Sunday, May 21, 2017

BOOK REVIEW for "The Castoffs, V.1: Mage Against the Machine" by MK Reed (Author), Brian Smith (Author & Illustrator), Molly Ostertag (Illustrator), & Wyeth Yates (Illustrator)

***(3) out of 5 stars


Twenty years ago, mages fought for their survival against the Surrogate, a hive-minded robot army that consumed everything in its path. Now, a trio of young apprentice mages must cross the ruined forests to deliver a magical cure to a nearby town. But the girls couldn't be more different. Charris, a hotheaded fighter with elemental powers, Trinh, a shy mage who can literally turn invisible, and Ursa, a healer with more power than she lets on. The three girls must learn to trust and rely on each other if they're going to save the village!

The first several pages of this graphic novel are totally confusing and disorienting.  And I’m not only talking about the fact that when I read the galley proof the coloring had not yet been done, so it was just a hideous YELLOW and black.  Blech!  But the story begins in the midst of a great battle with a bunch of protagonists that we don’t know.  Maybe due to the coloring issues, they are almost indistinguishable from one another; and there are far too many of them to keep track of.  Also, I didn’t have a clue what was going on or who was doing what. 

After this initial blip, the story seemingly reverts to an earlier time, the coloring is complete for the remainder of the book, and you can actually tell who is who and what is going on.  The three main individuals of the tale - Charris, Trinh and Ursa – all have very different appearances, personalities and abilities.  All of which help make them distinguishable characters.  But none of them is exactly what they seem when the story begins.  They are definitely a mismatched group, assigned by their leader Leda to work together and journey to a distant town to deliver some supplies.  However, they end up falling into a lot more intrigue than just the simple task they are supposedly assigned.  Along the way, they slowly get to know each other, accept one another, and eventually work fairly well together. 

The ending is rather confusing, and is definitely a cliff-hanger.  However, I am sure that more will be revealed in later editions of the series, and I can’t wait to read them to see how the characters and their story unfold.  

I received an eGalley copy of this title from NetGalley and have willingly provided an honest review. 

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