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Nils: The Tree of Life

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A dystopic Nordic fantasy world, where spirits of light are the key to life, but seemingly have abandoned the world. Young Nils and his father set out to discover why the ground has grown infertile, heading north where the drought seems worse to find the cause. Far along the way, they find signs of fresh and vibrant life, caretaken by these little light spirits. But before ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Magnetic Press
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Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got the ARC for this comic by Netgalley after seeing a friend's review here and couldn't resist the art.

The story has a Nordic ring to it. It's a dystopian world where nothing grows anymore so the titular Nils and his father venture out to find the reason why. In the far north, they find metal creatures from a tech nation hunting spirits (harvesting them in a fashion) and being hunted by a shamanistic tribe in turn.
We also get some goddesses and the age-old question whether they should
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was initially drawn to this because of the drawings. As I read, I still think the very best part of this graphic novel IS the art. It tells much more story than any of the words.

Is that bad? Well, possibly, if the words don't amount to that much character building or emotional connection. Indeed, the greatest portion revolves around technical worldbuilding that's about as creative as any number of Japanese video game ideas or even feeling like a Nordic version of Final Fantasy or one of the
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is absolutely gorgeous.

Unfortunately, as fantastic as the book looks, the story is extremely difficult to follow. It doesn't help that for some reason, Magnetic Press used a tiny font in this book that had me squinting at the text even when blown up completely on my monitor.

This takes place in a dystopian future where all living things are dying while a technologically advanced people are vacuuming up "souls" that are needed for life to carry on. Like I said, this is hard to follow.
I was hoping for more from this because of the gorgeous cover and I like mythology in many forms. But I had trouble following the story and figuring out what was going on. I don't know if it's because I'm not a regular comic book/graphic novel reader or if the story is just not well-written, but I couldn't easily keep track of the different groups of people (4 main groups as far as I can tell--the boy and his father/village, the girl and her shamanistic people, the technological people from ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s hard for me to point out why this book wasn’t a big it for me. It has cool illustration, a sense of epic, magic, a tree of life which is always a concept that get to me and with all that still… Sure the characters lack a bit of personality to stand out and the storyline is a bit too slow for a comic in my personal opinion, but nonetheless it should have catch my attention more then it did. So… I didn’t enjoy it much, would be a 2,5/5 for my liking, but I still find/think that it has some ...more
CapricornReads- Kyra
*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

This book was gorgeous! The artwork was just beautiful! I'm not usually a graphic novel reader but this book just drew me in and captivated me. I loved the storyline but my favorite thing was the artwork. I wish I could have more answers and I hope this becomes a series.

I'm giving three stars because I feel like it could be a little more complete and have more answers than it did and that the ending could
Read all my reviews on

The cover was what initially pulled me towards Nils: The Tree of Life, because recently I had the feeling I was tiring a bit from the dystopian novels, having previously everything I could get my hands on. Especially within the graphic novels, I’ve often felt disappointed with the execution of the concepts.

I did not need to worry though. First of all, the artwork was splendid and even if there had been no story, I would have liked to
Dini Kamayana
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an interesting graphic novel that had a fascinating mix of Nordic mythology and fantasy elements that shared a story about a dying earth due to corruption, exploiting of natural resources, and the troubled Goddesses and spirits that are affected by the effects of human and technological advancement.

I enjoyed how Nils started but as more elements of the story were introduced I became confused with the direction the story was going but also the erratic flow of scenes towards the middle
Jenna R
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
**I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Jerome Hamon brings us Nils: The Tree of Life, a nordic inspired fantasy graphic novel set in a society where things have ceased growing. The land and people both have become infertile. Nils and his father seek to find the source of the problem with the land, and find themselves in the middle of a conflict between gods and men.

The art style and color choices for this graphic novel are absolutely
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, a-r-c
*I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Right off the bat, this is the type of book that grabs your attention with the cover alone. Its beautiful and the thought of a dystopic Nordic world had me excited to get my hands on it. The problem that the world is facing is that nature is dying. Nothing is growing anywhere it seems and soon humans will follow if they don't figure out the cause.

