Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That Evil Woman Better Change Her Evil Ways

Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2012
Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson
First Second
ISBN-13: 9781596436367

One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular--and notoriously reclusive--author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.

A mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, Hemingway, and Greek mythology, drawn in moody black-and-white charcoal, Sailor Twain is a study in romance, atmosphere, and suspense.


   Twain is a riverboat captain who thinks that he has the difference between right and wrong fairly well figured out.  He's faithful to his sick wife while at sea and tries to keep a reputable ship, with a hard-working crew.  Therefore it's not such a big surprise that he's at odds with Lafayette, a French nobleman who is a passenger on his ship.  He is obsessed with having 'seven loves' at the same time.  It may not be for the reasons Twain thinks though - Lafayette has been afflicted by a mermaid's call.  He is fighting the urge to go under the water and not resurface again.  Meanwhile, Twain has saved an injured mermaid from the Hudson River and is hiding her from his crew while she recovers.  In spite of her promise never to sing to him, Twain feels himself coming under her spell just the same.  Will all be lost to the mermaid's song or will Sailor Twain be able to defeat her curse?  At first I didn't quite get what was going on (as I had missed the second part of the book's title).  I was still intrigued, so despite confusion I soldiered on.  I ended up falling in love with the illustrations in the graphic novel (which I also did not know this happened to be a GN before I began reading).  Their black and white splendor, with an almost obsessive attention to detail was beautiful.  I liked that they were cartoon style rather than realistically drawn.  It lent to the feel of the story as an American myth.  I felt as though I were reading a book written by a Victorian author and I loved every minute of it.  The characters were multi-dimensional and the story was so layered I could swim in it for days.  I loved the ending and the way the plot unfolded in general.  You could tell that Mr. Siegel has done a LOT of research and it certainly payed off.  If you are a fan of historical fiction, suspense and romance this is the book for you  - even if Graphic Novels aren't your thing you should give it chance.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.

VERDICT:  5/5  stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is October 2, 2012.*

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