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The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

266 pages, Paperback

First published May 12, 2015

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About the author

N.D. Stevenson

43 books4,765 followers
ND Stevenson is the award-winning, bestselling author and illustrator of Nimona and The Fire Never Goes Out, the co-creator of Lumberjanes, and was the showrunner for the award-winning Netflix series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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5 stars
71,261 (47%)
4 stars
49,782 (32%)
3 stars
19,402 (12%)
2 stars
5,581 (3%)
1 star
5,092 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 15,671 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
October 22, 2019
This was so great! I love Noelle Stevenson's writing & art style. Can she just write a million more graphic novels please?
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
July 24, 2016
Amazing! I loved the strong, unique characters, the plot, the humor, the art, and everything else!
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
October 22, 2019
Notorious villain - Ballister Blackheart - gets a new sidekick to help him wreak havoc, obtain vengeance, and fight the Institution. But his new sidekick - Nimona - is a shapeshifter with a mysterious past and a mind of her own. Plus, he also has a love/hate relationship with his friend-turned-nemesis - Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin.

Heroes & villains, science & magic, bloody battles & so many giggles...

Well, I enjoyed it ;)

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Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 64 books233k followers
July 28, 2015
I'm always willing to pick up an Indie comic, especially one written by a name I recognize. This one did not disappoint.

It's funny at times, sweet at times, pleasantly subversive without being heavy-handed or preachy.

I'm reading through it with my little boy right now, and he's enjoying it too....

Profile Image for emma.
1,867 reviews54.4k followers
June 30, 2023
If other people need something besides a shapeshifting protagonist with an attitude problem, villain/sidekick best friendship, villain/hero forbidden romance, and cute art, then that's cool.

But I am not other people.

Bottom line: This book is too good for its...own good?


rereading a book i 5-starred in 2016 because i like to live dangerously.

update: maybe not a 5 star...but both nimona and 2016 me made some points.

review to come / 4 stars
Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,797 followers
October 22, 2019
4.8 Stars

Warning: Spoilers and mawkish sentiment ahead, and very few jokes (though that will be a relief to most of you).

At first blush, Nimona is the tale of a precocious but powerful girl’s quest to apprentice herself to the villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart as he fights the forces of good and justice, led by the spectacularly appellated (yes, I just verbed “appellation”...deal with it) Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. As our tale begins, we learn that Nimona is a shapeshifter and can take the form of any living creature, which makes her a formidable foe indeed, given that she gains the strength, mass, size, and requisite abilities of said creatures, and given that she lives in a world where dragons exist.

The initial chapters read like a throwback to the Sunday funnies—discrete, episodic sequences complete with droll punchlines. “Charming,” I thought, settling in for a book-length collection of such strips.

Only not so much.

The book quickly morphs into something more complex, something deeper, something more melancholy—even as it is laugh-out-loud funny at times. Blackheart is a villain who won’t kill…and is he even a villain? Goldenloin is a hero with a dark secret representing an institute whose goals may be far more nefarious than anything Blackheart might ever dream up. And Nimona…Nimona is, by turns, a sarcastic girl, a lonely orphan, and a vicious killing machine.

It’s impossible not to get instantly sucked into the world Stevenson creates, one where rules and logic are, to quote the great Peter Venkman, more of a guideline than a rule—knights with swords communicate via advanced video technology, and brilliant scientists and technologists discuss the merits and properties of magic. In other words, anything goes, so long as it fits the story. Stevenson’s art perfectly suits the world, and she creates fully realized and rendered characters with both words and pictures.

There are some issues—for example, we want our wee Nimona to be a sympathetic character, but she IS a killer, plain and simple, and that doesn’t reconcile with how Blackheart in particular feels about her and treats her. But, that notwithstanding, I’m going to go full on fanboy here.