The book starts of with Nils and his father as they journey away from
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it

Since this is a graphic novel it'll be easier for me to separate rates (below). Artwork is stunning, it left me speechless. Illustrations, colors and aesthetics are perfect. On the other hand, story is not so good. Don't get me wrong, I adore anything Norse - mythology, culture, language. And I like how it's modified to fulfill a dystopian framework of the story. But I have a feeling that characters are too simple, with insufficient development or background. Better character development will
Joanna Bennett
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
eARC provided by publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

I saw the cover on Netgalley and fell in love with it. I enjoy reading a graphic novel every now and then so I figured why not!

Although the artwork is stunning, the characters lack and feel underdeveloped. I did like the diversity of the characters and I guess that is what stood out the most for the characters. At times I didn’t understand why certain things were happening because they just happened and that was that.

The Norse
Pop Bop
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
An Inconvenient Truth

This looks better than it reads, but since it looks great that may not be much of a criticism.

First, our plot. We have at least four sets of actors - clueless humans, human eco-warriors, technovillains, and earth Gods. Little elemental life sprites are responsible for making things breed and grow. But they're being harvested by the technovillains. Earth's balance is being upset, and the end of the sprites will mean, ultimately, the end of life. Insert topical metaphors here.
Sarah Fairbairn
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
After an extremely detailed synopsis like that I’m not sure what’s left to say. The only part of the story the synopsis doesn’t delve into is the ending and the outcome of Nil’s journey - and I’m not going to spoil that, so I’ll talk about how the story made me feel.

The darker cover art with the wolves and tree in the background drew me in when I saw it in the Diamonds email catalog. It made me want to know more and head to Netgalley so I could read the graphic novel.

The dark and rather ominous
Laurie (AFozenBookParadise)

I received a copy of this for review purposes through NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my opinion.

If you love art styles, and that is your primary reason for loving graphic novels, buy this and don't bother reading the rest of the review. The art in this is absolutely without a doubt stunning and it is consistently so. You will not be disappointed. I was routinely pulled out of the story to drool over the stunning visuals before my eyes.

However, this book was lacking in plot and
Emily Grace
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publishers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own

The Gods tell us what we need to hear in order to achieve their will, Alba. But I warn you, that is sometimes very different from what you think it is.

First, a brief synopsis! Nils: The Tree of Life is a graphic novel steeped in Norse folklore centered around a kingdom where all plants fail to grow and humans and animals alike fail to reproduce. Nils, our titular main character, is a
Becky B
When villagers start to realize that nothing new is growing or being born, a father and son set out to find out what is killing the Earth and stumble into a clash between a greedy technologically advanced empire, Norse gods, and confused villagers.

That is some beautiful artwork. The story is one that resonates with many, an average peasant boy up against the seemingly all-powerful, greedy empire, and the fate of the world in the balance. At times I felt like certain details were unclear or
Jan 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
In this desolate northern land, everything is dying, and a starving scientist and a gullible teenager he's tricked into travelling with him are on their way to find out why. Turns out, for all the fantastical mythos and wondrous beasts, it's a kind of Big Science who's behind it all, stealing all the elemental characters of the forests and the fields before they can become any new growth. Now, that's a wonderful synopsis – it's just a shame the story that begins thus is so poor. Before long ...more
Wayne McCoy
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Nils: The Tree of Life' by Jerome Hamon with art by Antoine Carrion is a graphic novel set in a future dystopian world. A young man named Nils may hold the secret to saving the world.

Nils wants his own falcon. His father takes him to find one, and wants to investigate why crops aren't growing. They find a distant forest with unusual beings that are being threatened by a technological kingdom known as the Cyan Nation. At the heart of it all is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Nils is recruited,
My Review: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the following is my honest review and opinion. As soon as I heard about this book and saw the cover I knew I had to read it. I was intrigued by the idea of reverting back to mythology in a dystopian world. I didn't get as much Norse mythology as I would have liked but it was still an epic story. The illustrations are amazing and the unique world was great. It was a bit difficult to follow and the reasoning behind events was ...more
Y.S. Stephen
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Nils: The Tree of Life details the power struggle between nations with different philosophies in terms of technology, spirituality and culture. Amid betrayal, destruction and death, young Nils and his father are looking for answers to the eternal drought and famine that is plaguing the land.

