Early Book Review: The City on the Other Side by Mairghread Scott, Robin Robinson

The City on the Other Side by Mairghread Scott and Robin Robinson is a fantasy graphic novel currently scheduled for release on April 24 2018. In this story a young girl stumbles into a pitched war between two fairy kingdoms, and the fate of San Francisco itself hangs in the balance! Sheltered within her high-society world, Isabel plays the part of a perfectly proper little girl. She is quiet, well-behaved, and she keeps her dresses spotlessly clean. She’s certainly not the kind of girl who goes on adventures. But that all changes when Isabel breaches an invisible barrier and steps into another world. She discovers a city not unlike her own, but magical and dangerous. Here, war rages between the fairies of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Only Isabel, with the help of a magical necklace and a few new friends, stands a chance of ending the war before it destroys the fairy world, and her own.

The City on the Other Side is a coming of age or quest adventure with a fae twist. I like that Isabel is a quiet girl that wants more right from the start, and while she grows and gains confidence she keeps the same core of goodness. She faces the trails of feeling neglected by her parents, and lost in the shuffle. I like how she is kind despite the way she feels, and how she is willing to step up and help, even when she is clearly in over her head. I think the secondary characters and conflict of the fae war is well done, and while it carries shades of what i thought I knew about the fairy world, it was approached in a fresh, new way. The young orphan-ish hero is also a tried and true story, but her challenges were well written and drawn, making the story feel fresh rather than stale- which happens often. I liked while I was often wondering who might betray our main players, and how the story would come together in the end. I liked the art work, but it was a little sharper than I normally like. The humans had a much rounder feel than the fae, which made the differences more pronounced. Since I was looking at a digital galley, I fully expect that it looks even better in the physical copy. 

The City on the Other Side is a well done graphic novel that will appeal to middle grade readers, young adult readers, and adults. I enjoyed the read, and think many readers of all ages will enjoy it as well.

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