Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Birthright Volume 1: Homecoming by Joshua Williamson

The Rhodes family was a typical family.  They were happy and getting ready for young Mikey's birthday.  When out playing catch with his dad, Mikey suddenly disappeared.  Since he was the last to see him, Mikey's father, Aaron, falls under suspicion by the media and law enforcement.  Not only do they think he had something to do with Mikey's disappearance, they believe he murdered his own son.  To make matters worse, Aaron's wife, Wendy, believes it too.  The family is torn apart by the loss of Mikey in their lives.  A year later they all get a shock - the FBI says there is someone they all need to see.  There is a scary looking man with a fantastical story claiming to be Mikey.  As soon as Aaron sees him, he knows it is Mikey.  Wendy doesn't want to believe that man is her son and will do all she can to show that he is a fraud.  Aaron will do anything to help his son complete whatever strange quest he seems to have.  How will each family member cope with the return of Mikey and will this fantasy world creep into everyone's reality?

Williamson weaves fantasy into reality in Birthright.  This is an aspect not really discussed in fantasy novels or graphic novels - what happens to those left behind while the hero goes dashing off to save some fantastical realm?  While this is very much a fantasy, it also delves into the topic of families and family dynamics.  Told side-by-side, we learn the history of the Rhodes family and how they lost their beloved Mikey, as well as his beginnings in the other world of Terrenos.  The artwork aids the reader in differentiating between worlds and how different they truly are when worlds collide.  Readers of fantasy will enjoy this new series and will get sucked into the mystery behind Mikey's reappearance.  This title is an adult title, but older teens who read fantasy will enjoy it as well.  There is violence (both fantasy and real) and some adult language.  This introductory volume of Birthright leaves the reader wanting more (and not having to wait for it).

You can find Birthright Volume 1: Homecoming by Joshua Williamson on the VBPL Catalog. If you enjoyed Birthright, you may want to try Saga by Bryan K. Vaughan or Black Science by Rick Remender.

Review by Michelle L. Chrzanowski, TCC Norfolk Campus Library

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