Janie's Reviews > Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar by Gene Luen Yang
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's review
Oct 24, 2012

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bookshelves: movies, graphic-novels, issues, 3-stars
Read in October, 2012

This follow-up to the show Avatar, the Last Airbender starts with Firelord Zuko making Aang swear to kill him if he sees him start acting like his father, which is a pretty dark notion to begin the next chapter of the show. A best thing about this book is how it takes a look at the diplomatic problems after the epic "The End" of the show. While the show ended on a newly crowned Fireloard Zuko addressing the gathered nations and talking of peace and prosperity, the book doesn't sugarcoat the difficult reality of cleaning up the aftershocks of a 100 year war.

The main and most memorable plot thread is the one regarding the struggle of diplomacy. There are several assassination attempts on Zuko's life by those in the Fire Nation who still believe that he is a cowardly traitor to his country. There are Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom, and the difficult question of either evicting or letting them stay on their now one-hundred year old ancestral land (some who have even married into the Earth Kingdom) poses a huge problem. And Zuko, (can’t he ever get a break) is having troubles coping with the stresses position as Firelord thanks to the said problems (he is only maybe 17 after all). It also looks into somehow answering the very aggravating unanswered question of the show “Where is my mother?” which if I am correct, is sort-of answered in the following books.

Regarding the other characters, Toph starts a metal-bending school, and there isn’t much success with the new trainees. Katara and Aang are officially a couple, calling each other “sweetie” much to Sokka’s disgust (ewww! Ooglies!). Sokka himself isn’t in this book much though. It has a lot of the sort-of-side characters, like Roku, Suki, Ty Lee, Mai, but they aren’t big appearances. Only popping up once or twice or so. Pretty good artwork, reminiscent to the show’s design, but as another year passes, the characters also physically grow up more

(It’s depressing when you about it, they were forced to save the world before they even had time to finish growing up. Combine this with the fact that Katara starts off the show saying “I haven’t been penguin sledding since I was a kid” with Aang replying “you are a kid.” And by the third season Aang is saying things like “There were plenty of dragons when I was a kid.”). Anyway, if you really liked the show, then check this out. It goes beyond the end, serving as a bridge between the old and the new show about Korra or whatever as well as tying up some of the loose ends.


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