Okay, maybe nobody says ‘cray cray’ anymore, but it’s still a fun term to define crazy stuff. Like the graphic novel ‘The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor’ by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher J. Baldwin.
The cover deceives you into thinking its some sort of gothic-horror story, with vampires and beasts, but hell no. Instead, there’s some inception level stuff going on, in-fact, inception was perhaps easier to understand, but definitely not as light and funny as this graphic novel.
You got to love how the story starts – with the girl saving a boy! The protagonist Haley is a huge fan of gothic romance novels; on a gloomy night, she saves a man from drowning, but wakes up in a stately manor, with a strict housekeeper. At first it seems like she has traveled back in time, but turns out she slipped into a different multiverse – a ‘pocket universe’, which is at danger of getting consumed by evil, and can put Haley’s world in jeopardy too. So it’s up to our protagonist and three brothers who inhabit the manor to fix things.
The illustrations by Christopher J/ Baldwin are splashy, cute, colorful, with Haley being the stand-out character. She has expressive eyes that will charm a lot of readers, with an impish attitude that is more on the adorable side than annoying. Author Shaenon K. Garrity tries to turn the gothic romance novel on its head, by giving us a very traditional gothic setting, but the story spans multiple-universes, aliens and some stuff that sort of go over my head.
‘The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor’ might not be for everybody, but could be the perfect pick for those looking for a quick quirky read with sci-fi elements but old sentiments. It’s a 4/5 from me.
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