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Saints by Gene Luen Yang
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The companion graphic novel to "Boxers", which taught ignorant me about this moment of history called the Boxer Rebellion, wasn't as good as the first. Or maybe my opinions were skewed because book 1 was so much more in depth with Bao's character, that when we see Vibiana's side of the story, as a Christian in 1899 China, I'm still reeling from Bao's story. In this shorter side of the tale Vibiana's character doesn't know who she wants to be or what her vocation is. It's another great graphic novel, don't get me wrong, but I feel Gene Yang didn't try as hard to make us like Vibiana. She was quite plain. ( )
  WickedWoWestwood | Feb 15, 2014 |
Saints is a graphic novel about Vibiana, a young woman on the Christian side of the Boxer Rebellion in China (1899-1900).

As with the companion book, Boxers, the art is simple but expressive. Here, instead of Bao's visions of the Chinese gods, Vibiana has vibrant visions of Joan of Arc. Vibiana hopes to emulate Joan as she tries to defend her fellow Christians from the Boxers.

I read this book after Boxers, and I was a little disappointed that this one was so much shorter than the other, but it makes sense considering how the paths of the protagonists in each intersect. I loved seeing the same story presented from both sides of the conflict. ( )
  DeweyEver | Feb 11, 2014 |
Saints details the other side of the Boxer rebellion from Four-Girl's point of view. She's an outcast in her family who eventually converts to the Christian faith in an effort to add meaning to her life and figure out her purpose. Eventually this book crosses paths with the ending of Boxers.

I gave this book a slightly lower rating than Boxers because I just didn't connect with FG the way I did with Bao. She did spend a lot of her time figuring out what she wanted to do in life, which is true for many teens (and adults) no matter their circumstances - yet she didn't feel genuine. Without revealing too much of the plot, I feel her conversion to the Christian faith was half hearted, and as a result the ending of the book left me puzzled.

But overall, another great story, seen from the other point of view. Some other new characters are introduced, including Joan of Arc! More beautiful artwork and another touching story. I love to read books that really make me feel something and the Boxers and Saints collection did just that. I recommend both books (you simply can't just read one!) to pretty much everyone. Again, there's violence so maybe not for younger audiences, but around 12+ ( )
  MillieHennessy | Dec 5, 2013 |
Yang presents the complicated story of Chinese Christians and the earnest foreigners who settled in China to save souls. ( )
  kivarson | Dec 3, 2013 |
Being Catholic myself, I expected just a wee bit more from this book than it delivered however I came away from it quite satisfied. Boxers and Saints are stand alone books that can be read seperately but the books need to be read together to experience the true impact of the novels, especially this one. I would recommend reading Boxers first, then Saints. I can see some people saying to read them the other way around because some things happen in Saints that are expalined in Boxers but by reading Boxers first, one is hit with emotional revelations from that story as told in Saints. I didn't quite take to the use of St. Joan, hence my 4 star rating, as it felt clear to me Vibiana is not have visions of her, and I can't find any historical references of anyone having had visions of her; while if one knows the history, the Boxers actually believed they had magical powers from the gods and the Empress was led to believe so before she would agree to support them. Christ came across as a true vision to Vibiana, though. CRYPTIC SPOILERT ALERT. It is extremely poingnant that one person gives their life for their religion while giving the gift of life to another through that same belief. ( )
  ElizaJane | Nov 23, 2013 |
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Vibiana, an unwanted fourth child, finds her name and identity in Christianity, but with the Boxer Rebellion in full swing and Chinese Christians facing death, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her religion or her country.

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