Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Part-Time Grim Reaper. Full-Time Cutie!
Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim’s job is pretty cool: she’s a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife.
Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka’s crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn’t know that.
Unaware of the ghoulish drama she’s about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it… and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain.
When I saw this on Netgalley I immediately needed to get this. The blurb was exciting and I really wanted to read a graphic novel where I normally pick up manga.
The story is pretty easy to follow & the blurb says a lot what to expect but the way it was executed hooked me. Right from the start we are at Becka’s side, how she is gushing over her classmate Kim – and the reader gets a first insight of her infatuation of Kim. Kim is the cool girl, the distant, gothic girl who is wearing black clothes, ripped T-Shirts & jeans, has short purple hair with a side-cut and a mermaid tattoo on her sleeve. She is pretty remarkable and that’s what the reader sees of her. But that’s not the only thing which is surprising: Kim carries a secret which Becka is revealing. The strange journey begins.
Becka on the other hand is the total opposite of Kim – in character as well as apprearance: she is chubby, is wearing her long brown hair as two topknots at her sides (which gives her adorable similarities to Bunny/Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon ;)). She is also wearing shirts or shorts & has tanned skin and comes across pretty feminine and sweet. With Becka we have not just a non-skinny main character, we have a mixed racial one too which I adored. She also openly claims she is fascinated by Kim, in fact is pretty open in her feelings and later we have a few scenes with her and Kim, so the LGBTQIAP+ representation is on page & I admit it was a suprising discovery. 🙂 I was hoping for it but wasn’t sure what to expect. 🙂
The graphic novel is sequential, each chapter can be read as standalone but has an ongoing sub- plot with Kim being a Grim Reaper, one who’s job is to take the souls into afterlife – and having Becka newly on her side, having her on the sometimes slightly crazy, bizarre adventures. The way how this sub-plot is delivered was really thrilling, you really want to have volume 2 soon because you can’t wait to see what’s coming next for the two girls.
I had a joy with each chapter, there is such a vibrance in them, from totally hilarious situations, like trying to take the soul of a cat which doesn’t goes as it should and Becka and Kim have to defend themself from the obsessed cat owner to dangerous ones, when Kim and Becka are – again – in danger.
I loved the humor in the book, the over-the-top-aspects, perfectly delivered by the great art. You could totally easy follow the flow, the text was supporting the narration via pictures and the use of colors (the graphic novel is in full color) were fitting and gave the scenes the right mood.
We have a clear structure of the panels, some actions are enlarged over one panel or take the whole page, heads are zoomed in or bodies out, to give either a closer look or a view from the distance.
There are some “special” effects, like hearts in the background or sparkles when Kim and Becka are cheesy and full emotional.
The wide range of gestures and facial expressions do another great job in delivering the story as well as the on point humour. 🙂 Especially Becka has a lot of different facial expressions within the book, where Kim comes across as distant, sometimes no-nonsense like but never malice or bad. She has her flaws as well as Becka, who is maybe too passionate. Kim is having a few troubles at the beginnings with Becka and her extrovert behaviour, her gushing and enthusiastic exclamations as well as the outspoken way when it comes to her feelings. She is partly rude in the book but it comes more from confusion and insecurity to handle the situation properly.
The graphic novel was an exciting read, Kim and Becka are adorable, the novel has a few great supporting side-characters like Becka’s friend Tyler, who I wish to see in the next volume more. 🙂 The cast is altogether pretty limited and therefore you can pretty good focus on the main characters. This book gets 5 out of 5 stars. 🙂