Monday, June 9, 2014

Rachel Reviews - Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

* Read via the publisher for review

Zita the Spacegirl trilogy is a rare series. It appeals to the kid in you without being childish. It has the full gamut of emotions without being overly dramatic or overly silly. The entire series is one overall adventure story made up of three shorter adventures. These are stories I would love to read to my 5-year-old nephew and to read for myself.
In the books, Zita and her friend, Jonathan, find a strange object inside of a meteor that has a big red button. While Jonathan is cautious, Zita immediately starts pressing the big red button rapid-fire. This opens up a portal, out of which a giant creature made of squiggly line tentacles emerges and grabs Jonathan. Jonathan and the alien go back through the portal and it closes, leaving Zita behind. Thus begins Zita’s quest to find her friend and return both of them home. In her quest to find her friend and return home, she accidentally becomes a hero, then an outlaw, then a hero again. Only after all of this does she say “And that…is when my adventures REALLY begin.”
Zita was read on my trips to work and they were a great way to start the day. The sheer greatness of Zita’s can-do attitude inspired me to want to go and kick some paperwork butt! It’s not surprising she makes so many friends. She consistently rolls a natural 20 in charisma. But it’s not just her personality. She backs up her charisma with action. She is an honest and upfront personality. There are no deep dark secrets, just mistakes that she admits to.  All of the characters have a trick or two up their sleeve, but that’s also where they wear their hearts.
Some may complain that the characters are a bit 1-dimensional, but I disagree. They are clearly at least 2-dimensional or else the artwork wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. I like the characters in these books. There are a few stereotypes, i.e. Strong-Strong is the gigantic, soft-hearted, slow-witted muscle, but they play so well together in these stories it’s hard to complain. Sometimes it really does feel like a D&D campaign, just set in space.
As far as the actual artwork goes, like the characters, there really isn’t much in ways of hidden easter-eggs in the background. The characters and aliens are all drawn more cartoonish than realistic. While some may find this disappointing, it is helpful for staying on track with the story. The panels with the most to see are also the ones with the least amount of dialogue and are meant to give you a sense of where you and Zita are at. Panels that are full of different types of aliens are always fun to look at and see how many species you can point out. Some of the species are identified if the books Piper has in his collection and the descriptions are every bit as funny as the looks of the aliens. The Tentacled Tubb was my favorite; you never see it without its televisor. Zita the Spacegirl is a series that would be great for parents to read to their children and for adults to read to remember what it’s like to have that kind of energy and conviction. It’s a quick read, but such an enjoyable one. I cannot recommend this series enough. If I were an owl, I’d give it 5 hoots. As this review is for Bibliognome, I give it 5 gnomes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy the blog, I love reading each and every comment. :)