More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog https://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/</p></i>Having read and appreciated Bengal’s collaborations with Morvan, I was curious to see how he handled writing duty on his own stories. In one respect, we have an interesting fantasy story with enough fan service to keep male readers happy. But on the other hand, the story is choppy, the dialogue lacking nuance, and the pace of the story oddly disjointed. Luminae is not a bad graphic novel by any means but it also didn’t live up to the promise in Naja, either. I think I missed Morvan’s twists and turns the most.
Story: Six young string bikini clad warrior women guard Luminae, a mysterious goddess of light. They have lost track of one of their sisters and need to find her – something bad is occurring in the world and it looks like a dragonmage has found his way into their realm. The girls will have to fight the dragonmage while still protecting Luminae – but they are weakened in their search for their missing companion and the dragonmage has planned his attack just as they are most vulnerable.
Bengal’s artwork is quite lovely and the manga influence is definitely pronounced here. I had to roll my eyes a bit at all the ‘butt perspective’ shots of the girls and enough crazy angles to ensure the readers gets a full 3D view of their string bikini glory. But the color palette is pleasing and there are worse things to do than look at beautifully drawn (if objectified to the nth degree) young women.
The story and especially dialogue really didn’t work for me. Some plot points would have been much better condensed and others expounded more upon. Once the book ended, I did understand the story arc but the book plot does start out quite wide before narrowing. And I couldn’t help wondering about the translation strength if this was originally French (or the rather bland and blunt English). To have such an intricately drawn high fantasy world and then have the characters talking like a sixth grade learn English textbook was disconcerting. It pulled me out of the fantasy world.
In all, beautifully drawn but I’m left wishing for more story and better dialogue. Perhaps I was spoiled from having read Bengal’s collaborations with Morvan first.
Reviewed from an ARC.