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Island Book

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Set sail with Island Book, Evan Dahm's epic graphic novel about friendship, teamwork, and the wisdom we gain when we face the unknown with bravery and an open heart.

Sola is cursed. (At least, that’s what everyone tells her.) It all started the day the Monster came to the island. While others fled, Sola stood before the creature, alone and unafraid. Since then she’s been
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by First Second
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  323 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book about discovering yourself even as those around you seek to define what you are. A book that echoes that classic Nietzschean quote: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Island Book looked like it would be a very sweet and fantastical read, but instead, I got an art style I didn't enjoy, a narrative voice I found boring and slow, and a plot that meandered before firmly burying itself in the end. I have no idea what has happened, or what the purpose of this graphic novel was. I suppose it's one of those stories where you're meant to focus on the journey and not the destination, but the journey really wasn't saying much, either.

Thank you so much to the publisher
Mary Lee
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a book about what we know and don't know. It's about assumptions, myths, and legends. It's about the courage to explore, and the ways explorers bend the truth of their travels in the stories and poems they weave when they return home. There is no curse, there is no monster, and no one people have a lock on any kind of truth.
Rian *fire and books*
What did I just read? No seriously, I don’t know.

The art style is cute, but I HAVE. NO. CLUE. WHAT. I. JUST. READ.

Is it a book about a journey? Facing your monsters? Finding friends from strange places? No clue. I’m kind of flabbergasted that after all that I have no answers to what I read. I don’t know if the villain is really a villain, what their motives were, or even what that ending was.

My apologies to Evan Dahm, but I don’t know what to say?
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was captivated by this gorgeous book. The art is truly beautiful and imaginative with a dream-like feel to it. The use of panels and color is exceptional.

I found the story interesting and compelling, wanting to turn the pages to find out what happens next but also wanting to linger over the illustrations. I'm a bit amused by the variety of ratings for the book on Goodreads and while I can understand people's reactions to the ending, it is notable that those reactions underscore one of the
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the art but I didn't feel that the whole idea of the monster was resolved. I did love the very visual storytelling, with very little text. Possibly a book that would be great to unpack with kids as I think they would love the story but be confused by the ending.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A very entertaining and beautiful graphic novel. This is not the most innovative novel ever, as the illustration and story are relatively conventional. Even so, this hit all the right spots for me. The illustrations looked stellar, with a fantastical world of islands and isolated villages all terrorized by a giant, mysterious monster. The story was fun in a fantasy setting, with a young girl who is cursed by the monster, and seeks a way to stop the attacks. This is a fast paced read, and ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Classic adventure story. Simple, clean. What I like especially is that all the different islands have different styles of boats.

Library copy
Nostalgia Reader
I’ve been a fan of Dahm’s work for many years now and count Rice Boy as one of my favorite books/graphic novels ever, so I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of his latest work.

I didn’t know it was a middle grade book at first, and while it didn’t bug me that it was, it definitely meant that the surrealness of Dahm’s usual works was toned down. Where the surreal illustrations and pop-surreal color schemes dominant Dahm’s webcomics, the surreal architecture wasn’t there (aside from some Kay Sage
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sola lives as an outcast within her small community on an island. She is cursed - that's what everyone says - because a Monster came to the Island when Sola was a child; everyone around her ran, but Sola alone stood before it, and it reached out to her. The destruction left in the monster's wake, coupled with its interest in Sola sealed it: the rest of the Island branded her. As Sola reaches adolescence, she's curious: what drew the Monster to her? Tired of living with everyone's fear, and ...more
C. S.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, strange, and perfect.

Told in the narrative style of a fairytale and dreamlike artwork, this was a fantastic little story I picked up on my lunch break and couldn't put down until I finished. While I felt like the story resolution could have been developed and laid out a tad bit clearer, it was still a lovely read from start to finish.

Would definitely recommend for fans of The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, graphic novels in general, and anything weird and off beat.
Jesse Richards
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm just as disappointed in an anticlimactic ending as everyone else here, but the book is so beautiful - drawings, colors*, characters, themes, words - that I don't mind.

(*All color-as-storytelling classes should use this book as a master guide, it's that good.)
Mary Ann
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I especially appreciate the strong themes that are revealed through this quest, especially the power of fear to create a dominant narrative. I wonder about the abrupt shifts or endings, which leave much unsaid and require the reader to infer or continue the story in their own mind. On one hand, this engages the reader in creating their own story, but on the other hand, it can be difficult to follow.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once said that If you’re newer to the alternative scene for comics, like myself, Evan Dahm’s Riceboy is perhaps one of the industry’s best-kept secrets and certainly one of the best books to take a chance on. As a veteran of the indie comics scene, more and more of his past work is surfacing to those who previously only read mainstream comic book and titles. And newer work of his is finding new audiences today. Island Book fits into that second category, and I’ve glad to have read it.

