Blog post courtesy of the Graphic Novels blog...
The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon
May's Review: So the growing trend these days is to take a highly popular work of literature and adapt to the graphic novel/manga format. We have already seen a number of this year with Sherrilyn Kenyon's urban fantasy/romance novels, Patterson's Maximum Ride books, and Meyer's Twilight series. I suppose these graphic novels/manga are done to appeal mainly to the author's fans because in some cases, I don't necessarily find the new adaptions to be as interesting as the original.
Mind you, I have to have read the original which brings up the whole Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Romance blog readers will know that I am largely a historical romance reader while some of my close friends, like JC, also know that I also happen to like my romances set in Scotland. But for some unexplainable reason, I have never managed to read Outlander, the first book in Gabaldon's hugely popular romance series. The book which won the 1991 RITA award for Best Romance novel, centers on a nurse, Claire Randall, who is vacationing with her husband in Scotland sometime in 1940s. While exploring, Claire inadvertently is transported back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets our red-headed hero, Jamie Fraser, a fugitive with a complicated past. The rest of the story basically involves Claire trying to get back to her own time while trying to fight her immense physical attraction to Jamie.
The graphic novel picks up this complicated storyline by telling it from Jamie's prospective. I suppose that this was a new way to retell the familiar story but I admit that I wished it had told it from Claire's point of view instead. I felt Jamie's characterization wasn't quite as well developed and had difficulty following the rather convoluted plot at times. I assume that Claire develops very strong feelings for Jamie prior to being forced to marry him in the book because in the graphic novel, she just grudgingly seems to "go along" with everything and as a result, I don't find her all that compelling at times. It probably doesn't help that the illustrator likes to focus on Claire's buxom figure especially in the later half the of the novel making Claire more of a 1950s pin-up model rather than the intelligent and highly-compassionate heroine she is suppose to be portraying.
Fans of the series will likely flock to this graphic novel and fall in love with the series again. As for me, I just thought this novelization ranked a "Meh". Kinda mediocre as far as I'm concerned.
Sherrilyn Kenyon is a well-known and popular paranormal romance writer. Some of her books have been recently adapted to graphic novel or manga. Here is a review of her manga series, courtesy of the Graphic Novels blog.
The Dark Hunters, Vol. 1 and The Dark Hunters, Vol. 2 by Sherrilyn Kenyon
May's Review: The 2 volume manga series was adapted from Kenyon's hugely popular paranormal romantic Dark-Hunter series, specifically Night Pleasures. Both the book and the manga tells the story of Kyrian, former prince of Thrace turned Dark-Hunter vampire, who must protect Amanda, a human who knows little about the psychic power she possesses or the dangers she is about to attract. In the introduction of volume 1, Kenyon writes that she is a huge fan of manga so it's not surprising that her Dark Hunter story is well suited for this format. Good illustrations with strong emphasis on action and romance makes this manga series not only an enjoyable read but almost a guilty pleasure! A total must-read for Kenyon fans.
If you enjoy the manga, you might also want to check out Kenyon's graphic novel, Lords of Avalon: Sword of Darkness, that was also based on one of her novels. Here is a link to my 2008 review of her graphic novel.
For more about Kenyon and her work, check out her website.