This book is EXACTLY what non-spandex-clad-hero graphic novels should be: heartfelt, personal, and passionately executed. It’s the perfect fusion of art and story, of pathos and humor, of grace and glee. The relationship between estranged lovers Blackheart and Goldenloin is beautiful—it’s an eloquent, poignant no-statement statement, a romance between two men that requires no soapbox commentary because it’s not about social activism, but rather just the timeless tale of two people who love each other (albeit one in which one lover severed the other one’s arm and took years to apologize, but that’s neither here nor there).

As a reader, I’m thankful that new media allows for so many ways for stories like this to be told and distributed, and for talented storytellers like Stevenson to find an audience.

Okay, okay—enough with the sentimentality. I promise to return to inappropriate scatological humor in my next review.
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
June 5, 2020
This review contains *spoilers*.

I’ve been meaning to read this graphic novel for a few months now and I’m really happy that I finally did.
It had me hooked right from the beginning and wouldn’t let go till the end. I loved it!

This story follows Nimona, a shapeshifter, and Ballister Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta.
They are partnering up as sidekick and supervillain, and are about to wreak some serious havoc.
Their main mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

Reading Nimona was such an exhilarating journey. I felt as if I was right there with Ballister Blackheart and Nimona on their missions. They work so well together and their dialogue left me with the biggest smile on my face.

“What do you mean, there are rules? Why would you follow the rules? Isn’t that the whole point of being a villain, that you don’t follow the rules?”

I loved Nimona as a character, her enthusiasm, relatable humor, and her story really added depth to the plot.
She is as unique as the storyline.


I also enjoyed Ballister and Goldenloin, even though they definitely had a complicated journey at the beginning, I really liked them together.
They reminded me a bit of Baz and Simon from Carry On — I love them with all my heart.

Oh, and Doctor Blitzmeyer was a very pleasant surprise. I enjoyed reading about her and I would have loved it if Noelle Stevenson had added her journey to uncover the Anomalous Energy Enhancer.


That ending left me in tears, I couldn’t believe it when Nimona didn’t get a happy ending. I was incredibly sad about it, that was such an emotional part of the story. I was just listening to sad music with tears in my eyes.

“Despite this tragedy, we remain united. We will stay strong, and we will rebuild.”
But I kept thinking (until the very last page) ‘what about Nimona? She was left all alone at the end.’


I was so thankful for the epilogue. I really thought for a second there that Noelle Stevenson would leave it on a cliffhanger.

So I’ve heard great things about this graphic novel, but the one that really got my attention was Rainbow Rowell’s blurb on the cover: “Full of humor and heart” . I couldn’t agree more with her, she summed it perfectly up in just those 5 words.
Nimona was an adventurous, heart-gripping, and humorous story — with amazing artwork. I love it!
Definitely a book that lived up to the hype.


*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Nimona, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,605 reviews5,986 followers
September 19, 2015
Lord Ballister Blackheart is a dastardly villain. Well, not really. He could be with the right little push.
Enter Nimona!

Chicago commercial photographers

Nimona shows up one day and announces that she is now his side kick. She has some kick ass powers of shape-shifting. She can turn into any living thing. Even other human forms. The only form she can't take is something inanimate.

Nimona is primed to help Blackheart be the best super villain ever. If he would let her. She is ready to kill some people including the king. Hey, that's how kingdom's are taken over right?

Blackheart's main nemesis is his old friend Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement. Sir Ambrosius turned against Blackheart years ago and cost Blackheart his arm. (He now has a prosthetic)

Chicago commercial photographers

Blackheart and Nimona have some fun times.
Like playing board games together.

Chicago commercial photographers

Even if he won't let our heroine express her little bloodthirsty heart to the full extent the duo manages to uncover secrets that the Institute wants kept under wraps.

With just small amounts of destruction in their wake....
Chicago commercial photographers

This book is great fun. I liked Nimona even though she is even more bloodthirsty than I am. Blackheart does well as the somewhat wussy villain and now I'm a convert to even this style of art. It took a few minutes to grow on me but in the end it did and the images fit the story.

