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I'm a huge fan of the Twilight Saga, having been hooked since reading the first book . So when I cam across this graphic novel, which tells the first part of the Twilight story, I decided I had to have a copy, for which I paid £6.49 from amazon.co.uk.
The original Twilight book was written by Stephanie Meyer, and for this graphic novel version she teamed up with Young Kim, who adapted the story slightly and did the illustration . I'd never heard of Young Kim before, so as I often do, I went to wikipedia to do a little research, only to find out that Young Kim is a Korean female professional golfer . Somehow, I have the feeling that's not the right person! It's a shame I haven't been able to find out anything about the artist, such as previous works or influences, but on the plus side it meant I went into the graphic novel with a completely open mind.
The book arrived, a nice weighty hardback book, with a glossy dust jacket showing Bella lying in a meadow. Right from the cover, it's clear that that characters are based on descriptions in the book itself, rather than trying to be clones of the actors in the films, and I like this, as it adds honesty to the work and makes it the illustrators own interpretation of the work.
Twilight tells the story of Bella Swan, who moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona, to rainy Forks after her mums remarriage . The new girl in a relatively small school she finds herself the centre of attention right from the start, with boys falling over themselves to ask her to the school dance. However, one boy in particular seems averse to her charms, the stunningly handsome, yet mysterious, Edward Cullen. In fact, he seems to hate her, doing everything he can to avoid her - until he one day saves her from being crushed by a car, demonstrating extraordinary strength . His strength mystifies Bella, as does his ever changing attitude towards her and his colour changing eyes - can Bella figure out what makes Edward so different from all the other boys in school ?
Obviously, with this being a graphic novel, the lengthy descriptive passages from the original book have been cut and condensed to allow the story to flow faster, and in some ways this is a welcome relief . Barely a page of the Twilight book went by without Bella twittering on about Edwards mysteriousness, his perfect face, his lovely eyes and such. However, this book wastes very little time on descriptions, and it doesn't need to, as the illustrations are superb, rich in detail with each character having their own look.
I find the look of the characters in this much more individual than in the film, and in fact think some characters, such as Edward, look much more the way I had imagined them . Edward actually seems like he could be dangerous, and the emotions the illustrator manages to draw are very believable, and there is a great depth of facial expression .
The pages are broken up in a variety of different ways . Sometimes a double spread conveys only a few words with one large picture, other times pictures join at odd angles , sometimes there are several small scenes on a page . This variation makes the book constantly interesting . Also, different views are used - face on, side on, birdseye, and again they add a lot of depth to the pictures .
The illustrations themselves are largely in black and white with excellent use of shading. Where colour is used, it's used sparingly and yet very dramatically, and really enhances key parts of the story. For example, in one scene, a tiny amount of red is used to illustrate blood in an otherwise black and white image, and it's stunningly effective.
Overall, I really like this graphic novel . It's worth pointing out that this is only volume one of the adaptation of Twilight, and that the story cuts off partway through . Volume 2 has yet to be released yet, so people who dislike being left hanging might want to wait until volume 2 is released and the story completed before purchasing . I enjoyed it though, and especially liked that it moved at a good pace with a lot less dull description, and I found the artwork beautiful and lovingly drawn . I think this is a good interpretation of the story, and look forward to buying volume 2 .
5 stars .