Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Kill Giants” as Want to Read:
I Kill Giants
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Kill Giants

(I Kill Giants #1-7)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  14,474 ratings  ·  1,503 reviews
Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story called "Best Indy Book of 2008" by IGN.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Image Comics
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Kill Giants, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,474 ratings  ·  1,503 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of I Kill Giants
Sesana
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This really grew on me. It had to. I started the book frustrated with Barbara, with her disconnect from the real world and total immersion in a fantasy world she's created, with her near inability to interact with the people around her. That's a bold thing that Kelly did, to start the reader off with an entirely outside perspective of Barbara, and only slowly reveal exactly what is going on inside her heart and mind, and what events in her life have caused her to react in this way. (view ...more
Ronyell
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Giants and stories that hit home!
I Kill Giants

5.5 stars!

Introduction:

I have read so many Image Comics over time (Saga, Invincible, Chew) and I have been enjoying every one of them! Now, I had stumbled upon this unique little comic called I Kill Giants which is written by Joe Kelly along with artwork by JM Ken Niimura and it was seriously one of the most creative and intense comics I had ever read!

What is this story about?

Barbara Thorson was just your average fifth-grade studentalright maybe not so average student. Barbaras big
...more
Angela
Sep 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Content warnings:
Abelist slurs
Lesbian slurs
Bullying
Violent responses/reactions to non-violent situations

Barbara is a character that I continuously had to remind myself to not judge too harshly. I figured there had to be an explanation. And there is...I'm just not sure it's enough. She's not nice, she's abusive and mean, and there's nothing in these pages that excuses that behavior - though many people make excuses for her behavior. However, there are reasons for her actions, too. It doesn't make
...more
Sam Quixote
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
SPOILERS

Barbara is a pretty headstrong young high school girl who loves Dungeons and Dragons, dislikes school, isn't interested in friends or other people, and is obsessed with giants - more accurately, killing giants. But in our everyday world, is Barbara just a weird kid because we all know giants aren't real. Aren't they...

The most important thing potential readers to this book should understand that it's not a fantasy book (though it contains fantasy elements) and is set in our world, the
...more
Johnathan Morris
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an emotional roller coaster! And the first graphic novel to make me cry!

I Kill Giants follows a segment of the life of Barbara Thorsen, arguably the greatest giant slayer of all time, in her quest to defend the world from giantsand maybe defend herself from some giants and ghouls of her own.

Probably my favorite graphic novel, the story opens on the surface with a young, angsty girl trying to follow her passion of bringing down titans and giants. However, as the story progresses we find that
...more
Seth T.
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
It's good to pick a book with vaulted expectations, set the book down finished an hour and a half later, and have those expectations met. In I Kill Giants' earliest chapters, I was not at all sure this would be the case. The pace felt abrupt, the characterizations suffered some adjacency to verisimilitude, and the ground seemed well-worn and overly familiar as it hadn't been long since I had the pleasure of reading Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole. Of course, by book's end, all that had been ...more
Derek
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The artwork in this comic is super super amazing! Even If the story wasn't so interesting and full of oomph I would've kept on flipping through, it's that amazing. Cool story, amazing read and satisfying ending. Not many YA comics are this satisfying. Awesome book.
Kyriaki
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic
Πάρα πολύ καλό!!!
Μου θύμισε το Bridge to Terabithia και το A Monster Calls.

All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To fear this... is to fear life. But to embrace this... Can you embrace this?
You are stronger than you think.
Donovan
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Pretty awesome. I'm not usually a fan of manga-style or black and white artwork but this is great. (Although I do wish there was more black or, at best, a highlight color like red.) I Kill Giants is a surreal allegory (in the style of Joe the Barbarian) about Barbara Thorson, an angsty loner teen who deals with very bad things through fantasy. Or is it fantasy? This coming of age story is also about friendship, courage, bullies, allies, family, and the power of the imagination. Having been a
...more
Moi  Baltazar



Reminded me of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. They both have a lot of things in common -- bullies, nerdy kid, giant monster, sick mother, stupid friend, wild imaginations, depressing story, etc.

