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Comment: All profits go to Housing Works -- NYC's largest HIV/AIDS organization. Minimal wear to cover. Pages clean and binding tight. First in a planned two volume adventure graphic novella series set in the same universe as Pope's Battling Boy. Paperback.
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The Rise of Aurora West (Battling Boy) Paperback – September 30, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 12
  • Series: Battling Boy
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626720096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626720091
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up—This prequel to Battling Boy (First Second, 2013) reveals the backstories of some of the supporting characters introduced in that book. Aurora West, the daughter of science hero Haggard West, is training to be a monster hunter just like her father. While chasing down monsters that are stealing parts for a mysterious device, Aurora encounters a symbol she remembers from her past. Tracking down the origins of the symbol, she discovers that her imaginary friend from her youth was actually real, became one of the villains that she frequently battles, and may have even been involved in her mother's death. Since Aurora and her father were only briefly mentioned in the previous installment, this volume does a wonderful job of fleshing out their characters further; readers see an Aurora that's not as confident in her abilities, and a slightly jaded and darker side to her heroic father. Pope's gritty, experimental art from the original Battling Boy has been replaced by Rubin's more traditional style, giving a '60s "Silver Age" appearance to the work. Although fans will long for the old, full-colored artwork of the original, the new style works to evoke a nostalgic atmosphere. Die-hard fans of the previous work will definitely want to pick up this book, but those new to the series will want to start from the beginning of this epic sci-fi.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI


Praise for Battling Boy:

"Paul Pope’s delightful and original Battling Boy is the adventure of the year!" —Jeff Smith, Eisner Award-winning author of Bone

"Full of energy, precision, and pure kick—not to be missed." —Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies

"A new generation hero." —Entertainment Weekly

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Customer Reviews

Creativity points for the authors!
OpenBookSociety dot com
These questions of nuance and motive aren't resolved by book's end, but I was still completely engaged in the story.
And may need all the help she can just not to fall.
Andy Shuping

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Rise of Aurora West, Battling Boy
Written by Paul Pope, JT Petty, Illustrated by David Rubín
First Second
September 2014

Acropolis has a nightly curfew, in the attempt to keep kids safe from the monsters who prowl the streets and the dark alleys. They have one hero. Haggard West, a rich scientist, avenging the death of his wife at the hands of one of these foul creatures. Joining him is his teenage daughter, Aurora West. By day she is trained by Ms. Grately in martial arts and by night she prowls the city with her father, hunting down the creatures of the night and stopping their mischief. But Aurora remembers and learns that her imaginary friend from when she was younger...may have had a hand in her mother’s death and may not be so imaginary. As she seeks to balance school, the night hunts, and finding out the truth to the past Aurora may find that she has taken on more than she can handle. And may need all the help she can just not to fall.

This is one of those books that’s difficult for me review, because it’s a spinoff/prequel of one of my favorite books from last year, Battling Boy. Because the book isn’t a direct continuation of Battling Boy, but instead focuses on one of its more interesting side characters, Aurora West, the art, layout, and writing style is different. And that isn’t a bad thing, it just makes it harder for me to review, as I try to keep in mind that this is a completely different book.

With regards to the art I actually like David Rubin’s style a great deal. The figures are dynamic and expressive, and his style really captures the feel of the battles and villains well. The problem for me though is that it isn’t the Aurora West that we met in Battling Boy.
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Format: Paperback
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

THE RISE OF AURORA WEST takes familiar superhero tropes and flips them to a new angle, like a Batman story told through Robin's eyes. Though Aurora's monster fighting skills are a credit to her training, she's also the intellectually curious lens through which readers question her world. Where did this war against monsters begin? Where do they come from? And what really happened all those years ago on the night when Aurora's mother died...

Despite THE RISE OF AURORA WEST being a prequel to BATTLING BOY, this was my first introduction to the series. The compact, black and white illustrations in this graphic novel weren't easy to follow in the beginning, when the world and it's crime fighting technology were being established through frame after frame of rather confusing action. Once Aurora takes center stage, however, exploring the mysteries of her own past in an attempt to understand the present, the art in this book becomes more effective. While all of the adults in THE RISE OF AURORA WEST live in a world of black and white conviction, Aurora is filled with questions. I found her to be an excellent window into this world, as I had my own questions about right and wrong. The child stealing monsters that by turns evoked empathy and disgust, while at times "the good guys" seemed menacing and duplicitous.

These questions of nuance and motive aren't resolved by book's end, but I was still completely engaged in the story. And rather than finding definitive answers to her own questions. Aurora seemed in danger of settling into the familiar, potentially misguided sense of certainty as the adults around her. While I'm not ready to run off and read Battling Boy or Haggard's side of the story, if another Aurora book comes out I'm totally on board.

Sexual Content: None.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Aurora West is in the rise to become the next hero Arcopolis needs, and she demonstrates it as she grows through the first volume from a teenager, trying to fit every class into her tight schedule, to a teenager with her mind set on trusting her instincts in finding the truth behind her mother’s death, punishing the bad guys, and bringing justice to the citizens hurting for their loss.

I found the story to be interestingly appealing! It starts a simple way; a girl trying to do her math homework, but all she can concentrate on is the monsters she fights every night alongside her father, the famous, Haggard West. Then the story begins to unfold, and the mystery and thrilling action we are used to in a hero comic, starts to make its appearance.

A change we see in Aurora, is in her clumsy way; we see her making mistakes while training, and then, fall while jumping on rooftops. But once she understands that her memories could be a big clue in solving the puzzle they face, her mentality changes and we see her become a combination of the team her parents were; brains and strength.

I am, definitely, very much in love with this novel. Just as I liked the story, the illustration doesn’t stay behind. It is detailed, especially in the flashback scenes where the background is packed with special ‘cameos’, not to mention one or two literal images to express words said. Creativity points for the authors!

By the end of the story, the reader is left with unsolved mysteries and questions, which we can only hope will be answered in the second volume, The Fall of the House of West, which the soul title is enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.

The Rise of Aurora West is the graphic novel to keep an eye out for.
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