As you can imagine, I like ravens. I also like the idea of the character Raven from the Teen Titans. I do not consider myself an expert on the either subject. I just enjoy them. I like the element of mystery, cleverness and magic around them. And the character herself seems to have an interesting and unique path. With the graphic novel (ages at least 12 and up) Teen Titans: Raven Kami Garcia took a character comic and graphic novel lovers around the community know and love and made Raven her own creation.
This is a retelling of the Teen Titan Raven story, therefore, leave what you know at the door and settle down for a new adventure. She took the clever and mystery and magic of the past novels, television and possibly even a little fan art (as Garcia is a fan and why she started with Raven for a new series), and mixed it with modern sensibilities, creating a new and powerful teen warrior. Garcia has added characters and made girl power not “pushy” or “too sappy.” There is a nice balance between all elements needed to show strength and vulnerability. Characters are realistic, funny and people who might want to get to know (or who “accidently” trip in the lunch room). Garcia shows a teen that not only has to deal with “normal” teen issues such as zits and prom, but one who must deal with amnesia, nightmares, demons and maybe who is going a little mad as she hears voices and seems to be able to make certain things happen.
Gabriel Picolo interpretation of the text makes for artistic illustrations that accent the story. They add to it and were pleasant to the eye, but not easy to view. Colors highlight important plot points/people, yet lack-of-color is just as important as well. They can be comfortable, smooth and part of the everydayness of the story and they are bold, even dramatically romantic (One example are images of Raven and the character Tommy on a date that I wanted to frame). There are some neat DC Easter eggs hidden in images as well (I spotted two but will go back and look for more).
It was an emotional story. I wanted to fly through it, have it never end and could not wait for the finale. And I was feeling the emotion in my guts. I was loving parts and hating parts. Over all this story was just a good, strong piece of art. And while there is not a lot of “graphic gore” it is not for the sensitive reader (hence why I say at least aged 12 and would even say ages 13/14 to adult reader). Looking forward to Teen Titans: Beast Boy later this year.