Artistically, New World by David Jesus Vignolli is well done. However, there was something missing to the story itself.
The story opens with a commentary by someone (you are not exactly sure yet) and the colors are all but nonexistent. Slowly, you start to see color when the eye of a sailor comes into focus. It is green. You are zoomed into the eye, step by step, with the green getting more and more obvious. Then you see what looks to be trees. A jungle. And finally, wide eyed, you see that it is a jungle. And we then turn the page to the reveal of THE NEW WORLD.
This cinematic introduction had me hooked. This reveal in such a dramatic manner is why the rest of the book was flat. There was a large build up, then the story is the same as we have seen before. The white man (the Portuguese) have come in and are The Monsters that are destroying the “new world” they have “discovered.” There is a female warrior who is the only one to save her people. There are bright colors that are also oddly muted. Due to the aspect of “literal monsters” coming out of the white people, this “surreal” aspect can take the literal reader out of the story. It is realistic fantasy/science fiction that shows history in a fantastic/poetic manner. While not “preachy” there is no question who the “villains” and “heroes” are.
However, the fantastical creative element works fantastically with the illustrations. While they can have an abstract feeling at times, that suits the overall feeling of the story and can help with the less-than-traditionally story. The story can be choppy at times, the flow is a little less than easy. The flash-arounds (between three main characters) is mostly the reason for this. Adults and older teens will enjoy. Would probably work well in a classroom setting when learning about Southern American nations and people.