Cast No Shadow
Anissa Espinosa, Nick Tapalansky
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, YA
Publication date: October 10th, 2017
by First Second
Greg has lived in Lancaster his whole life. The town's always had its quirks, and being born without a shadow means he's counted among them. When Greg discovers an old mansion in the woods just outside of town, he didn't expect to meet a smart, beautiful, funny, and...very dead teenaged girl named Eleanor.
Yeah. He's in love with a ghost.
And before he knows what's happening, Greg finds himself at the wrong end of a history lesson when the town's past, and his own, threaten to pull the two of them apart permanently!
From acclaimed comics writer Nick Tapalansky and phenomenal newcomer artist Anissa Espinosa, Cast No Shadow is a teen romance with humor and heart.
-A copy was provided by First Second for review-
Cast No Shadow was a surprise graphic novel I received but it looked really cute and I couldn’t help but read it right away. Of course, this was some time ago and I am only now getting around to writing the review for the book so forgive me.
Greg has no shadow and is kind of an outcast. One day, he discovers a haunted mansion and ends up falling in love with the resident ghost. Obviously, things get a little complicated and there is some good angst going on there too.
The graphic novel is as cute as it sounds but doesn’t necessarily leave a lasting impression. Not every book I read, or anyone reads, needs to be revolutionary but I think the premise is so unique that I would have hoped that it’s uniqueness actually made it memorable. The problem is that even though this is a story about a boy without a shadow, it’s really just a love story. It’s a love story between Greg and the ghost and really, Greg and himself. This novel focuses on the characters rather than the world and plot and maybe that’s gonna work better for some readers than others but I just wanted there to be a stronger focus on the world building.
It is a graphic novel which means there isn’t as much room to convey those things through words but it can be done through the art. The art is just as important in a graphic novel as the words and I found the art wasn’t really expressive. It aided the story but it wasn’t part of it in many ways.
There is so much potential for this graphic novel to be more than just a ghost love story and it just. doesn’t. deliver.
This is all such a subjective opinion though because different readers want different things from their stories. Some are 1000% find a romance focus (I am too sometimes and there is nothing wrong with that) and maybe the graphic novel will work out better for them than it did for me. Some might want a more gothic, horror story vibe that this novel attempts but doesn’t deliver on. WHO KNOWS.
One of the book’s biggest successes, I think, is the twist at the end. It’s foreshadowed well but still comes as a surprise. It was incorporated beautifully into the story and ties the novel up really nicely.
Overall, Cast No Shadow is a graphic novel I’d recommend to people who are fans of cute ghost love stories and interesting premises. Even though I didn’t love it, I still found it really enjoyable and it’s a nice read to relax with on a cosy winter night :’)
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