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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Review: The Raven's Child by Thomas E. Sniegoski, Tom Brown

The Raven's Child
by Thomas E. Sniegoski, Tom Brown
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by InkLit
Thomas E. Sniegoski has entranced audiences with his exploration of the Batman universe, thrilled fans with his Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, and uncovered the paranormal with his Hellboy spin-off series, B.R.P.D. Now, he introduces readers to a mesmerizing dark world filled with monsters, where humanity’s only hope lies in the bravery of one woman…

When the Throng came, the human race never stood a chance. The monsters were simply too strong, too numerous. It only took a few months for them to take over and leave the few poor souls who survived cowering in terror for years to come.

But even the monsters fear something: the dark goddess known as the Raven’s Child. Legend says that she alone is destined to destroy the Throng and free those under their cruel power.

And whoever wields her name and image could become the bane of the Throng and an inspiration to humankind—even if she were only a young woman, like Carissa Devin, who has vowed to reclaim the world for the human race, no matter what the cost.

This is a good old fashion hero story. A young orphan girl must start and lead a rebellion to save the human race, and those of the Throng that want to live in peace with them, from the tyranny of an alien race that wants to eat humans. In the beginning she fights alone under the guidance of Claudus. He is one of the peaceful Throng race, and plays Obi-Wan Kenobi to her Skywalker. She must impersonate a mythical Throng deity, The Raven’s Child, to strike fear (kind like Batman) in them. Along the way she makes friends, struggles with purpose, and of course sacrifice. All around a good story.

The material is perfect for a graphic novel, and the artwork’s tone captures the mood: dark, desperate and Tim Burton-esque. But at times it was hard to follow the storyline, especially the mythology of The Raven’s Child. I had to keep going back and forth trying to figure out what was going on, which was hard because some of the text is white on black, combined with the poor font choice used for the Throng leader and the black and white artwork…ack! If the graphic novel had been made in a larger format rather than the trade size it would have made reading it easier. The cover is gorgeous and having the pages colored the same way would have put this story into the visually stunning category.

The story is perfect for middle graders and could be used to teach about a hero story, with all the archetypes elements, using a female heroine.

3.5 “balanced” Sheep

Sharon Stogner

About the Author:
THOMAS E. SNIEGOSKI is the author of more than two dozen novels for adults, teens, and children. His teen fantasy YA series Fallen was adapted into a trilogy of monstrously successful TV movies by ABC Family Channel. His other books for teens include Sleeper Code, Sleeper Agenda, Legacy, and Force Majeure, as well as the series The Brimstone Network. The author's first adult novel, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, developed into a series of novels about the character Remy Chandler.

Sniegoski's work for younger readers includes the Billy Hooten: Owlboy series and the fantasy quartet Magic Zero, which he co-authored with Christopher Golden.Magic Zero is in development as a film at Universal. Sniegoski and Golden have also collaborated on the adult dark fantasy series The Menagerie, and multiple creator-owned comic book series, including The Sisterhood, which is being prepped for a feature film by InterMedia, and Talent, currently in development at Universal after a major bidding war.

As a comic book writer, Sniegoski's work includes Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, a prequel miniseries to international hit Bone. Sniegoski has also written the Bone: Quest for the Spark novels. Sniegoski collaborated with Bone creator Jeff Smith on the prequel, making him the only writer Smith has ever asked to work on those characters. Sniegoski and Golden also wrote the graphic novel BPRD: Hollow Earth, a spinoff from Hellboy.

Sniegoski was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his wife LeeAnne and their dog, Kirby.


  1. I did not realize this was MG. I was snagged by the beautiful cover too, but I may hold off on this one. Great review!

    1. yeah, it is meant for the younger crowd and the cover is what drew me in. I am reading through the old eyes of an adult, so maybe the younger folks won't have as much trouble with font choices