Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the second installment of the Dark Swan comic series by Richelle Mead. This is the second individual issue, or the second half of the first volume, due out in October. Once again, we follow Eugenie Markham, a freelance shaman who banishes outerworldly creatures that attempt to invade the human world and take humans hostage.
This installment begins with Eugenie involved in a sudden battle with an ice elemental, which although not strong enough to take a human form, is more than strong enough to kill her. She is caught off guard as she is sleeping with the vet she meets in the first installment, Kiyo, at the time of the attack. She is saved though, when surprisingly, Kiyo attacks the ice elemental with superhuman speed and strength. Together they defeat the elemental, but both are terrified to find out that the other is superhuman. Eugenie especially is alarmed to find out that Kiyo fears her wand, and therefore may be an elemental himself. He flees the apartment before she can banish him to the underworld, however. Angry and hurt over the new revelation about Kiyo, Eugenie eventually decides to travel to the “other side” to rescue Jasmine, a prisoner there who is being held hostage. Can she convince her family to let her go? Who will she get help from? Will she ever find out the truth about Kiyo?
Issue #2 picks up directly where we left off in issue #1, opening boldly with an action packed fight sequence. Mead does a great job holding the reader’s attention and developing the plot at the same time through such fight sequences. Eugenie goes through so many conflicting emotions regarding her feelings towards Kiyo in such a short time that I couldn’t help but keep reading to see what happened between the two of them. Just as in the first issue, we’re left off with a great cliff-hanger ending, that has me dying to know what happens next.
As someone with no artistic talent whatsoever, I’m always impressed with the imagery in graphic novels that have characters going through some type of soul-searching. It’s hard enough to write about a mental dilemma a character is having, but add-on top of that the difficulty of expressing that through illustrations and you have one heck of a task. As I said in my review of issue #1, the illustrations are top-notch and really get the reader into the story.
Definitely check this series out, it’s intriguing, interesting, and filled with action that will have you on the edge of your seat!
4 out of 5 Stars
Special thanks to Patrick over at Sea Lion Books for giving me an ARC copy to review!