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One Trick Pony

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,519 ratings  ·  305 reviews
The aliens have arrived. And they’re hungry for electricity. In the Earth of the future, humans are on the run from an alien force — giant blobs who suck up electrical devices wherever they can find them. Strata and her family are part of a caravan of digital rescuers, hoping to keep the memory of civilization alive by saving electronics wherever they can. Many humans have ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you are a wonderfully successful author/artist of a New York Times bestselling graphic novel series about historical events. Hazardous historical events. Let us say that you want to do a new book. You have done fantasy before. You have done picture books before. You’re inclined to do a new kind of book. So what do you do? You create something in the science fiction genre. But is it a tame, average, everyday piece of science fiction? Not exactly. In fact ...more
David Schaafsma
A dystopian sci-fi adventure graphic novel for tweens, I’d say, set in a future where most of humankind seems gone, and where aliens named Pipers are eating all the technology (and humans!) (I know, the connection doesn’t make sense to me, either!) and a traveling group of “digital rescuers,” The Caravan, is trying to save some computers so they can preserve the history of humankind (so that at some point humankind can start over again, in earnest).

There’s also some outlaws called Ferals who li
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best? The best.

Plucky heroines.
A bleak post-alien-invasion landscape.
All in one, stand alone, graphic novel.
Definitely the best.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Would have rounded up my rating to four stars if the typeface were larger, if there was more backstory, if I could tell individuals apart better, if there were just *more.* This is awfully simplistic and the pictures, while charming, don't actually carry as much of the burden of the story-telling as they could.

I still love the cover, though.
In a world gone mad . . . it takes a girl and her robot horse to save the population from destruction. Scary villains, one brave heroine, AND robots!


This was a terrific read - both engrossing and entertaining. Upon completion, I immediately ordered a copy of the author's Donner Dinner Party.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more manga and graphic novel reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

In the future, earth has been taken over by aliens hungry for... technology! Pipers run around and gather electrical devices and robots into bubbles that ascend into the sky. Strata is part of the caravan... a group who rescue everything they can from the alien's maw. When Strata, her brother and their friend becomes separated from the caravan she must rely on her rare robot pony to escape outlaws and aliens — and defeat
Kaethe Douglas
One Trick Pony - Nathan Hale  I enjoyed this enormously: I liked the juxtaposition of multiple different cultures and societies. The premise was intriguing, the kids are resourceful, the parents believable, the robots were funny. Good set up and good payoff. I would thing this would be insanely popular since it's like to appeal to fans of fantasy and science fiction, to horse people and 
Western people, everyone really, except aliens.
My only problem with the book is a technical detail: I had tre
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookexpo-2017
I picked this up for a nephew going into middle school. I like to read the books I get for the young ones in my life before giving them the books, to vet them first, make sure they are appropriate.

This one was ok. I liked the artwork, but the aliens were scary and it was rather violent. The protag is a female, so I'm not sure the nephew will like it or not, but I'm going to give it a try. Will update as I find out how he likes it.

3, I enjoyed it well enough, stars.

I seem to be getting a lot of
Cannot WAIT to see this in full color. Swirling fine-line illustrations hark back to Nathan's work on Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack. Marvelous monsters, lavish landscapes, and expressive little figures - so good, I've heard comparisons to Mobius and my own all-time favorite, Matt Howarth.
La Coccinelle
First, let's get the weirdly sexist blurb out of the way. This book is not about Strata and her brother. In fact, it's not even just Strata and her brother who get separated from the caravan. Their male friend is with them as well. I have no idea why the blurb makes it sound like a brother/sister act, because in reality, Strata saves the day while the boys do nothing helpful; in fact, they manage to get themselves captured and nearly killed.

So, setting that aside, what do we have? A pretty enter
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
We are big fans of Nathan Hale. We raved over Rapunzel's Revenge and the sequel, Calamity Jack. And we are simply giddy every time a new story in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series comes out.

So I about lost it when I discovered this stand-alone tale among the new graphic novels at our local library. We were very excited to read a brand new story, and even more excited to see that it has a steampunk/apocalyptic-kind of vibe.

The illustrations are mostly black/white/sepia tones with tints o
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was not expecting this story to be an amazing steampunk adventure, but that's exactly what it is. I've always loved Nate's artistic ability, and his Hazardous Tales history comics are so fun to read: insightful, funny, and thoroughly engaging. And One Trick Pony is all of these, of course, but I really loved how inventive the story is. I also loved the art and the colors used in the design - mostly back and white. Overall, loved it (no surprise there).
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best graphic novels I've read for a while, period. It's intended for kids but it's enjoyable and engaging as an adult too. The story was compelling and I loved the artwork. The two-tone palette was striking and fitting for the post-apocalyptic setting, most of the background art was gorgeous (the caravans!), and the alien designs were unique and super creepy. My only real complaint is that it ended pretty abruptly - I think if it had continued just a couple pages longer, it would've b ...more
Joshua Whiting
Nathan Hale takes a break from his awesome historical graphic novel series Hazardous Tales for this one-off post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure. On a future earth in which creepy, amoebic aliens referred to as pipers literally consume any technology they can find, a girl named Strata lives with her family in a nomadic archivist caravan that seeks to scavenge technology and digital history to preserve it from the relentless pipers. When Strata one day discovers an amazing robotic pony and ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nathan Hale’s art style is amazing! Love this sci-fi graphic novel.
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Strata and her friends find a robot horse while scavenging in post-alien invasion Earth, and accidentally launch a planet-wide hunt for them, their new friend, and their entire moving village.

