the golden witch.'s Reviews > Tantalize: Kieren's Story

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
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You know, I think I really enjoyed this version more than the original. Not necessarily because of the fact that it’s in graphic novel form, but because during the original book, I found myself sympathizing more with Kieren and less with Quincie. If anything, I was feeling more or less exactly like Kieren regarding Quincie in terms of “wtf, why is she suddenly going out with someone who might have been involved in a murder?” Now I don’t feel as alone in my emotional attachment in the first book.

Hell, I kind of wish that the original version had been written from Kieren’s POV now that I’ve read both the graphic novel and the original novel. I hadn’t really felt too sympathetic toward Quincie, mostly because I felt her choices after the murder were really pretty messed up and callous, and not in a fun, love-to-hate kind of way (in terms of the best of a love-to-hate character, think Cersei Lannister from “Game of Thrones”).

That, and I always felt that Quincie had been leading Kieren on, and even when the big reveal was announced that he was a werewolf and we on Quincie’s part was supposed to get outraged that he was leaving and hadn’t told us, all I could remember feeling was “GOOD FOR HIM, HE’S GETTING AWAY FROM HER.” Um. Last time I checked, this wasn’t supposed to be a hook for a book. Luckily, I enjoyed the next in Smith’s cycle, “Eternal”, far more.

Think of this as the alternate universe version of the original and you’ll be fine, if you really enjoyed Quincie’s character in that first book. If you’re someone like me, who enjoyed Kieren’s character more, then think of this version as the first official version instead. Either way, it has something for everyone in the plot department.

And the art – while it’s nothing breathtaking, I feel like Doyle’s style really suited Smith’s novel. It’s jittery and you can practically feel the hormones and emotion from within each sequential frame, as if it were on screen and not on paper. I have to hand it to Smith – she chose the right person for the job, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more from Doyle in the future.

All of that said, I do want to see more reverse-POV versions of the rest of Smith’s series now, preferably drawn by Doyle. The hook was deep in this one, and it still hasn’t let go. Give it a try if you even remotely liked the original, and then argue with me about it here in the comments. I await your challenge.

(crossposted to librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)
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Reading Progress

05/28/2011 page 61
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