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5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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"With sensitive writing, gorgeous artwork, and riveting plot, this is a series to keep an eye on."—Booklist starred review
"In a dazzling interplanetary fantasy from the Siegel Brothers, artists Bouma, Rockefeller, and Sun bring to life the cultures, customs, and creatures of a lively new world that will easily appeal to fans of Naruto or Avatar: The Last Airbender."—Publishers Weekly starred review
About the Author
MARK SIEGEL has written and illustrated several award-winning picture books and graphic novels, including the New York Times bestseller Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson. He is also the founder and editorial director of First Second Books. He lives with his family in New York. Follow Mark on Tumblr at @marksiegel and the 5 Worlds team on Twitter at @5WorldsTeam.
ALEXIS SIEGEL is a writer and translator based in London, England. He has translated a number of bestselling graphic novels, including Joann Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat, Pénélope Bagleu’s Exquisite Corpse, and Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (into French).
XANTHE BOUMA is an illustrator based in Southern California. When not working on picture books, fashion illustration, and comics, Xanthe enjoys soaking up the beachside sun. Follow Xanthe on Tumblr at @yumbles and on Twitter at @xoxobouma.
MATT ROCKEFELLER is an illustrator and comic book artist from Tucson, Arizona. His work has appeared in a variety of formats, including book covers, picture books, and animation. Matt lives in New York City. Follow him on Tumblr at @mrockefeller and on Twitter at @mcrockefeller.
BOYA SUN is an illustrator and co-author of the graphic novel Chasma Knights. Originally from China, Boya has traveled from Canada to the United States and now resides in the charming city of Baltimore. Follow Boya on Tumblr at @boyasun and on Twitter at @boyaboyasun.
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, I received an advanced copy, so only a handful of the pages had color and I will not be able to speak towards the quality of binding/hardcover treatment etc.
This is a large book, there's a lot of content here. Coming in at around 240 pages, a seasoned comic reader like myself took a couple hours getting through it. It's broken up into parts (10 if I remember correctly) so there are definitely well defined stopping points along the way.
5 Worlds is a story about 5 worlds (what?!?), planets actually created by a goddess long ago. She called them her soul garden (aptly named) and filled each with its own humanoid species. Each world contains a light house lit by the living flame which essentially keeps the worlds alive and keeps the darkness away. However, a dark entity called the Mimic grows in strength and begins to amass followers. Launching an attack on the Goddess she is mortally wounded, but is able to remove the Mimic's heart and seal it far beneath the surface of a moon - stripping it of its power. With her last breath she creates the Sand Castle standing at the seat of power in the 5 worlds. Upon her passing the lighthouse's flames extinguish.
Years later, Oona Lee - a sand-dancer (one who can control sand avatars through dance-based summoning rituals) whose lackluster ability forces her to live in the shadows of her legendary (albeit infamous) runaway sister sits reading a letter on the eve of the beacon-lighting ceremony. It's a cryptic note from her sister with a ticket to ride the moon moth (an old spaceship), requesting that they meet. An Tzu, a boy from the slums, steals food and water for the suffering plant people whom he calls family and delivers them before heading off the Starball game (5 worlds most popular sporting event). At the game, Jax Amboy (the best Starball player across the worlds) is wowing the crowd with his signature moves. All seems like a normal evening until explosions rock the power-grid and ships begin to rain from the skies. The turmoil brings these 3 unlikely companions together and as they try to make sense of it all, one thing remains clear; in order to save the inhabitants of the 5 worlds, the lighthouse beacons must be lit! And they must be the ones to do it! Nevermind, the soldiers trailing their every move and the fact that no one who's attempted to light the beacons has ever survived.
While the main page cites Star Wars and Avatar: the Last Airbender... It actually reminded me a bit of the Golden Sun game series on the Gameboy Advance. It definitely has a classic RPG feel to it. The characters are great and very well developed. They act in a manner you would expect them to based on their personalities/experiences. Each has their flaws, but is likeable and you'll find yourself rooting for them. The groundwork for the backstory is well laid throughout the book. It's embellished when it needs to be without diverging excessively from the action/plot of the main story. I never found myself asking; "Wait, who is that?", "Why do they need to go there?", "What are they doing?" or "Why is this important?". Everything was very clearly presented in a manner that children should have no issue following the story. While there is a lot of action, there is not excessive violence. There are explosions and gunfire and a little hand to hand combat here and there. However, there is no blood and death is merely implied when necessary. The story is very well paced and I had no issue with it holding my attention enough to read in one sitting.
The artwork is great. It is perfectly suited for the story and age group. It's consistent and characters are immediately recognizable. It's beautifully styled and very well drawn. Everything feels as though it belongs within the same universe. The coloring (at least on the pages that had color in my copy) is rich and vibrant. It's what you would expect looking at the cover. The palette is consistent and complimentary. I really love the colors they chose for the book.
Overall, if you're looking for a great fantasy graphic novel (for yourself or suitable for a child), this will definitely fit the bill. The current price on Amazon is about ten fifty for the hardcover which is an absolute steal for a graphic novel of this size and quality! The writing is great, the artwork is great. It's just a fantastic read and I can't wait for book 2!
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