Chicago commercial photographers
Carmen is one of my favorite reviewers on Goodreads. She posts thought provoking and interesting reviews. Be sure and check her out.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
May 6, 2021

“You can't just go round murdering people. There are rules, Nimona.”
Nimona, a wild young shapeshifter, finds a new talent... when it comes to being evil.
“In the meantime...how would you feel about robbing a bank? "

"Positively! I feel positively about robbing a bank!"
She teams up with Lord Ballister Blackheart - the villain who is trying to take down the local Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.

Blackheart is sure that the Institute is up to something and with Nimona by his side, he finally has a chance to ruin them.
"You thought I was crazy?"
"No, no, crazy in a GOOD way! Evil mad scientist kind of thing!"
Oh. My. Gosh.

Guys. Gals.

I really don't normally go for comic books.

But something about this (okay, I'll admit it - it was seeing all those glowing Goodreads reviews) made me pick this odd little duck up. And I'm so happy that I did.

In just a few small lines and short phrases - I have fallen completely in love with this punk Nimona.

She was just so...pureheartedly evil in such a charming way! I instantly connected with this little lost girl and was so invested in this storyline.

I also adored the battle between Blackheart and his arch rival - Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin - it was so much fun!

All in all, this was a super-fast read but it was TOTALLY worth it!
“Aw yeah, let's make some evil plans!”

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,832 followers
July 24, 2017
Reasons Why This Graphic Novel is the Best

1. Nimona
This girl is my favourite thing in the entire world and if I could just get a book based solely off her adventures I’d be content for the rest of my life

2. Humour

3. Blackheart
Do not be fooled by his title of “villain,” Blackheart is a marshmallow and the Dad Friend.

4. Villains !!!
Is there any explanation needed, we all love a bunch of good anti-heroes

5. Action
This graphic novel was action packed and honestly the greatest thing ever

6. The Extras
These were just a collection of cute ish that’s supposed to make up for the UNWANTED ending

(if these snippets haven’t convinced you to read the book then I don’t know what will)

Other than that. . .I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Goldenlion, he was like Untoasted White Bread admits the story and the ENDING made me wanna riot. It was kinda felt rushed and with a lot of questions floating around and it also made me want to punch a pillow gosH DAMMIT.

But overall THIS WAS SO ENTERTAINING and fun and just absolutely fantastic. Nimona’s character was the highlight of the book for me.

I want more Nimona and Blackheart getting into trouble.

4 stars!!
Profile Image for Kristina Horner.
157 reviews1,822 followers
May 27, 2020

Lord Blackheart was such a great, complex character, and Nimona was a star. Goldenloin was everything. I loved it. Re-reading immediately. Lending it to everyone I know.
Profile Image for Samantha.
440 reviews16.7k followers
July 16, 2016
I originally didn't plan on reading Nimona. I did not know about its history as a webcomic before sitting down to read it, and didn't know what to expect beyond the hype. But when I got it in a subscription box, I thought I'd give it a go. Ultimately, as per usual, the hype did the story a disservice.

I was actually surprised by how "meh" I felt about this story. First of all, I don't care for Noelle Stevenson's art style. Although I don't judge a graphic novel completely on its art style, it does have a slight impact on my enjoyment. Secondly, I found the characters to be mostly flat. Judging from the title, I thought this story was going to be about Nimona first and foremost, so I expected to feel some level of attachment to her. This story ended up focusing more on Ballister Blackheart, which in and of itself was my preference. I enjoy him as a character the most. But that also left Nimona to feel very one note. Also, I found the plot to be fairly predictable in a lot of ways.

Lastly, I found myself annoyed with how Blackheart and Goldenloin weren't depicted in a way that blatantly showed they were gay. While, yes, it is obvious to most people, I have seen plenty of people say they are just "best friends." Fans of the webcomic may not have picked up on this, as I know that Noelle has since come out and said she is regretful for not making it blatant and does frequently show fanart or even her own art of them looking couple-y on her blog. Their romance (and friendship) was the heart of the story, and I felt it didn't quite achieve what it could because it held back.

