Thursday, January 26, 2023

Today's read... Clock Striker, Volume 1 by Issaka Galadima

I had to do a bit of shuffling again and am a little late with today's read. I was so hoping to work in another graphic novel and was happy to get my hands on this one, coming beginning February. The idea of clockwork, action, and science excitement caught my attention. And doesn't that girl carry such an energetic and determined expression? 

Volume 1
by Issaka Galadima
with Frederick I. Jones
Saturday AM
Rockport Publishers
Young Adult Science Fiction / Graphic Novel
224 pages


Clock Striker, now in graphic novel format, follows Shonen manga’s first Black female lead hero, Cast, in her quest to become a member of the SMITHS, the legendary warrior engineers.
Cast dreams of being a SMITH, and though she’s rather handy with her tools, no one in her small town ever realizes their dreams. Besides, these legendary warrior engineers haven’t been seen in years and were never known for having female members. Fortunately, Cast meets one surviving member named Ms. Philomena Clock, who agrees to take her on as her apprentice, or striker.

Now Cast is thrust into one deadly adventure after another! From cybernetic desperadoes to technology thieves and more, Cast has to use her mind and her remodeled robotics-lab prosthetic hand, which offers unfathomable offensive power in the form of scientific experiments. Need lightning? Cast can generate it from her hand! Cast’s mentor seeks to uncover an ominous mystery that explains what happened to the SMITHS and shines a light on a hidden power that may be within Cast herself.

Can Cast become a new member of the SMITHS? More importantly, can Cast survive the process to become a SMITH?

Clock Striker is rated T for Teen, recommended for ages 13 and up.

Saturday AM, the world’s most diverse manga-inspired comics, are now presented in a new format! Introducing Saturday AM TANKS, the new graphic novel format similar to Japanese Tankobons where we collect the global heroes and artists of Saturday AM. These handsome volumes have select color pages, revised artwork, and innovative post-credit scenes that help bring new life to our popular BIPOC, LGBTQ, and/or culturally diverse characters.

Join in even more adventures with the other action-packed Saturday AM TANKS series:Apple Black, GunhildHammerHenshin!The Massively Multiplayer World of GhostsOblivion RougeSaigamiSoul BeatTitan KingUnderground, and Yellow Stringer.


Fast and furious, this is an exciting read, which holds the amazingness of shonen manga but intricates a Western style and adds a more diverse world.

Cast is at her wit's end. She is beyond determined to enter the upcoming contest to become a striker, the long-honored engineer-warriors, who have saved the world. But her teacher refuses, reminding her that their town is trash and not interested in math or science. Of course, this isn't enough to make her give up, especially since her mother's health and brother's well-being depend on her success. Although she's already convinced she's proven her tinkering and tech skills to her teacher, she takes things one step further and fixes up as well as adapts an old AI hand. Not only will this enable her to do lab work but proves him wrong that a girl with a disability can't handle it. Well, plus she's a girl, and Strikers are never girls. 

This is a read to sit down with, get lost in, and reach the end without realizing it. Every moment packs something to drive this one forward, whether intriguing backstory or action pure. It begins with a grabbing seen before introducing Cast and her Striker, and first then, does it head back to tell Cast's tale, before launching forward again. And it works well.

Cast is an interesting character and not because of her diverse aspects. These simply enhance her already strong and focused personality. She's a heroine to root for with a big heart. But then, Ms. Clock, her Striker, is a enigma and fits perfectly to Cast as they battle all sorts of evil, too.

The illustrations are well done, letting the action fly while never growing confusing. Especially the scenes with Ms. Clock offer excitement...and the tech is simply a treat. 

It will be fun to see where this series goes from here.

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