GRAPHIC NOVELS

Bloodlust & Bonnets

Andrews McMeel. Sept. 2019. 216p. ISBN 9781449497477. pap. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781524856373. Rated: Teen+. f
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DEBUT In 19th-century England, a debutante named Lucy is intrigued when a powerful vampire, Lady Violet Travesty, indicates her interest in inducting Lucy into her secret society. After Lord Byron and his psychic pet eagle, Napoleon, interrupt an encounter between Lucy and the glamorous undead dame, our heroine joins forces with the flamboyant poet, and later a brusque bounty hunter named Sham, on a quest for answers that takes them on a tour of British high society and into contact with an ethereal succubus and a conniving Sir Walter Scott. In a clever subversion of romantic literature tropes, the characters spend as much time slashing through hordes of the undead as they do puzzling over their own emotions—especially as Lord Byron’s confidence in the chemistry he feels with Lucy turns out to be as misguided as Lucy’s attempts to seduce Sham, who seems too preoccupied keeping her secrets to herself for romance.
VERDICT McGovern’s purposefully crude character designs are offset by her knack for pacing, slapstick, and composing scenes that convey character development through legitimately witty dialog in this exuberant debut.

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