Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade March, Signal Boost

Review: Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge

Hey all, Dani here.

It’s time for more Middle Grade March reviews. I’ll be completely honest; I’m scheduling these review posts in advance. I haven’t reviewed any of my middle grade reads for the past several months, so it ends up working out for me now. I have review posts for the next couple of weeks ready to go so I can really focus on the last of the packing, and then the full cleaning of the apartment before our move.

And today I am reviewing a graphic novel that I randomly picked up while shopping at Walmart, which is always fun. I enjoy when I stumble across a book I hadn’t known about. As book enthusiasts we manage to keep track of a whole bunch of book releases, but I know I’m not alone when I say that I still miss quite a few books. That’s why I will forever like going to a bookstore or a library and just wandering through the stacks, just to see what books will catch my attention.

Anyway, let’s jump into the review.

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Summary

Rising star author-illustrator Ethan M. Aldridge delivers a fantasy adventure with all the makings of a classic. Illustrated with over two-hundred pages of watercolor paintings, this epic graphic novel is perfect for fans of Amulet.

Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, his fae powers hidden from his unsuspecting parents and his older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being a human makes him a curiosity at the royal palace.

But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne seizes the throne, the Childe and Edmund must unite on a dangerous quest to save both worlds—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

The art style on this one is pretty striking, and I spent a decent amount of time staring at the pages, which is always fun. Also, the story concept here is one that typically intrigues me; fey stories tend to draw my interest. I like that they are vain and arrogant and sometimes cold and cruel; it definitely makes them feel “other.”

I mean, take the fact that the human child raised amongst the fae in this story is literally called Childe. They didn’t bother to give him a name because he is just a human child. It greatly contrasts the life of the changeling who becomes Edmund. My favorite characters were probably “Edmund’s” older sister, Alexis, and Childe’s companion, Whick, who is a golem. So the main characters were definitely a highlight for me.

I had a mostly fun time reading this story, and there was a nice blend of action and family drama and intrigue. Especially when you consider that Alexis finds out that Edmund is an impostor and Childe is her biological brother. And yet she just accepts this new reality and considers both boys to be her brothers, which I definitely appreciated.

But frankly, it was also similar to a number of other fey/fae/faerie stories I’ve read, and so it didn’t stand out to me, meaning that I’m probably not likely to continue reading when the second book is released, though maybe I’ll consider borrowing it from the library if my library does get a copy.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this graphic novel from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

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