What would you do if you were forced to live forever? In The Heart Hunter, we are introduced to the island of Envecor, where the inhabitants are cursed with immortality. Long ago, the curse began due to a broken heart and now all the residents stop aging at the age of eighteen. Cursed to live forever, they keep their hearts outside their bodies, safe in jars. The only way to break the curse is to find a soulmate and bond.  Once the bond is initiated, the curse ends and they become mortal. Bounty hunters, called heart hunters, are hired to kill soulmates. They have the special ability to track soulmates and have weapons to kill them. Once a person’s soulmate is killed that person is guaranteed immortality.

Marius, the king of Encevor, desires to find his soulmate and destroy their heart, killing them in the process and making the king immortal. He hires a heart hunter named Psyche to complete this task. Psyche, who has a damaged heart due to having a personal loss, soon finds the king’s soulmate. Named Isaac, he has a heart of gold and can’t be killed. The golden heart enables him to mend broken ones. The only way Psyche can release the soulmate bond is to travel to the center of the island and submerge Isaac’s heart in water, making him mortal. Together, they begin a dangerous journey on a path towards redemption.

Along the journey, Psyche and Isaac stumble into a young heart hunter named Jez who is also in search of the king’s soulmate. Jez explains that he stole the king’s heart and wants to destroy the soulmate bond between the king and Isaac, thinking this will end the curse. However, destroying the king’s heart will also kill Isaac. The king soon discovers the lost heart and is enraged. He leaves on a search to find his heart and discovers more about himself in the process.

The artwork is lush and dramatic. The author does a good job establishing the plot and characters. The characters are well drawn and all have developed backstories. The reader cares about the protagonists’ struggles. The characters are all flawed, making them realistic. Illustrator V. Gagnon does a good job of creating a high stakes atmosphere, using dark red and orange tones to elevate the drama and seriousness of the situation. The is a sense of timelessness. There is no link to a specific time in history or to a specific technology. Characters are diverse, portraying a variety of skin tones and hair textures. This is also a strong LGBTQ+ title. Characters can be soulmates with the same gender and we see characters engaged in same sex relationships. This is a heart-pumping graphic novel will keep teens entertained until the last page. There is some mild gore and references to romantic relationships. This novel is not appropriate for young teens, but is an interesting read for older teens looking for a fast-paced adventure. Although a dark tale, teens and adults that have an appetite for dramatic stories will enjoy this graphic novel.

The Heart Hunter
By Mickey George
Art by V. Gagnon
Legendary Comics, 2021
ISBN: 9781681160740
Publisher Age Rating: 13 years and up

NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16)

  • Meghan

    | she/her Children's Librarian


    Meghan Fangmann is a Children's Librarian at Syosset Library in Long Island, New York. She runs graphic novel book clubs and storytimes at her library. In her spare time, she enjoys reading the latest Manga, Anime, and graphic novel titles.

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