‘Homecoming’ is a graphic novel that runs alongside the ‘Mercy Thompson’ series of books by Patricia Briggs. In fact, it runs slightly prior to the first book in the series.
This graphic novel tells the story of Mercy Thompson, a walker who can shape-shift into a coyote and how she came to be working in the mechanics shop we see her in ‘Moon Called’, the first book of written series. It appears that mechanic wasn’t her first choice of job, which came as a shock to me. In fact, she is trained as a history teacher but fate and luck aren’t on her side when she tries for a job. During this book, we see glimpses of Mercy as a child, how she came to be under the care of the Marrock and how she meets a lot of the characters in the later books. This is a very short story fleshed out with the graphic element of the book. At times, the story moves so fast that it is actually difficult to keep up and I felt that there were some pages missing in my copy as some bits didn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
First, I have to say that I very rarely read graphic novels so don’t have a great deal to compare this to. There are the traditional naked highly muscled ladies, large splatters of blood and really odd facial expressions, etc. Weirdly, it seemed that the illustrator changed part way through the book which I’m not sure is normal. Given the beautiful artwork on the cover I found some of the graphics within the book to be below par, some even looked unfinished and not in a good way. It was really weird with some of the images and sections I really enjoyed pictorially, whereas others I really disliked so this made the book feel a little disjointed to me. I also felt this graphic novel fell into the trap of not showing the characters as I felt they looked in the book, for example, Stefan who looks more like a vampire than I was expecting given the written book descriptions.
Overall, I have to say that I didn’t really enjoy this as a graphic novel. As I said, some of the graphics felt ugly and clunky to me, but I did enjoy having the extra bit of back story to Mercy. From now on, I think I’ll stick to the actual written books rather than graphic novels. This might be worth buying if, you’re like me, and like to have everything to do with your favourite series but, on the whole, I’d say you weren’t missing much if you didn’t have a copy of this book.
(pub: Ballantine Books/Dabel Brothers. 168 page hardcover graphic novel. Price: $22.95 (US). ISBN: 978-0-345-50988-8)