Blog Tour: The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope, J. T. Petty, David Rubin (illustrations)


The Book Wars was lucky enough to be provided original art by David Rubin reproduced below for your viewing pleasure:



Paperback, 160 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by First Second
Source: Publisher

I’ve had a very late introduction to the world of comics and as such, tropes that are common, accepted and perhaps even expected for long-time readers of the genre are new to me. I understand that The Rise of Aurora West functions as a prequel to Battling Boy but I’m not familiar with the series. However, as the blurb promises the inception of a female superhero, my interest was definitely piqued. Female superheroes are uncommon enough in the genre, from what I have read, that finding a new one is very exciting.

So I waded into this with some expectations but unfortunately, and I really do hate to say this, I was left disappointed. But let’s talk about the good parts first. The story is very quick paced and action oriented. There are no problematic elements where the portrayal of female characters is concerned. The story manages to be emotionally captivating while maintaining the fast pace.

The problem I have with the book comes up in a flashback scene where the West family is in Egypt I believe as they are scientists and on the prowl for old things to study and research. The tour guide refers to Haggard West (Aurora West’s dad whom I do not like at all) as “Hagg” and Aurora’s mother states that this is a way of showing respect and Hagg is a title given to those who have completed Hajj or the holy pilgrimage. Only…it’s not? Well, maybe it is in a language I do not know but usually the term given to someone who has completed the Hajj is Haji or if you are a woman Hajjan and it certainly is never given to non-Muslims even as a term of expressing respect. So yeah, points off for that. And then there is Haggard West’s general attitude towards the natives. The colonizer attitude is strong in that one and that did not make me happy at all. The way he speaks of the tour guide turned me off quite a bit.

Also, he’s rather dismissive of his wife’s intelligence, telling Aurora that her mother cannot be stopped when she starts talking about history and other things that engage her. So yes, I did not like Haggard West at all. And unfortunately, Aurora is pretty much dominated by her father. She does get a small chance to shine but…on the whole, I wasn’t convinced.

Honestly, I think that fans of the genre and the Battling Boy series will like this a whole lot more than readers who are new to both the genre and the series.

Other Blogs in this Tour

Wednesday, September 24th – Bunbury in the Stacks

Thursday, September 25th – Green Bean Teen Queen

Friday, September 26th – The Book Rat

Saturday, September 27th – The Book Wars

Sunday, September 28th – Fly to Fiction

Monday, September 29th – Panel Patter

Tuesday, September 30th – Finding Wonderland

Wednesday, October 1st – Fleen

Thursday, October 2nd – Beth Fish Reads

Friday, October 3rd – Supernatural Snark

Saturday, October 4th – Book Sake