Friday, May 27, 2022

Review: The Girl and the Glim by India Swift

It's graphic novel time! I haven't been doing as many as these lately as I'd hoped to...too many other good reads to tackle...but when I saw the cover and read the title, I knew this one had to be squeezed in. The surmise rounds it off with a touch of eerie dark vibes, and I wondered if it might slide a bit into the Japanese direction with myths tying into yokai demons.  Add that it's for the middle grade audience, and...well... aren't you curious, too?

This one comes out in just over a week, so you can pick it up yourself soon.

by India Swift
Illustrated by Michael Doig
IDW Publishing
Middle Grade Fantasy / Graphic Novel
128 pages
ages 8 to 12

JUNE 7th!!!

An original graphic novel about being the new kid in a different school, getting picked on by the class bullies, and what happens when a magical presence takes notice. Like, can things get any worse?

Starting out at a new school is tough, and Bridgette isn't having much luck, seeing as, well, she's not great at making a first impression. Or, maybe, any impression. Ugh, all these nervous feelings!

Will she fit in? Will she make new friends? Will they still like her once they get to know her better?

Nope. For now the best she can manage is... awkward. This is not going great.

That's when she sees it. Something dark and scary... something only she can see. And she should be scared. But she isn't. Maybe scary things just need friends, too. Maybe The Glim isn't so bad after all.

The Girl and The Glim is about accepting the fact that fear is okay, and that while letting other people see your vulnerabilities can be scary, it can also lead to closer friendships in the end.



The problem of fitting in jolts into high-gear and takes an unexpected twist, sending the tale into fast-paced action and high-tension, which leaves the usual emotional direction twirling in surprise.

Bridgette is extremely nervous about her family's move, since she had to leave her super-close friends behind. She's a bit short for her age and knows that she might have some issues when heading to the new school. An accidental meeting with a guy, who attends the school as well, offers a bit of hope, but this goes down the drain as her fears come true already on the first day of classes. But that suddenly slides into the background when strange creatures pop-up. The first seems kind, but the rest are throwing her into a dangerous world, which only she can see and fight.

I had high expectations, when picking this one up, and with the first pages, I wondered if I'd ruined an otherwise good read by doing that. It does start a bit slow as Bridgette and her parents settle a bit into the house, and the reader learns about her hesitation to go to school. The guy she meets passes by without too much adieu and the first day or so of school also runs with the usual bullying scenes. So, the reader gets a 'normal' grip on Bridgette's life, which felt cliche...but it had to because it created the perfect base to contrast with the rest.

It was a tiny bit confusing when Bridgette suddenly saw dark creatures. I wasn't sure if they were really there or in her scared imagination, but even this fit wonderfully, since her nerves were a flurry from escaping an extreme bullying situation in a neighborhood she didn't know. So, the reader molds right with her confusion, since she can't be sure herself. When she gets home and meets the first little creature, all the rest becomes more clear. There's a sense of cuteness mixed with uncertainty to draw in (who doesn't want a cute little creature with them?) before the dark and high-tension completely takes over.

The illustrations are very well done and accompany the moods of the first scenes with the same sense of normal before going full swing into action pure. When that starts (about 1/3 to 1/2 through book), each and every moment holds the tension high with adventure, one boom to the next. And it manages it without growing redundant or confusing...and even works in more plot, character understanding and message with it.

While all of the battles are going on...and all of it appropriate for the age group, btw...the author and illustrator still inject heart and show how Bridgette protects others without a moments pause for her own safety, and that despite their cruelty. It's a heroine attitude to inspire. Add a last twist at the end to guarantee much more to come, and I'm excited to see where this series goes because it promises to be tons of fun for action and fantasy fans.

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