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M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder
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The richly colored art steals the show here. The story is simple enough, but has hints of an intriguing world to be explored and an epic tale to be told.

It seems this is just a prologue or introduction to a longer work being produced as a webcomic, and I wish the publisher had set expectations by labeling this as a first book or volume in a series. I feel tricked when a book just ends with lots of stuff dangling, and I have to investigate to find that I don't have the full story yet. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
Mmmm can't quite tell what to think; hadn't read it on the website; didn't figure out from visual cues that Abbie (Abbie??) was Deaf; need more info. I guess I'll get it when I read the next book? I mostly enjoyed the art. ( )
  SuziSteffen | Feb 20, 2018 |
A tweet from Magruder saying that "it's asexual AF" put this on my radar. I took this to mean that there was an explicitly identified asexual character. Um... If there is, then it's not in this volume. I haven't read the webcomic, which includes a fourth chapter that wasn't published in this book, so maybe it's in that chapter? That said, those looking for romance-free graphic novels may want to check this out. (I sincerely hope that Magruder didn't think "romance-free" and "asexual" are the same thing.)

The story: Jaime and his grandfather find and injured girl named Abbie and her dying moa mount just as a sandstorm is starting. They take her back to the little town of Marigold (and kill the mount as a mercy) so Jaime's aunt can fix her up. The town has been repeatedly attacked by Parasai, people with special powers who take what they want and then leave. Abbie ends up fighting back when a Parasai breaks her mom's urn - it turns out that Abbie is a Parasai too. Instead of asking her to stay and help protect the town, the mayor and the other townspeople drive her out. Jaime decides to go with her.

That's literally the whole volume. I've seen indications that this might just be the first volume of a series, and that could be the case if Magruder continues the webcomic and future chapters are published in a second volume, but there's nothing on this one physical volume to tell readers that it's just volume 1 of a larger story. It's a shame, because M.F.K. felt extremely skimpy on its own and wouldn't hold up well at all as a one-shot.

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with this. First there was the disappointment of not getting the explicitly identified ace character that I expected, then there was the moa mount that I believe got another enthusiastic tweet, despite it dying almost immediately after it appeared. And the people of Marigold were idiots who seemed determined to doom their town to a slow and painful death.

Then there was Abbie herself (by the way, for those who are interested, Abbie wears a hearing aid, so there's explicit disability rep even if there isn't explicit ace rep). I have no clue, after reading this volume, what her goals were, or why she was traveling. Was she taking her mother's ashes to a particular place, or just aimlessly traveling with them? Although all the mysteries surrounding Abbie should have made me want to read more about her, I found that I was more interested in Jaime, who had a much clearer goal than Abbie (get out of dying Marigold and see the world).

I really wanted to love this, but instead I was just vaguely disappointed by it.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Jan 1, 2018 |
This is a cute little story, but not a whole lot happens here. Abbie is found wandering in the desert, injured, and is taken in by a family in the local town. This town is also targeted by thugs with super powers who basically take what they want, when they want it, because they are clearly superior due to their super powers. Abbie helps the town out with the latest group of thugs, and then decides to continue on with her own journey. And that's about it. Of course, there's a bit more to it, but spoilers! The art has a definite manga feel to it, but sometimes it's a little vague about what's going on. Personally, I wish that there had been a little more substance to the story, as I'm not all that invested in either the characters or where they are going, and this may just be me, but I really wish I at least had a hint as to what the title means, because as far as I could tell, there wasn't any clue anywhere in the book. ( )
  tapestry100 | Oct 10, 2017 |
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"In a world of sleeping gods, a broken government, and a fragile peace held in the hands of the corrupt, one youth must find the strength to stand up against evil and save humanity. This story is not about that youth. It's about Abbie, who just wants to get to the mountain range called the Potter's Spine, scatter her mother's ashes, and then live out her life in sweet, blissful solitude. Unfortunately, everyone she meets wants to whine at her about their woes, tag along on her quest, arrest her for no reason, or blow her to bits. Journeys are hard on the social recluses of the world."--… (more)

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