Actual rating: 3.25 stars
Trike
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Im not crying youre crying shut up. ...more
Liz Janet
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I got the same feeling with this book that I did with "A Monster Calls", it was good, but not great.
It is the story of a girl named Barbara who thinks she fights giants, the giants being a metaphor for something else of course. Her big sister is taking care of her and her brother, but Barbara does not have the best relationship with them as of late. Something has happened that has distanced them.
It is a very well drawn piece of work, all in black and white. It might have been much better with
...more
Melki
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Barbara's a lonely girl, but she tries hard not to show it. Queen of the misfits, she loves fantasy books and D&D. And why shouldn't she? Her real life is no piece of cake. She's bored by school, has her own personal bully, and is coping with one very deep, dark secret.

Though I wasn't overly crazy about the manga style artwork, this is a wonderful, touching story that should not be missed.
David Schaafsma
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-ya
Seth said his high expectations were met; mine were set high in part by him, but for some reason I didn't love this book. The highlight: Niimura's visual work, which was awesome. I thought the story was conventionally "inspirational," how you get through the challenges of "giants" in your life, and maybe especially as a kid, and Kelly had some similar challenges, and apparently some of the same angry responses, and presumably came to the same cathartic conclusion as the main character girl in ...more
RG
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I kinda expected it to be something else and it was. A little disappointed, I just felt that nothing really happened and I could see the end a mile away.
Nicay Magnate
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted @ THE NERDY SIDE OF A QUEEN

You are stronger than you think.


Simple words, yet so deep in giving a meaningful meaning.

I dont know how I stumble to read this graphic novel, but I remember when I saw my friend reading this, I became intrigued what is the story of it. I Kill Giants is the title and I became curious to find out what is the story all about. Until, I also saw the movie trailer, and Im shocked that it will be adapted into a movie. Thats why I eagerly read this and
...more
Mike Rapin
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ircb-summer-2017
Whew. I put reading this book off because I knew it was going to wreck me. Reading it a second time, and in one go, was way more gut wrenching. That whole last chapter had me in straight-up tears.

I knew the damn ending and I still cried.

This book sets you up to have fun with some quirks but with a heavy, heavy cloud over head. How we get to the end is the most important part, and watching Barbara lose control, chapter after chapter, is the roughest part of the story. You know something bad
...more
Rob
Released as a seven-issue, self-contained comic book series, about a teenage girl in the modern day who claims to kill giants. Difficult to expand much on that without spoilers. This book will upset you.

Nothing about this is well-done on a technical level, but I still found it effective. The writing is... okay, but there's very little payoff until the end. The art is not great and sometimes make it hard to tell what's going on.

The creators have pre- and post-issue comic book conversations
...more
Jan Philipzig
Nothing really wrong with this one, I guess. And yet, I dont know, somehow the story just did not feel all that original or convincing or memorable to me go figure. Maybe my expectations were too high? ...more
Outis
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"A giant comes to a place and destroys everything on its path. It's not like a dumb hurricane or something. A giant is hate. It can't stand anything good, so smashing isn't enough. A giant comes to a place and takes everything from you...and when it's done...it's like whatever made your life good was never there. That's why they have to die."

"All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To
...more
Mir
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, realism
Huh. I wonder if Patrick Ness read this?
Vanessa
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is why God or Santa Claus or Alan Moore or whoever invented graphic novels and it's the perfect example of why they are a valid and worthy literary form. The art and text together make the story. It's a truly beautiful collaboration between Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura.

This is the story of Long Island fifth grader Barbara Thorson. She is iconoclastic and nearly friendless-until she meets a girl named Sophia and the school guidance counselor. She is a Dungeon Master extraordinaire. She
...more
Neil (or bleed)
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
It's like A Monster Calls in graphic novel but the main character is mean this time.
Leah Rachel von Essen
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Nimura, is a stunning and emotionally effective graphic novel about a young girls world and the monsters she battles.

