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Slow Storm by Danica Novgorodoff
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Slow Storm (2008)

by Danica Novgorodoff

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735164,469 (3.17)4

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Showing 5 of 5
Moody piece about a Kentucky firefighter who rescues a Mexican illegal immigrant during a particularly powerful storm. They share a love of country and a moment of peace. Nice watercolor illustrations of the storm and the rural landscape. ( )
  questbird | Apr 8, 2017 |
This graphic novel probably would have been two stars except for the fact that it takes place in Oldham County, Kentucky, my hometown. So it was nice to see the town of Crestwood and the North Oldham Fire Department featured. The plot seemed very simple and if you read the description of the book, you get the entire story. Rafi, one of the main characters, is an undocumented worker from Mexico, His journey across the border is guided by "coyotes," whom the author depicts as men with coyote heads. The American border guards ride pigs and accept bribes to allow their passage into the US. The other main character is Ursa, a female firefighter who is sexually harassed on the job by her brother and other co-workers, and protects Rafi. Even though it was a tragic story, I felt little connection with the characters. I always felt that a graphic novel should be able to tell the story with the illustrations and evoke emotions with the same. I did not think that these illustrations did that. Even though it was a tragic story, I felt little connection or empathy with the characters. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
The Basics

Ursa is a female firefighter who doesn’t have the respect of her fellow firefighters, including her brother. Rafi is an illegal immigrant who gets blamed for a crime Ursa committed in a fit of rage. With their paths crossing, their lives will be forever changed.

My Thoughts

Even my summary up there sounded gooey and pretentious, which just couldn’t be helped, because this book bleeds pretension. It wants to say something important. It wants to resonate so badly. A book should never feel as if it’s screaming for you to care, because it’s such a repulsive feeling, I fight it with every step. It’s like watching a movie that is clearly gunning for an Oscar, and it makes you cringe with the intentional weight of it.

I didn’t even care for the art style like I’d hoped. It was all very gestural, which is fine, but not to my tastes. There were moments when it was hard for me to tell what was happening, because the drawings weren’t clear. If you’re going to tell a visual story, it’s paramount you get your point across in your drawings, so I have to say that it failed on that level.

The story wasn’t bad, but it definitely didn’t go in the direction I would’ve wanted it to. It sets itself up for intrigue, and there is none. There could’ve been some very explosive drama, and there wasn’t. It just quietly petered out, and I felt robbed. There was a powerful story here, and a much weaker one was the story that got told.

If anything, I think my rating is for the setup. Otherwise, it should be skipped.

Final Rating

2/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Slow Storm really lives up to its title: it's a slow-paced graphic novel that shows only a little of the turbulent lives of its characters. Ursa is a female firefighter in Oldham County, Kentucky, where she really seems not to fit in. While putting out a fire, she meets Rafi, a Mexican immigrant who also has to deal with feeling out of place. There's a bit of the surreal mixed in, as both characters seem to have visions and see things; my favorite was the Maus-like men with coyote heads that lead Rafi out of Mexico. In terms of plot, there's not much of one -- it's more the slice-of-life moments that are powerfully evoked by the outstanding but sometimes too dark watercolor panels. If you don't mind your stories not having a "finite" ending, this is one to check out. ( )
3 vote legallypuzzled | Apr 11, 2011 |
I haven't read a ton of graphic novels. Mainly I have read Neil Gaiman's stuff and that's about it. When I saw this on Amazon Vine it looked interesting and I decided to give it a try.

The artistic style of the graphics wasn't my favorite. It's fairly stylized and looks like it was done in watercolor. This style may appeal to a number of people but I thought it was a little too washed out looking.

The story itself involves a woman who is a firefighter and her encounters with a Mexican immigrant during a colossal series of tornadoes. This is also not usually the type of story that I would enjoy, but despite myself I was very drawn to it.

The story is very engaging and you can't help sympathizing with the characters. I was amazed at the depth of character the characters had, given that this was a graphic novel. Some of the scenes with the Mexican and his god of wanderers were very reminiscent of some of Neil Gaimon's graphic novel stories.

All in all a great book and I am looking forward to more work from this artist/author. ( )
1 vote krau0098 | Feb 3, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
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"Folks, we've had a week a rain with mud enough to gator wrestle in the infield, and thank the Lord it held long enough to see them colts spin the track yesterday --- but I tell y'all what, this weather ain't through with us yet."
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Ursa, a firefighter in rural Kentucky, is struggling to find her place in life when she meets Rafi, an illegal immigrant whose life isn't going the way he pictured it either.

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