Jason Shiga, author of Meanwhile, has created another addictive, interactive, and mind boggling graphic novel for tweens. Leviathan is a choose-your-own adventure story that keeps readers guessing until the end.
Leviathan, is about the Leviathan, a dragon-like mythical creature. The protagonist must navigate through an ancient medieval village to find and destroy the monster. The reader must choose between different paths to reach the final ‘ending’. Until the ending is reached, readers will find out a lot of secrets that they will need to fully understand the entire story. The character must navigate through an ancient medieval village to find and destroy the monster.
Kids will love navigating the story, learning about a powerful wizard, a mysterious medieval village, and hidden treasure in the process. Small tubes connect the illustrated panels, giving readers almost endless possibilities of plots and endings. Readers must follow the tubes that indicate what page number to turn to next. The story can be completed very quickly or take around an hour. There are so many possible endings, leaving no room for boredom. For example, readers explore a castle to find out more about the town, visit the library to learn more about a powerful sorcerer, or stay over at a lodge to inquire about the monster with an innkeeper.
The author/illustrator Jason Shiga does a wonderful job creating a complex narrative. Even though there are many panels and interconnected stories, the reader is able to easily follow along and explore the seemingly endless mazes. The larger panels that let readers skip between various storylines on one page are engaging. For instance, readers get to choose to take a boat, swim off the dock, etc. Shiga’s art is worth high praise. His distinctly simply rendered characters with large- popping eyes add humor to an overall serious story. The illustrations are fun and humorous-sometimes unexpected. Action words and illustrations combine harmoniously to show emotional depth.
Reluctant readers will particular enjoy this engaging format that makes the reader feel like they are in a role-playing video game. There are fights, shipwrecks, and fights with mythical monsters. Leviathan is a perfect recommendation for a child that enjoys graphic novels and adventure stories. Middle grade readers will devour this book and anticipate more in the series. (Grades 4-7)
Adventuregame Comics vol. 1: Leviathan
By Jason Shiga
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)