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Animus Paperback – May 8, 2018
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"Revoy’s otherworldly adventure moves quickly, but his succinct storytelling keeps readers on track with essential details. Both the contemporary and historical elements of the story’s setting come to life in the manga-style art." ―Publishers Weekly
"The narrative and illustrations work together seamlessly to create mysteries that are baffling yet intriguing. An eerie graphic novel mystery that is bewildering and unnerving in the best way possible."―Kirkus
"The child protagonists are captivating, and they will entice young readers eager to unravel the mysteries of the playground’s supernatural tendencies."―Booklist
“Antoine Revoy's ANIMUS evokes memories of Otomo's DOMU, with its beautiful drawings, keen sense of place, and air of mystery, filled with both menace and wonder. Depicting the small moments of Hisao and Sayuri's friendship, and the surreal and supernatural with equal adroitness, Revoy brings the reader along on a fantastical yet intimate journey filled with light and darkness.” ―Sonny Liew Eisner award-winning author of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
“At once a haunting love letter to Japanese comics and a deliciously creepy mystery, ANIMUS is a stunning debut novel.” ―LeUyen Pham Award-winning illustrator of Real Friends, The Princess in Black
“Full of haunting turns and lingering images, ANIMUS plumbs the terrors of unfinished business, big and small.” ―Scott Westerfeld New York Times-best selling author of Spill Zone
“Unsettling, weird and beautiful as only fairy tales can be.” ―Alex Puvilland New York Times-best selling artist of Spill Zone
About the Author
- Grade Level : 10 - 12
- Item Weight : 10.8 ounces
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1626721831
- ISBN-13 : 978-1626721838
- Publisher : First Second (May 8, 2018)
- Product Dimensions : 6.16 x 0.66 x 8.56 inches
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 14 - 18 years
Best Sellers Rank:
#808,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,534 in Horror Manga (Books)
- #6,703 in Teen & Young Adult Comics & Graphic Novels (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Antoine illustrated a story that explores an ageless theme of children yearning to be adults and adults dreaming to be children again. I loved the detail of the illustrations which artfully conveyed a suspenseful mood. Animus is an entertaining read that has enough depth for both teenagers and adults. I highly recommend buying it since it is a book you will want to revisit.
I find Antoine Revoy’s Animus frustrating. The concept is fantastic and I am, repeatedly admittedly, a sucker for a good ghost story. The idea of a playground haunted by a dead child, his trapped spirit anchoring magic to the playground itself, is fantastic. The protagonists needing to break his curse to save their friend is great. But then the end falls apart and everything feels like lead up to skipped side plots.
There is a lot going on in Animus, and it all feels like it should add up to something. The police superintendent is shown talking about the missing kids a couple of times. There’s whatever connection is between Toothless and the playground. And there’s the maybe saving their friend by saving Toothless. But then it feels very much like our friendly ghost is up to something nefarious. Like he isn’t on the up and up where the hurt friend is concerned. But the connective tissue isn’t there.
There are hints at maybe things and a second or third read paying close attention will offer some connections, but it isn’t anything solid. Things never tie up neatly or otherwise and I found myself with more questions at the end of the book than I had to start with. Not in a fun way that leaves me hoping for a sequel either. I felt like Revoy forgot to include half of his story or got bored part way through writing it and spun up an ending so that he could get to the art.
The art is pretty fantastic though, especially the backgrounds. There is a section with a bridge and the forest around it that is absolutely gorgeous. The art for the human characters isn’t as great, but I feel like that is more for effect than an issue with Revoy’s skill. The faces are a sort of cartoony but in a way that feels like an exaggeration of life rather than a simplification of it. That lends itself really well to moments of uncanny creepiness.
My issue with Animus comes entirely from how rushed the ending feels. There are things that happen that aren’t adequately set up or that are only hinted at in such a way that the payoff for them feels really weak. Again, I’m left with more questions than answers on this one, which is unfortunate because if more time had been taken to work things into the story everything that bothered me about the end could have been awesome pay offs for character work. This could have been a really cool first book in a series with side plots digging into the characters and what makes them tick, but instead it winds up being a lot of build up to a nothing ending.
I keep coming back to that, like a missing tooth or a scab, Animus could have been really good with a little more work put into it. It could have been but, as it stands, it’s a five star start with a one star follow up. I would check out something else by Antoine Revoy, but it would definitely be a library borrow. That lands Animus with a three out of five.
I was sent a copy of this for honest review by the publisher, First Second.
Top reviews from other countries
L'histoire du livre est effrayante, excitante, mais aussi dérangeante et dure.
Au final c'est ce mélange de fantastique et d'émotions enfantines qui m'a touché. Et puis il y a la lecture plus détachée et l'expérience des jeux de formes (une cravate est une sorte de serpent corail) de l'adulte, très agréable.