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Now and again a book comes that connects with you in such a way that you just want to live in that world.  For me, that book is Hopeless Maine.  I can’t explain why Hopeless Maine captured my complete attention.

I review graphic novels for NetGalley.  Lately, I’ve become discouraged.  The art is okay, the plots even more so but none have made me want to share with anyone.  That is until Hopeless Maine.

There’s a timeless feel to this book.  The art reminds me of Charles Adams or Edward Gorey who just happen to be some of my favorite artists.  It’s classified as steampunk but I think that’s just become the new catch-all for gothic works.  This story could have happened ages ago or could be happening as we speak.  I love that.  I love that you get lost in the little details.

When it comes to comics or graphic novels, the art can make or break the book.  I have read amazing stories that became muddled and confusing because the artist lacked the ability to give the characters something that distinguished them or they just didn’t have the personality.  That is not true for Hopeless Maine.

The colors are muted but it only adds to the art, not distracts.  In fact, I think the world wouldn’t be as inviting if it was bright and cheerful.  Salamandra, the main character, has so much personality.  I could just spend days looking at pictures of her hair because it seems to be it’s own character.

She’s a great character – an orphan on an island filled with demons and horrible creatures.  Yet she’s curious and brave.  She acts like the young girl she is but has a very old soul.  That’s always something I admire when it comes to graphic artists – the ability to make a character have so much personality and allows the reader to connect when there’s very little time to make that connection.

A little information about Hopeless Maine – Hopeless is an island that is surrounded by dangerous waters that prevents people from leaving.  Demons and monsters roam the island leaving a fair amount of orphans.  Salamandra is one such orphan.  She has magic but she doesn’t believe she’s a witch.

In this installment, she comes to the orphanage.  She makes friends with a little girl who’s not so nice and might not really be there.  With the help of the preacher’s son, Salamandra uncovers who the girl is and how to deal with her.

I can’t wait to see what happens next (okay I might have peeked but I’m not telling, yet).  I, also, can’t wait to see what happens when I connect with the creators of Hopeless Maine.  I’ve got some ideas and a possible giveaway or two in the near future.

In the meanwhile, click the picture at the bottom of the post to pre-order a copy and visit Hopeless Maine to see more art and samples of the books.

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