I love the cover of this book. The girls on it look ready for a battle. I like the fierce expression on their faces and, once I’d gotten my hands on a copy of the book, I liked the silver foil used for the title and the faint water snake flowing through it.
When I saw the book at the Lion Forge booth at the 2019 ALA Conference, I knew I had to get it because of the cover, so I did and recently read it.
Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval (illus.), transl. from the French by Lucas Marangon
YA Fantasy; Horror
Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost. And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors.
Three-time Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval presents a wondrous world of secret places and dreamlike magic hidden in the everyday corners of our sleeping imagination. (Goodreads)
Watersnakes is a fantasy graphic novel with hints of horror about a girl named Mila who’s having a boring summer vacation until she meets Agnes while swimming. Mila has a lot of fun hanging out with Agnes and becomes attracted to her as she becomes fascinated by Agnes’s teeth. But soon Mila learns that Agnes is actually a ghost hosting a fallen king within her and her teeth are his guardian warriors. The king appeals to Mila to help him get back to the sea and, with Agnes’s help, helps the king’s guardians do so.
I was excited to read this because I love the cover, but the story didn’t work for me. I was confused on my first read by Mila’s fascination with Agnes’s teeth and then the teeth being the king’s guardians. When I skimmed it before writing this reflection, it made more sense, but I still didn’t like the story. It just didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t care for the characters or what’s going on or even for the battle at the end. This one just wasn’t for me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like the illustration style either. I thought I would because I love the cover, but I should have flipped through the book before purchasing it because now I neither like the story nor the illustrations, which is disappointing.
There is a dreamy quality to the story, and the illustrations reflect this. Such styles can be hit or miss with me and this time it didn’t vibe with me. I also didn’t like how the characters are drawn, which I know sounds odd since I love the cover, but there’s an eerie quality to Agnes and Mila that didn’t jive with me.
I don’t know, man. I didn’t like it, but I can’t figure out exactly why.
A fantasy story about a girl who becomes fascinated by her friend’s teeth, which are actually guardian warriors for the dethroned king inside her friend. Yeah… Hard for me to sum up in a sentence, but I’ll work on it. I didn’t like the story or the art, but I’m in the minority here because many others love this book. It was even nominated for an Eisner award!
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
It didn’t work for me but many others love it. I wish I’d Borrowed it first.