Drawn in lush, shadowy black and white, it tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a fifth grader who struggles to make friends and gets bullied quite frequently. She doesnt have the easiest home life, and she has a rough-and-tough personality that can make her hard to deal with. But the strangest thing about her is also the simplest:
...more
Carmen
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
When we are adults we tend to remember our childhood and teenage years as the good old days, we keep sweet memories but no matter how happy we were (and I was a happy child indeed) it was never a piece of a cake. There were hard moments. Surviving school and high school sometimes could get rough. We had problems grown ups considered ridiculous, but they were massive for us. So much for a regular kid, but Barbara's life is somehow not very common: She lives with her sister and her brother. She ...more
Nannah
Okay, this graphic novel left me so conflicted I'm not sure even where to begin soooo . . .

Book content warnings:
ableist slurs
lesbophobic slurs

Basically, this book is about Barbara Thorson, a young girl who "kills giants" both imaginary and real. Sooner or later, though, she's going to have to face her ultimate fear: the Titan.

Only, the titan isn't so imaginary and is something that's all to real to many people (and kids). I won't spoil it for you, but to be honest, the family drama, and this
...more
Jean-Paul Bass
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I was excited about reading I Kill Giantsthe title itself was enough to get my attention. And then I read the description and was even more intrigued. Barbara is a loner, an odd kid, who escapes into a fantasy world to avoid dealing with real life. As the fantasy world starts bleeding into reality, Barbara becomes more and more convinced that something big is coming and its her duty to stop it.

Barbara is just enough of a smartass to make you feel sorry for her. A kid who backtalks like her must
...more
Brittany
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it


***Indie 500 Buddy Read with the Shallow Readers! Indie Publisher this time: Image Comics***

I'll admit: I was more than a little confused in the beginning.I was under the very false impression (because my mind really just made it up) that Barbara fought giants all the time because they were running rampant. I don't know why my brain went in that direction, but it did. So when she was the only one who believed in giants, I was baffled. But then things started making more sense. This isn't just a
...more
Sarah
I'm pretty sure the Booklist review says it better than I can, except to add...Go on witch yo bad self Barbara Thorson...dungeon master and giant slayer extraordinaire.
From Booklist: Barbara Thorson, bullied and friendless, will not back down. She is smart, angry, wont follow the rules, wont let anyone close, and sees things no one else does. In short, she is a very disturbed girl, and the power of I Kill Giants is its ability to convey the reality of a frightened little girls pain along with
...more
CD
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Barbara acts out, cuts, fights, is defiant, and displays a range of behavior that would concern anyone. But there is a reason and her most outlandish affectation is her metaphoric way of dealing with personal tragedy and familial chaos.

A well drawn story, both prose and art, that uses the contemporary concern of kids and bullying as an added element. That isn't the whole story and the rest elevates it a notch or two above the usual moralistic tale of childhood angst.

Where this book doesn't
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Residenza Arcadia
  • Fermo
  • Tosca dei boschi
  • Basilicò
  • Dodici
  • Non stancarti di andare
  • Un lavoro vero
  • Stelle o sparo
  • Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice
  • The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite
  • Cinzia
  • La profezia dell'armadillo
  • Paper Girls, Vol. 4
  • Saga, Vol. 9
  • Kids with guns
  • Dylan Dog n. 401: L'alba nera
  • Il suono del mondo a memoria
  • Guardati dal beluga magico
See similar books…

Other books in the series

I Kill Giants (7 books)
  • I Kill Giants 1 (I Kill Giants, #1)
  • I Kill Giants 2 (I Kill Giants, #2)
  • I Kill Giants 3 (I Kill Giants, #3)
  • I Kill Giants 4 (I Kill Giants, #4)
  • I Kill Giants 5 (I Kill Giants, #5)
  • I Kill Giants 6 (I Kill Giants, #6)
  • I Kill Giants 7 (I Kill Giants, #7)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
16 likes · 27 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“We're stronger than we think.” 51 likes
“All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To fear this... is to fear life. But to embrace this... Can you embrace this?

You are stronger than you think.”
36 likes
More quotes…