The colour scheme for the book is soothing, yet eerie and dark. The watercolour style lends a true atmosphere to the story. Dialogue is exceptional and the chemistry between Nils and his
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Being a huge lover of Norse Mythology, I was hugely excited to see where this story would go. It didn't have the gods and goddesses that are known universally, but the three Norn it did use worked well for the story. It was gripping, exciting and immensly beautiful (visually). I found the time skips a bit difficult to keep up with, and the ending was a bit confusing without the extra information, but I still found it enjoyable. There needed to be more information about what was going on instead ...more
♡ Neeka ♡
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-jan-wrap-up
*Thank you Netgalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

The concept of this graphic novel had me intrigued from the start. I'm a huge fan of dystopian themes. I'm also a big fan of mythology. So a dystopian mythology influenced graphic novel? Count me in! The cover is amazing! It caught my eye the moment I spotted it. The artwork throughout the novel was beautiful and created an atmospheric world that pulled you in visually. The only thing that bothered me was it felt like the plot
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
This is a mother nature/circle of life/alternate world tale that is backed by gorgeous artwork. A father and son duo on an adventure to find out why nothing is growing and no babies are being born. A group of strong females who want to protect their forest. Militaristic royals who want technology to win so they can live forever. Some nature spirits or goddesses (I’m not sure which) who want to end the world or something. Not sure, I was a bit lost by that point. I enjoyed this but I wish the ...more
Alex Lucas
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
*ARC kindly provided by Netgalley*

I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm not a graphic novel reader. I wanted to try something new and get into graphic novels so, I gave this a shot. I mean what could go wrong with a high fantasy story set in a dystopian Nordic world?! Well, a few things sadly…

Unfortunately, I could not get into the story itself. The story was difficult to follow and didn’t feel cohesive. But besides the fact that I could not get into the written story, Nils: The Tree of
Liz H {Redd's Reads}
I enjoyed this graphic novel but think I need to read it again with a physical copy. I gave up about half way through this digital download due to being unable to read the small text while also enjoying the two-page spreads that are included and occasionally very important to the visual storytelling. I am looking forward to reading this one in its entirety as I liked the art and color choices. It seems to be based on Norse mythology, and I have just enough knowledge to follow those references.

Sarah Z
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The cover immediately drew me in to this graphic novel and the artwork inside follows suit, its gorgeous. They story is about a dystopian future featuring Nordic peoples. There are three main storylines which eventually do connect but to sum it up, the world is dying and the main characters must save it. With the help of friends, common sense, the supernatural, a little luck a battle is waged to save the world.
Rafaela (dragonsandpaperbacks)
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free copy of this book.

Nature has started to die in this world. Seeds do not grow, no new life is born and spirits are being harvested and used to fuel technology. The greed of men knows no bounds in this book as they harness elemental spirits directly from the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, and even attempt to destroy the gods themselves. (The allegory isn't lost on me.)

Overall, I didn't like this story very much. It was visually stunning, and
Laura L
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Gorgeous art, let down of a story. The synopsis drew me in with promises of dystopian nordic mythology, yet this was more of a mish mash with badly drawn naked goddesses (are they supposed to be the furies??)
The occasional page of art took my breath away, sadly this didn't make up for the the flat and disappointing, at times childish and nonsensical story line.
Sadly, quite predictable towards the last third of the book as well. I wont be rereading.
2 stars given, because of the art.
Thank you to
Jamie-Lee Turner
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2020
This book is fucking gorgeous.

Such a great story twisting norse myth and the Earth's current climate crisis together. The art is truly incredible and I'd love to see more of this world.

I would hope this is going to form part of a series as some elements of the story either end abruptly or skip ahead in the timeline and because of this some characterization and/or context is lost. If it is intended to be a standalone, the narrative as it stands is a little broken and I'd love the artist to fill
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