May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Special thanks to NetGalley for a copy.
Island Book follows a girl named Sola who is thought to be cursed by her people. She is feared and mistreated because she was not afraid when the white monster appeared on the island some years ago. When she's told her people fear her because they don't understand the monster or what it wants with her, she decides to sail away to find it. Along the journey, she encounters other islands and people, all who know of the monster but aren't sure what it is or
Emmy Neal
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very cute graphic novel about empathy and understanding and cultural differences, as well as how we relate as individuals to our community and the larger world. All bundled in an adorable cartoon.
Benjamin Robinson
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated. Lots of symbolism that I still have to digest. I love everything Evan Dahm does, though.
B.A. Wilson
This kicks off with a whole lot of telling and backstory, which is disappointing, but still, I was interested in where this might go. Somewhere around panel 40, this becomes more interesting. Luckily, with this simple format, you can progress to that panel quickly, so just hang in there through the rocky start.

The artwork is very simple and clean with mostly muted colors that I really enjoyed. It gives everything a nice, moody feel. There’s actually a lot of visual depth in the scenes, and you
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A lovely middle grade graphic novel, I just feel like the author could have gone much more in depth with the plot!
I enjoyed the mood and colors, and I liked the look of the different islands!
(Also, I first thought that one of the protagonists companions was meant to be a ninja turtle!)
Island Book is weird and I like it so much. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous graphic novel about exploration and wonder and bravery. I love this story and will have to get my hands on the other books in the series to continue the story!
Edward Sullivan
An epic, captivatingly illustrated adventure full of battles, shipwrecks, and courage.
This was an interesting book. It is a middle-grade graphic novel and I feel it fits that genre well as it's not overly complex in the story but it still has interesting characters. It was an enjoyable read, if a bit simplistic for someone reading high school level or above. The illustrations were colorful and interesting and I kind of wish this was a more in depth story.

The story follows Sola, who lives on a green island that is terrorized by a monster. Her people seek understanding of the stars
I really enjoyed this one. Sola lives on an island that gets attacked by a mysterious monster who appears to be after only she sets off on a voyage alone across the sea to find the monster and find out why it wants her. Along the way she runs into other islands - each unique in topography and peoples, and it was fascinating to me to see how each new group viewed the monster (with awe, with disbelief, with anger and pitchforks, etc.) I saw other reviews that were disappointed in the ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Weird great story about discovering the world and that you won't always understand your place in it...beautiful gorgeous art!!!!
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful yet simple graphic novel about preconceived notions and the search for life's answers. Sola is thought to be cursed by the mysterious white monster who disrupted her island; so she sets out to find the home of the monster. On the way, she finds islands she'd never known existed, and cultures far different from hers-- and a friend or two on the way to aid in her search. The unsurety of this book is precisely what makes it so special.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sola lives on a small, green island with nothing but stars and sea for miles and miles. The calm and sweet life of her people was disrupted years ago when a monster rose from the depths of the water, seeming to seek out only Sola before disappearing once again. Shunned for something she doesn't understand, our young hero sets out to discover what lies beyond the horizon and starts a quest that will bring her questions and answers as well as friends and foes.

Dahm's illustration style is well
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm familiar with Evan Dahm's work; I read Rice Boy and some of his other works as webcomics. So in this book, the art style and weirdness are familiar; he actually dialed down the surrealism quite a bit.

It was an enjoyable story, but a bit disappointing. It kind of uncomfortably straddles the line between realism (e.g., concern for having potable water on a sea voyage) and surrealistic details (most of the story really), and includes occasional illogical details (much is made of Sola's
With stunningly detailed illustrations, this graphic novel follows Sola, a girl who considers herself to be cursed because of her relationship with a monster that has bedeviled the island where she lives. Tired of being shunned and longing for some answers, she decides to take a boat and head out to sea and the White Island where she might find the monster. Along the way, she comes close to death several times but also forms strong friendships with Hunder and Wick, and she does, indeed, meet the ...more
Villain E
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2019-releases
A cute little book. I don't see that it's billed as YA or middle-grade, but it could be.

Sola is one of a tribe of green people who live on an island and haven't left it in generations. A monster exists in the ocean, which once attacked the island and made eye contact with Sola, so now she's considered cursed. Because she can't escape the curse, Sola sets out from the island into the unknown to search for the monster, though she doesn't know what she's going to do when she finds it.

She disovers
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Evan Dahm is an artist who is currently living in New York City.
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