I've been looking for this book for a solid three years, probably. Ever since I heard about it, read the blurb and was like, horses and aliens??

This rating doesn't mean I was disappointed. It's entertaining and imaginative, even if the only person with personality is Inby, who is a secondary character (and,
Logan Johnson
This was a great graphic novel. It had likable characters in Strata and Kleidi, and then unlikable characters, like Inby. When I first saw this book in my school's library, I immediately grabbed it. Not because it was a graphic novel, but because of the author. Nathan Hale has been one of my favorite graphic novel authors and illustrators ever since I read his "Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales" series. I saw the illustrations on the cover, and grabbed it.
Newton Witter
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dov Zeller
This is an enjoyable read and the art is great. The story takes place in a kind of part futuristic part quasi-stone-age (?) world. A group of teens from a more "modern" community that has dedicated itself to saving a bunch of computerized archives--digitalized historical and cultural artifacts of the pre-apocalypse world--are out foraging and they chance upon an underground bunker with a bunch of robots and computers. They accidentally power the stuff up which attracts the bad guys, space monste ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this graphic novel from Amulet/Abrams & Chronicle in exchange for an honest review.

This a fun, entertaining graphic novel about a dystopian world where strange alien creatures have ravaged the earth of its technology. Humans are now struggling to survive and one girl called Strata lives in a community that tries to salvage tech before it can be found by aliens. When Strata finds an amazing robotic horse called Kleidi she ends up being chased by the aliens and fighting f
Wayne McCoy
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'One Trick Pony' by Nathan Hale drew me in with a very artistic cover. The story and art inside turned out to be just as engaging.

It is the dystopian future and hungry aliens are eating electrical devices. Strata and her friends and family live in a caravan staying one step ahead of these aliens. They scavenge for the technology of the past in the hope of one day rebuilding. Strata and her brother are on a scavenging trip when they find a room full of robots and an unusual mechanical horse named
I really enjoyed this graphic novel, but it saddened me that Kleidi, the pony, (view spoiler) I had been hoping for a happier ending, considering that the book is titled One Trick Pony.

But it was not to be.

Apart from that, I liked Strata, wished a bubble had lopped off Indy's head, and felt undecided about Auger. (He seemed to be smarter than Indy, I'll give him that.) I also enjoyed seeing an Earth overrun with Pipers - aliens who call "Pi pi pi
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The yellow and greyscale art is interesting and the story moved forward at a very fast pace. That was good, exciting, but also a bit of a drawback because you couldn't really develop a bigger connection with the characters, or really get invested. The strong bond between the girl and the pony seemed too fast and a bit unfounded because of this. The ending of the story felt very fast and woah! Interesting and a bit "Skyline" (film), but an abrupt finish. Also too easy/convenient. But clever, circ ...more
Tina Dalton
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nathan Hale does it again! One Trick Pony is the story of a post-alien-invasion world. The aliens have taken all technology, and humans must live a pre-industrial life (with no use of metal whatsoever) in order to avoid detection. When some exploring teens discover a robot horse, and a forgotten cache of technology, they spark a battle between the humans and aliens that no one was quite prepared for.

I love the humor in Hale's graphic novels. He's such a genius with infusing humor into dire situ
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I genuinely adored this, and I was reading an uncorrected proof I picked up on the gimmie table at the Nebulas. I can only imagine it is exquisite in its final finished form. Gorgeous art, charming characters, and great visual world-building.

I could quibble at some of the plot points, but eh? How can you quibble in the face of adorable robots, a robot pony, tough wild men who just want to pet alpacas, and freaky aliens? Oh and all the cool bubble-bite landscapes!

This was my jam. It cheered me e
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic
IA dystopian scavenger tale quickly becomes a sci-fi battle with unsettling alien creatures in an inventive, meaty, and nicely paced graphic novel. I'm knocking off a star for a somewhat abrupt ending and for the fact that Hale always prints the text so maddeningly small, but this stands up nicely next to his wonderful nonfiction comics. The book is a great standalone, but I'd love to read more stories in this setting.
May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
- I think this needed to be part of series and not a stand alone. I felt like I was thrown into the middle of a story, and there wasn't a beginning or ending.

- I was moderately entertained while reading, but when I finished I was all, "What the heck did I just read?"

- I liked the idea of the story. It would make a cool sci-fi.

- The illustrations were fun and very Nathan Hale.
Kayla Leitschuh
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One Tick Pony is a new, standalone dystopian science-fiction graphic novel by Nathan Hale, author of the historical Hazardous Tales series. Even though the subject matter is different than his usual work, I thought Nathan Hale definitely pulled it off! I found this book to be adventuresome, fast-paced, and thrilling. I highly recommend this book.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Unique storyline and a strong female main character. It has a bit of a slow burn in the beginning but quickly ramps up. Tried to read this with my 5 year old, but the slow burn was too slow a start for her - I think if she tried it again in about 2 to 3 years she'd enjoy it more.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, sci-fi, j, graphic
In a break from his historical nonfiction "Hazardous Tales" series, Hale tells a standalone tale of a distant future. It's a unique setting for an unusual story, with stellar artwork, pacing, action, and drama. I hope he does more like it.
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Play Book Tag: One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale - 4 stars 2 8 Jul 03, 2018 02:05AM  

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Nathan Hale is the New York Times best-selling author/illustrator of the Hazardous Tales series, as well as many picture books including Yellowbelly and Plum go to School, the Twelve Bots of Christmas and The Devil You Know.

He is the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel, Calamity Jack. He also illustrated Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, The Dinosaur

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