Overall, I found Nimona to be a cute story, but it did not live up to the overwhelming amount of hype and I've found it to be forgettable since I've read it. I'm more likely to recommend other graphic novels, even to new graphic novel readers.This review was originally posted on Thoughts on Tomes
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
July 16, 2017
That ending has me so confused but the art style of this is great and the humor was totally up my alley! But Nimona was definitely not the character I was expecting her to be, and that was kinda upsetting.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews239 followers
January 25, 2020
I want to say, hands down, this book is amazing! Full of adventure, humor, awesome characters, giggle-inducing names, and plot twists -- “Nimona” is a beautiful mash-up of science fiction and fantasy. The story may follow the "villains”, but you will surely be rooting for them more and more with each turn of the page.

This is a fun, quick read with a lot of heart: featuring a villain who likes to play by the rules; his spunky sidekick who, well… doesn't; their "good-guy" arch-nemesis; and an organization of heroes that may be less heroic than it appears. The story starts as a whimsical, frivolous parody of traditional heroic notions of good and evil -- and, with a sleight of hand, goes on to rework them as something entirely nuanced and authentic. What you’ll get is an interesting romp that is equal parts witty humor, action-adventure, and pathos soaked drama.

Nimona and Ballister Blackheart make a perfect team. She may seem childish and annoying at times, but Blackheart's personality balances her out. One is childish, and the other is a genius -- the classic comedy double act you'd expect. As the story progresses, the character caricatures become real people you’ll get invested in and care about.

The art perfectly suited the tone of the story, and the rich and contrasting colors made the artwork stand out in the best ways. I would’ve preferred the lettering just a bit bigger most of the time, but it's otherwise readable and legible. There are some unanswered questions, but that's expected being a short graphic novel. I would definitely say I was left wanting more.

If you're looking for a humorous adventure that gets surprisingly deep, don't miss out on “Nimona”. It’s just one of those books where you just can’t help but care about the bad guys... who end up being not so bad after all.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.8k followers
July 11, 2016

I couldn't put this down. Besides the art being gorgeous and the colors being mesmerizing, the story itself was so compelling. It's an instant recommendation for anyone who enjoys graphic novels.

Ballister Blackheart is a super villain and Nimona is a shapshifter who wants to be his evil sidekick. Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin (yes, the name is great) is the hero, works for the law enforcement of this story, and is Ballister's arch-enemy! These three characters weave this amazing tale that makes the reader question three things:

1.)Is the hero really a good person?
2.)Is the villain really a bad person?
3.)Can one person be both?

Can we be both? People can be selfish and do horrible things. People can make mistakes, but can also be redeemed by their actions. I think the whole message make the world a little brighter, or hell, at least a little more tolerable.

I found this amazing web-comic a while back, and it totally blew me away. When I found out it was being published as a graphic novel, I knew I had to buy it and review it so I could sing it's praises (since I refuse to review 20 page comics, volume after volume, on Goodreads).

I am also in love with Noelle Sevenson's work with the amazing Lumberjanes comics. I recommend both of these pieces of art. They are filled with humor, acceptance and love. These are both graphic novel gems!

Did I mention how gorgeous this book cover and every page inside it is?

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Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,745 followers
October 17, 2017
"You can't just go around murdering people. There are rules, Nimona!"


Nimona was such a fluffy yet meaningful read. It proves as a light escape from reality and into the world of dragons, heroic laws, good villains, broken doors and mostly SHARKS!!! I loved the art-style and the use of so many literary devices within the words and graphics that allowed the story to fly off the pages and straight into my heart.

The Story
This was nowhere near what I expected it to be. I was so happily shocked with where the story went that I recommend everyone go in blind with this one. Nimona was originally a web-comic series, and the author/artist even put the development of the character and the art at the latter pages of the novel. It showed me how hard it is to put an effective graphic novel together.

