove much details or care as Boxers did. Saints lacked passion and it almost feels like an after thought. There was no personal struggle and really Fourth Girl was boring.

Overall the book gets 7 out of 10. Art work was great I expected nothing less; but the story just didn’t grab me even from a historical point of view.

 

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Graphic Novel Review: Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

          First Second   Published  Sept 10, 2013              336 Pages
First Second
Published Sept 10, 2013
336 Pages

Historical fiction at its best.

In China 1898, Little Boa sees his father fall to pieces after a band of foreign soldiers try to change Chinese culture and traditions. Having enough of the “foreign devils” (i.e. white people) taking over, Little Boa uses powers of the ancient Gods to recruit and train Boxers ( common people train in Kung Fu) in order to take China back from the foreign devils.

This is the first book of two and it is extreme details. Little Boa is fighting not only white people coming to China to change its ways but also Chinese people who have converted to Christianity.  Little Boa and his Boxers begin traveling to fight injustice but when the God he transforms to commands him to get China back to where it use to be his goals shift.

If you like history than this is the perfect graphic novel for you. It is full of traditions and those that strongly believe in it. The book is also filled with extremism so if you are a bit sensitive regarding that then this is not the book for you.

Little Boa is an interesting character because he is still a little boy that allowed his anger to seek revenge. He holds on to what happen to his father and how he becomes a broken man and that leads him to seek help. However, even when he has this God like powers he is a ball of mess who can’t tell the girl he likes he likes her.  He doesn’t have a big enough back bone to actually understand how bad things got and how fast it got. Also he wasn’t wise enough to fix it.

What I thought was odd though was how these Boxers who have these abilities and appearances were able to die in these forms. It is as if it didn’t serve any protection, which I thought was weird and even the character was confused by it.

As for the graphics . . . flawless. It wasn’t graphic or gross or simple. The author was detailed, particular and clean. Also it is in color not black and white; this adds a lot to a graphic novel more than you think. There was a balance of pictures and words which made the graphic novel worth the time.

Overall the graphic novel gets 9 out of 10.

 

 

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