Sing No Evil by J.P. Ahonen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With high-energy artwork and quirky humour, this graphic novel tells the coming-of-age story of Aksel, twenty-something guitarist with a stutter for the band Perkeros, who learns the power of sound and music as a form of magic--but not without aid and interference from the bandmates he must keep together: Lily, the streetwise keyboardist; Kevin, the hippie bassist who either is still working off an LSD trip from the '60s or really is a 600-year-old monk; Aydin, a Turkish immigrant who sings like an angel and threatens Aksel's dominance as frontman of the band and Bear, the drummer and (actual) party animal. And, not to mention, the rival bands they must literally battle to save their city from supernatural forces set loose by ancient music. A witty, weird mix of fact and fable based on archaeo-acoustics (the idea that ancient sounds can be recovered from markings on pottery--the Mythbusters explored this idea), this graphic novel draws its inspiration from ghost stories, the occult, contemporary pop culture and death metal rock'n'roll.
I really wanted to begin to get into graphic novels, this is a genre I have only stumbled across a handful of times. Recently I have had a bit of a block with reading and really wanted to get back into it, I thought that choosing a graphic novel may help as they are quicker to read and easy.
When I was offered the chance to review Sing No Evil, I knew nothing about it but thought I would give it a go. I am glad I did, I think for those of you who don't read this genre a lot this is a good one to begin with. The illustrations are cartoon-like and have a lot of detail in them. I also liked the colouring of the images, they were autumnal colours throughout, the story is also set during autumn and I thought this was a nice touch. Although the colours are mainly browns and reds, do not let that put you off. The images are wonderful!
Anyway back to the story...
There are some characters in this story that I just counldn't warm too, Aksel's girlfriend for one, she just seemed to spend her whole time complaining, she isn't in the book much and she really doesn't come across well, to me anyway... Aksel is a guitarist and songwriter for the bank Perkeros, he is a perfectionist and it has actually come to the point where he is becoming obsessive with the band and their success. This is a struggle that they have to go through with, growing up, studying, but also creating posters, album covers, getting gigs etc.
I liked that there were jokes throughout the book that were amusing and kept the story light.
My favourite character was Lily, she felt like she was the rock of the band and always trying to gain them more success.
O.K so here are the bits I didn't understand...
About 50 pages or so from the end the story almost turns into a complete different story. There is more of a fantasy element that arises, this is just a bit weird. I didn't think it fit in with the story and I don't really see what the point of it was. To be honest during this part I actually got a little lost, I didn't know what had happened to Lily and where the story was then going. I also was disappointed with the ending of the story. Throughout the graphic novel I felt something between some of the characters and I was hoping it was going to end in the way I expected. It didn't and for me that was a disappointment - I guess I am used to reading predictable novels!
Overall I enjoyed this graphic novel - my first paperback one! I would recommend this for first time readers of graphic novels and after reading this I am interested in reading others.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.