- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Series: Goldie Vance (Book 1)
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: BOOM! Box (October 11, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608868982
- ISBN-13: 978-1608868988
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Goldie Vance Vol. 1 Paperback – October 11, 2016
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The beauty of Goldie Vance is how much it packs into a relatively slim volume. Goldie feels like a really fun, very real teenager, who always has an answer, an idea, or a scheme to halt Soviet spies. She doesn't always stop to think, but her ideas always land her on her feet--or behind the wheels of a stolen luxury car--to better the well-drawn, compassionately rendered folks she cares about (and there are a lot.). The art is absolutely stunning, with homages to period-appropriate palettes, spot-on fashion, and gorgeous racing scenes (I haven't seen Speed Racer, but I see a visual homage and enjoy it.) Movement, pacing--all gorgeously done.
And hey--Goldie Vance is an all-ages book where the girl gets the girl. Diane isn't just an aspirational love interest or subtextual canonical tease--the last pages see them solving the mystery (with an unexpected, thematically appropriate twist) and planning a date. Loved it, devoured it, can't wait for volume 2.
Marigold "Goldie" Vance lives in the Crossed Palms Resort in Florida. Her mom lives nearby and works as a mermaid in a water show. She runs odd jobs around the hotel, and acts as an amateur detective. When we meet her, she has found a missing young boy and returned him to his parents. Things are about to get a bit darker though with the arrival of a stranger with a German accent who has lost a necklace. Goldie is on the case going against the wishes of her father and the hotel's owner. Can she crack the case?
I loved the flavor of this book. There are so many great things about it, like the setting and the characters. There are little touches, like the young woman with the crush on Alan Shepard, Goldie's "can do" attitude, and how she knows and treats the people around her. The art is a visual treat that fit the story perfectly. The colors have a soft, almost pastel color that fits the Florida sun and palms. I had a great time reading this one.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Boom! Studios and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
Goldie was very enthusiastic in her pursuit of becoming involved in the work of in-house detective at the Crossed Palms Resort. When she gets involved in a simple stolen necklace case, things go from bad to worse as the case escalates to include a kidnapping of a German scientist, Russian agents, and a mystery third party. Using her skills and a lot of luck, Goldie never lets up for a minute.
While I commend Goldie for keeping at her goal, I also have to point out that a lot of what happened was relatively easy. She didn't have to work very hard to find clues or suss out the culprits, such as the person who stole the necklace in the original in-house mystery. She also has somewhat loose ideals in solving her mysteries, such as stealing a car for a drag race (in order to recover the necklace stolen for collateral) and again in order to pursue a suspect.
The artwork was very lovely and vibrant. This was a very diverse cast. Goldie herself is biracial and is a gorgeous character. Her crush is a record store clerk that's adventurous with a neat short hairstyle and cool fashion sense. Many of the secondary characters, like Goldie's friends Rob and Cheryl as well as the members of the Crossed Palms staff and the nearby town, were black. I'd look into Brittney Williams's work again because she did a great job of conveying the 50's era, the beachfront property, even Goldie's mom's job as a mermaid was aesthetically pleasing.
As for what I didn't like...
There was something that I didn't realize upon my first reading of Goldie Vance. Upon reflection, in regards to certain characters, their backstories, and their paths in the book, that having figured it out now rubs me the wrong way.
Ludwig is a German scientist that was meant to have come to work for NASA. A Russian agent is trying to kidnap him, but is foiled by Dr. Carthage, a third party who wants his help to get to Mars and start a new "government" where there is no government out in space. Post-WWII German scientists being recruited to work for US and Russian government positions in the space race, regardless of their affiliation with the Nazi party, was something very real that happen. Whether or not Ludwig was in fact a Nazi is not revealed, but odds are likely that historically he would have been because more than 1,600 scientists, engineers, and technicians were employed after the war. His getting away at the end of Goldie Vance without any repercussions, along with the stink of that project (Operation Paperclip) gave me an unsettled feeling after reading this book.
Even if I were to ignore the unsettled feeling of Ludwig's past, I'm not sure I would continue reading this series personally. I wasn't thrilled with the action of it. I didn't feel any kind of tension because, as I mentioned previously, it felt like things fell into place much too easily for Goldie. It felt like the effort she was putting into her work was unnecessary and, while her friendships were nice, they weren't enough to support the whole work.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.