Monday, May 28, 2012

Review of Bloody Chester by J.T Petty and Hilary Florido

Title: Bloody Chester
Author(s): J.T. Petty and Illustrated by Hilary Florido
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012\
Format: Paperback First Edition
Source: Publisher (In exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: First Second
Pages in This Edition: 143
Rating: 3/5 Stars

On the Cover:



Beyond the Cover:


Summary from Goodreads:


"A deliciously gruesome horror tale set in the old west.

This isn’t John Wayne’s heroic old west.

This is the real deal: a filthy, disease-ridden frontier populated by losers, lunatics, and murderers. And when you’re a skinny teenager with no family and a name like Chester Kates, your options are limited. It’s stand up and fight or roll over and die, so Chester, aka “Lady Kate,” is set to fight until it kills him.

It isn’t much of a life, but it’s at least straightforward.

Until things go all cockeyed when Chester is hired to ride his horse (also named Chester) to a ghost town and burn it to the ground. Except the ghost town doesn’t just boast a tidy collection of mangled corpses: it also has three living inhabitants . . . who won’t be budged. But Chester’s been hired for a job, and he’ll be damned if he doesn’t burn the town to the last cinder.

Thing is, he may just be damned if he does.

This horror-Western-mystery graphic novel will send a thrill—and a chill—down your spine. Funny, fascinating, and downright horrible, this is a book that keeps you turning the pages."

Review:

I love gore (even though I might not like to admit it) and love graphic novels (now that I don't mind admitting) so I figured this would be a good match for me. Bloody Chester is a western though, and I haven't really read many, so that was the one thing that I was apprehensive about.

This book didn't really wow me or turn me off to westerns. It seemed relatively to period, and the expressions seemed right for the time frame. Though the cursing was fairly frequent, I didn't might much because of the context, something I know that others will find offensive. The "N" word is used and the "F" word is used multiple times. Know that if swearing or racism even in period context bothers you, this isn't the book for you. The book also isn't for people who don't like a little blood and guts. But if you picked up the book and realized that its title was "Bloody Chester" and didn't think there would be a little gore then maybe you had unrealistic expectations. It definitely lived up to it's name.

Now to talk about the characters. One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was the development of Chester's character. You can tell in the beginning that he had little to no hope for the future and is willing to do almost anything. But as the story progresses, you can tell that he develops how he sees himself and the world around him, and he develops his own sense of self and of what's right and wrong. Though this graphic novel is incredibly short, you really manage a full range of emotion and development with his character. 

Sadly, I think the other characters weren't as developed as they could have been. The character Potter, for example, could have had been developed way more. From the small samples that I got, I could tell he was a witty and sarcastic person, but that's really the only side of him we see. The same goes for the character of Caroline. I really wish that we could have learned more about her life and seen more sides of her. 

The plot was fine, though the ending for me was a little weak. I also wished there was some more explanation. The way the whole thing was closed out was kind of vague. But maybe that's so the reader can draw their own conclusions. I usually like those open-ended type of things, but I didn't so much here.

The artwork (I can't go without mentioning this in a graphic novel review) was fine. I especially liked the artwork of scenes that took place at night. I really admire the shading and depth that went into them. The violent scenes had just enough detail to make you cringe but not to make you puke. I think that the characters could have had more expression on their faces some of the time, but overall the illustrations worked fine and added to the story as a whole.

Read Bloody Chester if you too like graphic novels and don't mind some swearing and gore. I defiantly need to put a note that this book (while having NO sexual content) probably isn't for kids younger than 14.

--Alexis

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.



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