Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

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.

Review: First, this graphic novel gets bonus points for using sexual innuendos as character names. I have the mental maturity of a twelve-year-old, so that kind of humor is very much appreciated.

Nimona is a bloodthirsty shapeshifting creature with the goal of becoming a supervillain. She teams up with the most evil man in the kingdom, Lord Ballister Blackheart, and they set out to prove that the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics is corrupt. But, when Nimona gets angry, even Lord Blackheart has to admit that his sidekick may be too evil to handle.

Nimona takes well-known fantasy tropes and flips them on their heads. What is “Good” and what is “Evil”? Who decides these things? Can a person be both good and evil at the same time? Can a sidekick be a hero? How does love and friendship fit into all of this?

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “Quirky.” The characters have a lot of personality. Nimona is spunky and overenthusiastic about committing crimes. Lord Blackheart has a tragic backstory (of course) and a deadpan sense of humor. They make a brilliant team.

The humor in this story is pretty juvenile, but I’m an adult, and I laughed. If I had read this book as a kid, it would have become an instant favorite.

Admittedly, I’m pretty new to graphic novels (which is why this review is short), but I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style in this one. It didn’t always convey enough emotion for me. Some of it is great, but I often found myself glancing at the art and focusing on the dialogue only. I wish the characters had more detailed facial expressions.

I also wanted more from the end. I wasn’t ready for it to be over. What happens next? If there is ever a sequel, I will happily read it.

I’d highly recommend this book to reluctant child readers who need a quick, colorful story. This graphic novel is full of humor but also gives the reader something to think about.


  1. Nimona is probably one of my favorite graphic novels ever. I only read it a few months ago but it was so ridiculously good, and I really need to get a copy of it on my shelf asap! And lol yes, the character names were hilarious.

  2. I'm trying to get more of my students to read Nimona. A lot of my reluctant readers are kind of leery of fantasy--realistic fiction is easier for them to follow. But I think they'd love this one if they'd give it a chance!

    1. Good luck with getting them to read it. I can understand why reluctant readers would be leery of fantasy—some of it is confusing! Luckily, Nimona is pretty easy to follow. It’s like fantasy-lite.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Yes, I definitely want to read this one! It sounds great and I'm trying to read more comics & graphic novels so there's no reason why I shouldn't read it. I don't mind silly, juvenile humor sometimes, especially if it's coming from a book aimed at teens.
    I'll try to get a hold of a copy sometime this summer.

  4. This is definitely a graphic novel I want to read! I've seen it almost everywhere. I'm super happy to hear that the characters all have a lot of personality, and that it really makes the readers think about what is "good" and "evil." I'm definitely going to pick this one up soon!
    Erika @ Books and Stars

  5. I've heard so many wonderful things about this! I can't wait to get my hands on it! If it wasn't already on my tbr shelf though, your review would have made me put it on there :) I also have the mental maturity of a 12 year old so I have a feeling that me and this book are going to get along wonderfully LOL! GREAT review^^

  6. This sounds so good -- I've seen in it on a number of recommendation lists, but yours is the first review I've read.