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Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift Part 1 Paperback – March 18, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Avatar: the Last Airbender
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616552956
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616552954
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fred L. Warren on March 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
Dark Horse Comics has been running a popular graphic novel series based on Avatar: The Last Airbender for some time now that continues the story where the television show left off. This latest installment, The Rift, Part One, is written by award-winning author and artist Gene Luen Yang and drawn by Japanese comic art team Gurihiru. .

Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and a trio of Air Acolytes witness the seating of the first coalition government with representatives from both Fire and Earth Nations, then they travel to a sacred site to celebrate an ancient Air Nomad festival—but trouble’s waiting for them. Aang runs headlong into an unexpected conflict between his desire to resurrect his lost Air Nomad heritage and his vision of global unity among the Nations, and Toph stumbles into emotional tension between her past and present lives. It’s an intelligent, entertaining story that ends with a juicy cliffhanger.

Story, characters, and art preserve the feel and appeal of the original and continue to nicely fill the gap between ATLA and The Legend of Korra while weaving a tale that stands quite well on its own merits and strikes a good balance between thoughtful interaction among the characters and dynamic action. Whether you’re a fan or are simply looking for a solid fusion of comic art and storytelling in an intriguing speculative universe, you won't be disappointed.
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So we're now in one of those silent times between seasons of the Legend of Korra and I need my Avatar fix!

Good thing The Rift Part One came out.

Let me start by saying, no Zuko is not in this one. The cover doesn't include him and the first dialogue is pretty much saying that he is not going to make an appearance. Even though I'm a major Zuko fan, I understand considering The Search focused on him and his relationships. But, that doesn't mean it can't still be an excellent story!

A lot of this story seems to focus on the fact that Toph and Aang are foils to each other. Since Toph is generally more vocal, Aang is accompanied by three air acolytes so he can throw passive aggressive jabs at her and say he's teaching his students... this in unlike Toph who outright calls Aang's ideas foolish. Depending on how and where you were raised, you can feel either side is more right. However, both of them have solid reasons as to why they feel the way they do.

The conflict and tension between these two characters continues to rise throughout the story. I almost feel it's a conflict that was bound to happen. Even in flash backs with Toph and Aang during the Legend of Korra you can see that even though they are really close friends, their completely different demeanor causes some tension and fights.

Sokka is funny as always and the mild, loving sibling banter between him and Katara is always amusing and relateable to anyone with a sibling.

As we've come used to with the Avatar Comics, it ends in a twist. You do kinda see it coming with the stories set-up, but it ended at a perfect scene that makes you hungry for more!

The only complaint that I have is that I feel that Katara is a little out of character.
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Format: Paperback
The Rift, Part 1, begins a new series centered on Toph and takes place after the events of the TV series. Although Zuko is absent from this tale, we have all the other regulars (Aang, Katara, Sokka) as well as some of Aang's Acolytes. The artwork is lovely, in full color glory, though at 80 pages, it does feel a bit slim.

Story: Aang wishes to continue to follow traditions. But this collides with Toph's laid back attitude - she's tired of what she considers meaningless acts and being told to do something without being told why. When Aang takes the group and his students on a pilgrimage to a sacred airbender location, he finds a factory and shanty village that is polluting the air and water - and desecrating his memories. The head of the factory is a fan of Toph's and convinces her that the way forward is through automation. But Aang and Katara fear that this advancement into technology is causing serious harm. As well, Aang is guided by the spirit of the previous airbending avatar, who is desperately trying to tell him something is wrong. Both will butt heads on how to address the situation.

The artwork is fun and really stays true to the Avatar mythos. It's amusing to watch Sokka get into trouble in the background as Aang and Toph propel the story. It may seem a bit cartoony and overwrought at times, the messages pounded a bit too hard with extra visual cues, but make no mistake this is a quality piece.

The book is a nice transition leading up to the Legend of Korra - the beginning of the industrial age and comingling of all the tribes. Both Toph and Aang have good points to make on a complex subject: Aang focusing on preserving the past and tradition with Toph looking toward the future and making a better life. Both accurately note that each is afraid of the past: Aang of losing it and Toph running away from it.

In all, a great middle school read for fans of the series. Reviewed from an ARC.
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This trilogy does explain several things, but IMO it is the weakest trilogy of the three. This book (Part 1) does start off promisingly enough, but as it goes on it seems to fall apart. Bottom line: If you want to read these just so you know everything about the series, you need to. If you just read these for the stories, you can skip them.
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