Review: The Raven’s Child by Thomas E. Sniegoski

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Paperback, 208 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by InkLit
Source: Publisher

I am not at all familiar with Thomas E. Sniegoski so The Raven’s Child was my introduction to his style in both prose and art. I am finding it difficult to articulate my thoughts about this graphic novel because it is not like anything I usually read.

A synopsis: Earth has been invaded by an alien species who are all monstrous both in looks and actions. They have assumed the top position in the food chain and have driven humans to the periphery. Human beings are now hunted as food and if they don’t become meals, they starve because the infrastructure has fallen completely and there’s no one to produce food and other amenities. A dystopian rule except the despotic ruler is a monstrous alien. Carissa grew up alone but for the company of one of the ‘reformed’ aliens after her parents were killed by the more hostile of the species. She is determined to reclaim the world for humans inasmuch as she is able. With the help of her mentor, the lone of the alien species friendly to humans, she becomes the personification of the one deity the aliens (known as the Throng) fear. Obviously, she’s only pretending to be the Raven’s Child and the consequences when her pretense is exposed are dire.

The Raven’s Child will appeal to those who gravitate towards the bleaker narrative where human survival is suspect and suffering is primary. The alien species, The Throng, are fascinating as they have their own mythology and backstory but I felt that the medium detracted from the story being able to be fully explored. The art is not really my style but certainly expressive of the story. I appreciated the attention given to friendship between the two girls and I like that there is no male saviour.

The Raven’s Child illustrates human vulnerability and how helpless we will be in the face of odds that we cannot control in the normal ways. It was a bit too sad for me but if you enjoy stuff like this, (I know Stephanie would have liked this one), you’ll probably enjoy this. This goes double for you if you enjoy Sniegoski’s prose and art as I know he is famous for his work on Buffy and the Batman world comics.