Partial Book Review: Nils: The Tree of Life by Jerome Hamon

Nils: The Tree of Life

Hardcover, 184 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Magnetic Press

I enjoyed this graphic novel but think I need to read it again with a physical copy. I gave up about half way through this digital download due to being unable to read the small text while also enjoying the two-page spreads that are included and occasionally very important to the visual storytelling. I am looking forward to reading this one in its entirety as I liked the art and color choices. It seems to be based on Norse mythology, and I have just enough knowledge to follow those references.

I like the introduction of technology and how that affects the land. The author put a lot of thought into carefully crafting characters who care and who make me care about them. This should already be on your list to read! What are you waiting for?  I’m also interested in seeing what other titles this publisher has.

Summary:

A dystopic Nordic fantasy world, where spirits of light are the key to life, but seemingly have abandoned the world. Young Nils and his father set out to discover why the ground has grown infertile, heading north where the drought seems worse to find the cause. Far along the way, they find signs of fresh and vibrant life, caretaken by these little light spirits. But before they know it, a large metal creature arrives and attacks the creatures, apparently hunting and gathering them. From out of the woods, a woman attacks the creature, bringing it to its knees… apparently the plant was bait for the spirits, which in turn were bait for the metal creature, which serves the high-tech Cyan Nation.

This huntress, named Alba, takes Nils and his father into their tribe, where the battle between the shamanistic people and the Cyan Nation is paramount, a battle over the protection vs exploitation of the light spirits power… Meanwhile, three goddesses watch these events, lamenting the fact that man had abandoned all belief in their power long ago. They watch but do not intervene, despite the fact that the spirits are being harvested en masse by the Cyan Nation, wreaking ruin on the world outside their city. Realizing that this conflict will in one way or another change the very fabric of this world, they slowly begin to intervene…

As they continue their travels, Nils has a dream (seeded by one of the goddesses) about the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which is being consumed by a metal plague. He knows he must now find and save the tree, and in the process, save the world. But the high council of the Cyan Nation would have otherwise… Having been separated in their quest, Nils’s father finds himself a guest of the Cyan Prince, where he learns that they do indeed understand the power of the spirits, which they call Ethernum, serving as the power source for their technological advancement.

High fantasy adventure combining science-fiction with pseudo-spiritual magic, posing dramatic examinations of man vs nature, life vs death, fact vs faith, and man’s desire to play god.

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