And it was, effective, that is. Because Nimona is a different story for everyone, it acts as a shapeshifting device itself. Because the story can shape shift its meaning for different people. That's the great thing about comics or graphic novels. You aren't just working on words. You are working with elements of art too.


This cinnamon roll needed a section to himself, because I have never seen a villain so pure and so hero-like.
The development of Ballister is one that you see right at the end. It's worth it. So so so worth it.
He's a very multi-dimensional character in the sense, even though he tends to say the least - the message screams out the most.

Can we also take a moment...
No comment.

I loved every swirly wirly red minute of this novel and this review is now a shark.
Profile Image for María.
144 reviews3,090 followers
January 2, 2017
Nimona es una jovencita cambiaformas que decide convertirse en la ayudante de un temible súpervillano -con un oscuro pasado, por cierto-. Hasta ahí, puede parecer simplón. Pero no os dejéis engañar por eso. Nimona es divertida, tierna, con humor. A medida que avanza la trama se va salpicando igualmente de momentos de oscuridad. Además, le da una patada a los estereotipos. Ay, en serio, no todas las mujeres tenemos cintura de avispa y pechos gigantescos. La protagonista es una chica bajita, con caderas y muslotes, y no olvidéis que su corte de pelo es dios. La cosa no acaba ahí, el malo (que no es tan malo, ni los buenos tan buenos) tiene un brazo robótico. Y encima, el romantiqueo de la historia no recae sobre los personajes femeninos. En cuanto a dibujo y color: orgasmo visual.

Nimona es una mezcla perfecta de fantasía medieval, ciencia ficción y muchos, muchos tiburones. Dedicado a todas esas "monster-girls".

P.D: Que alguien me traiga una pizza a domicilio.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,207 reviews19.7k followers
September 15, 2020
[4.5 🌟]

This one honestly one of the best audiobook experiences I’ve had. I’ve missed out on seeing the art style, but the production for this was so flawless, I could picture the whole story perfectly.

Such a delight!
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,065 reviews1,903 followers
March 29, 2016
This was very good but it made me sad. :( So I can't give it five stars. I was too sad.

Lord Blackheart is a "villain." But actually not. He's a good guy who never wants anyone to die and is actually only fighting against the evil Institution which rules this land. He acts like an old grumpy man and is obsessed with science.

One day an energetic young woman (15? ish?) shows up. She is a very powerful shapeshifter and she wants to help Blackheart take down the Institution.



- Nimona is chubby. And she's a shapeshifter and could choose to look like ANYONE but still chooses to be her chubby little redhead self. That is such a powerful message for readers.

- Nimona is a high-energy, bloodthirsty, murdurous young female - but also cute and at times vulnerable. Very exciting.

- Nimona's personality sparks brilliantly with Blackheart's more staid, cautious, moral, and science-obsessed one. Very cute.

- Gay characters and homosexual love as a great and completely normal thing - this is an actual baseline of the novel, NOT a sideplot.

- Great dialogue, story, and character development.


- The art. I just don't like it very much.

- It's sad.

- I was very upset and frustrated with Blackheart - not only with his morality and determination not to kill anyone (I know, I'm a monster) - but at times during the novel he just completely suffers from what seems to be a lobotomy. Just becomes basically an idiot in order to push the plot forward. This happens with no particular rhyme or reason and it annoyed me greatly.

Tl;dr - I can't give this five stars, because it made me sad.

You might mock me for that, but there you go.

Great trinity of feminist comics I would check out if I were you:
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1
Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
and this, Nimona.

Feminism is really exploding in the graphic-novel world right now. :D

P.S. Not available in Spanish. French? Yes. Spanish? No. Come on, people. You're pissing me off.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,404 reviews11.7k followers
March 28, 2016
I don't really get what the fuss is all about. It is so utterly average and amateur. Underdeveloped plot and characters (if I am not mistaken, this story ONLY has 4 recognizable characters). The art is so-so too. It reads like something created by one person with no editorial or creative input. Which it is I guess.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 15,671 reviews

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