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Title: Shattered Warrior
Author(s): Sharon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag
Publisher: First Second (2017)
Age Rating: 13+? (There is a straggler boob in the book)
The 2017 First Second graphic novel follows Colleen, a once wealthy girl from a well-known family that finds herself in a struggle for survival as aliens have plundered the planet and are harvesting minerals to take over other planets. A resistance of sorts is working tirelessly to end the alien presence, and when Colleen finds a new friend in the heroic Jann, they join the resistance in the hopes of finding freedom.
With 250 pages, Shattered Warrior tells a fairly in-depth tale, even with the panels being fairly large and many of them containing no words. This story is not the pinnacle of originality, but the characters are rich, and you will care for them. Colleen is a well-rounded character that exemplifies determination and bravery: a true role model for any reader.
There is a random boob at the end of part two that I’m not quite sure about. I mean, if this book is supposed to be a YA novel, why put a boob in it? Those of you that know me, know that this is a thing with me. I do not like random boobs in books that could be taught in schools. Any random rated “R” nudity for that matter. It will keep the book out of most classrooms. I’m not going to be the one that throws myself into the fire in the principal’s office because I wanted to teach a book that had a boob. I have no problem with it, but a parent might. Honestly, at this point…I’ve said my peace with nudity in graphic novels. It’s like a rated “R” film. And I teach rated “R” films in my film class, yet I still stay away from nudity. Violence is fine. Sex is not. It’s not my rule. In this way, this book falls in line with Blankets and The Sculptor; I wish publishers would make classroom versions with an edit to put clothes on the characters, and if the artists refuse, which I totally respect, they need to understand that the refusal will keep the book out of some schools. You have to understand that when I gripe about this, it’s only to get more quality graphic novel titles into classrooms because this book, for example, could pair very well with a bunch of dystopian fiction.
Sorry. I spent way too long on the one-single-boob in the book and how it can keep it out of the hands of students and teachers. But the book does have page numbers! And seriously, it’s a good story. A nice mix of sci-fi, romance, and adventure, Shattered Warrior is a good YA title with one exception (see above); it could be good for readers ages 13-16; I could even see this being made into a film series in line with Maze Runner and Divergent. Kids would eat it up! But you ain’t getting a boob into a rated “PG-13” film these days.
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