Early Book Review: The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness by Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi

The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness is a graphic novel written by Robert Kondo and illustrated by Dice Tsutsumi. It is currently scheduled for release on July 10 2018. It is the second book in the series, and I have not read the first. I think that reading the series in order is recommended, but if the art draws you in, most readers could pick up the story to a certain degree. However- those that have read the first volume or watched the short animation it was based on will get much more from it than those of us that jumped in here.

Beyond the dam lies certain death—this is something every citizen of Sunrise Valley knows well. Yet, when a poisonous black tidal wave carries Pig, Fox, and Hippo over the dam and into the wastelands, they don’t find death. Instead they find bustling cities, each with their own dams. Pig can't help but wonder, who is the mysterious dam keeper behind it all? But he doesn't have time to unravel this mystery. The wave of deadly black fog will return to Sunrise Valley in four days, and its dam can't withstand another assault. In a stolen truck and with a deranged lizard leading the way, Pig and his friends are in a race against the clock. but can they reach home in time?

The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness is a graphic novel that I was tempted into reading because of the art. Even when I had no idea whatsoever about what was happening I fully enjoyed the artwork. The story lost me more than once, there were flashbacks and references to the past, which mostly went over my head because I missed the first book. However, the majority of this book felt like a buddy or roadtrip movie with some interesting twists and turns, some suggestions of secrets, and meeting new characters. As the group tries to make it home, assuredly to save their families and friends, they find themselves in some very weird situations with stranger characters, but I never really felt like I got to the meat of the story. There is a good climax, and hints to what is next for Pig, but since I was so uncertain about what was going on I never got invested in the characters or the story.

The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness is  a well drawn and colored graphic novel for middle grade, and perhaps younger and older, readers. I think readers that have read the first volume and enjoyed it will definitely want to pick this one up. I prefer series with a more complete feel to each of the installments, but that is jusyt my personal preference and I know others are not as bothered by this. 
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