Title: Saga Volume One
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Ever since I wrote a blog post about reading more diversely I tried to follow my own advice and pick books by authors, genres and formats I hadn’t explored before. I am happy to say that this new way of approaching the vast amount of books that I would like to read has already opened new doors for me. For example, I had always been fascinated by the dystopian genre (especially after reading the classics 1984 and Brave New World) and I finally decided to explore it more thoroughly by reading Philip K. Dick’s classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? John Wyndham’s The Secret People is also waiting on by shelves.
Another genre that I decided to explore more is that of science fiction. I had enjoyed H. G. Well’s The Time Machine, but was reluctant to pick up anything else by him or from that genre. It had been okay, but nothing more. But then the new Star Wars movies started coming out, with The Force Awakens last year and this year’s Rogue One, and I was once again intrigued by men’s fascination with the galaxy.
The Saga series fits the science fiction genre nicely. Just like the Star Wars movies, it is often characterised as a ‘space opera’, a sf subgenre focussing on space warfare and romance. On top of its ‘new’ genre it is also a format that I haven’t read before, but was dying to: the graphic novel. For a long time I thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a graphic novel but it turns out I do. I had given the first volume to my brother for his birthday, now over a year ago. He doesn’t like reading very much, but he enjoys various art styles and likes drawing himself.
Saga Volume One hit the mark. My brother enjoyed it as did I. I was afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy a graphic novel as much as a ‘regular’ novel, because … gimme words! I love an author’s use of language, puns, jokes and I enjoy reading in between the lines, but it turns out that a graphic novel is not, in the least, inferior to other formats. I mean, I knew that of course, like you know that poetry isn’t necessarily difficult to read or impossible to understand, but in the end we’re all biased.
Anyhow, the first volume of the Saga series is a fun, comic and beautiful read. It is a relatively classic story (two characters from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love and defy the odds), but the world building and the characters make it more than worth reading. The art work is beautiful (but I guess it’s not for everyone) and the story is from a fascinating point of view. The novel is sometimes very graphic (duh, but you know what I mean), but that didn’t bother me at all. As far as graphic novels go I would say it is still fairly on the comic side of the spectrum (as opposed to books like Persepolis and more artsy stuff), but that’s probably why so many love it so much. It is an easy way into a new format.
If you’re interested in trying a graphic novel and enjoy science fiction, I would highly recommend Saga Volume One!