I was (and still am) a huge fan of Charmed. It was one of my must-see TV series back in the day. I loved watching the Charmed Ones battling demons, and trying to have somewhat normal lives in-between vanquishing evil and protecting innocents. It remains a favorite of mine, so I was excited to discover this graphic novel and couldn’t wait to see what sort of trouble was brewing for sisters.
The timeline of this story is set in season four of the series. Quick recap: Season three ended with the death of Prue (the oldest Halliwell sister). Without the Power of Three, the Charmed Ones are no more. In the beginning of season four, Piper and Phoebe discovered they have a younger half-sister named Paige Matthews—who is half-witch, half-whitelighter. The Power of Three is restored, and Paige’s ability to orb is very handy in a fight.
Charmed: A Thousand Deaths kicks off with an action sequence that will be all too familiar to fans of the show: the sisters working together to fight a demon in an alleyway. The tag-team use of powers mixed in with physical blows, the witty banter between the sisters, and the overly confident speech of the demon—right before he’s vanquished—swept me back into the magical world of the Charmed Ones as if I’d never left. The story could easily have been an episode of the series. It flowed effortlessly, transitioning from the sisters trying to balance their lives and their magical duties, to a band of demons in the Underworld plotting their dastardly deeds and discussing how to do away with the sisters, and back again. I may have been reading comic panels and looking at illustrations, but in my mind, I could clearly see it all as if it had aired on TV. When I’m reading a novel or graphic novel that is based on a TV series, that’s exactly what I hope will happen.
The story is excellent, and the artwork is gorgeous. This is a great read for die-hard Charmed fans. And if you’ve never seen Charmed, but love stories involving magic and good versus evil? I’m willing to bet you’ll love it, too. Check it out!
Dynamite Entertainment is proud to continue the story of Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, television’s fan-favorite witches, in all-new adventures set within the official continuity of Charmed!
A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco, utilizing a gallery exhibit to feed souls to the underworld and unleash demons into our reality. Only the Power of Three, harnessed by the Halliwell sisters, can stop the madness!
The Last Sacrifice is a tie-in to Hart’s Dominion Trilogy, telling the story of what happened to Janie Tenner. Readers of the Dominion Trilogy will recognize her as the sister of Chelsea Tenner, and will recall her relating the story of Janie’s abduction to Zoey in The Last Girl. In this graphic novel, we learn what happened to Janie after she was taken.
I’m the type of reader who always wants to know more, so I was excited to read Janie’s story. Knowing what happened to her satisfied my curiosity immensely, and rounded out the series nicely, in my opinion.
The artwork throughout is beautifully done, easily conveying Janie’s horror, fear, etc. and giving the written words far more depth than they would have had, alone. I was amused to see a character who had a very strong resemblances to a certain actor, but it definitely set the mood for that character’s actions, so it worked for me.
A word of caution: you really shouldn’t read The Last Sacrifice as a stand-alone story. I’ve seen many reviews with readers opining that it didn’t make sense, or was too vague about what happened previously, giving lower ratings as a consequence. I can understand the frustration these readers must have felt because if you read it as a story that stands on its own, it’s not going to make sense to you. This graphic novel was never meant to be read as a stand-alone, however, as it gives a small slice of a much larger story. In order to fully appreciate this story, you really need to read the series, as well—otherwise, you’re most likely bound to be confused and disappointed.
Acclaimed novelist Joe Hart (The Last Girl) brings the engrossing dystopian paranoia of his popular Dominion series to the comics page in collaboration with award-winning comic book writer Stuart Moore (The Zodiac Legacy) and celebrated illustrator Michael Montenat (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser).
In the near future, with the world’s female population on the brink of extinction, teenager Janie Tenner is taken by the sinister National Obstetric Alliance. Desperate to escape and reunite with her missing sister, she finds an unlikely ally: grieving father Tom Vincent, whose own daughter has disappeared.
But will Tom lead Janie out of the darkness to the promised land…or into a fresh new hell on earth?
Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Having dedicated himself to writing horror and thriller fiction since the tender age of nine, he is now the author of nine novels, including The River Is Dark, Lineage, EverFall, and the first two books in the Dominion Trilogy, on which this graphic novel is based. When not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and watching movies with his family. For more information on his upcoming novels and access to his blog, visit http://www.joehartbooks.com.
Stuart Moore is a writer, a book editor, and an award-winning comics editor. His recent writing includes EGOs, an original comic book series from Image Comics, and The Zodiac Legacy, a major Disney project created and cowritten by Stan Lee. His comics work includes Wolverine Noir, Namor: The First Mutant, Firestorm, and the graphic novels Earthlight, Para, Shadrach Stone, and Mandala. He also wrote the novelizations of Marvel’s Civil War comics series and Disney’s John Carter film. He contributed two series, Teach and Out with a Bang, to the launch of the online comics app Stela.
Michael Montenat graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and proceeded to play the fine art game for years. Now he has come back to what got him into art in the first place: illustration and comics. His clients have included IDW, Top Cow, Legendary, MonkeyBrain Books, Spacegoat, Darby Pop Publishing, BOOM! Studios, and Universal Studios Japan.
This review was originally posted on Goodreads on March 18, 2012.
I haven’t read a graphic novel in a very long time (or even a comic book, for that matter), so I had forgotten just how enjoyable something like this can be to read. There is a downside, though. I read through the first five chapters so quickly I decided it was best to set it aside for a bit and read something else, so as not to finish it too quickly. (If you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, you can easily understand why I would wish to linger a bit before finishing the story!)
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will simply say that reading the story from Murtagh’s and Jamie’s perspectives and being able to see things through their eyes, rather than Claire’s, was quite interesting. I was horribly disappointed to reach the final panel and see that dreadful phrase… “the end”. I wanted to see more, for the story to go on, to perhaps reveal something that was known only to Jamie and never revealed to Claire! Ah, well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. (But there’s no harm in wishing for more, right?)
The story itself was, of course, very well written. I was very impressed with Ms. Gabaldon’s ability to condense the many events that happened and make it fit within the framework of a graphic novel. Of course, this would not have been possible without the beautiful artwork of Hoang Nguyen. Mr. Nguyen is incredibly talented, and his illustrations truly made the story come alive. His artwork combined with Ms. Gabaldon’s writing made The Exile enjoyable to look at, as well as enjoyable to read.
I highly recommend this to fans of the Outlander series… it is definitely a must-have addition to your Outlander collection!
Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.
After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.
And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion . . . and arouse his desire.
But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.
Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.
About the Authors
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”
Returning to her comic-book roots, she has also written a graphic novel titled THE EXILE (set within the OUTLANDER universe and featuring the main characters from OUTLANDER), but told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather, Murtagh. The graphic novel is illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, and published by Del-Rey.
The eighth and most recent major novel in the OUTLANDER series, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, was released on June 10, 2014 in the U.S.A. and Canada. The book made its debut as number one on the New York Times bestseller list in the hardcover category and combined e-book and hardcover category! And the book is also a bestseller in Canada.
Diana is serving as a Co-Producer and advisor for the popular Outlander TV series, produced by the Starz network and Tall Ship Productions and distributed by Sony International, which is based on her novels. She has written a script for an episode of the series, also.
Dr. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology, (plus an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters, which entitles her to be “Diana Gabaldon, Ph.D., D.H.L.” She supposes this is better than “Diana Gabaldon, Phd.X,”) and spent a dozen years as a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation before beginning to write fiction. She has written scientific articles and textbooks, worked as a contributing editor on the MacMillan ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMPUTERS, founded the scientific-computation journal SCIENCE SOFTWARE QUARTERLY, and has written numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney. None of this has anything whatever to do with her novels, but there it is.
Diana and her husband, Douglas Watkins, have three adult children and live mostly in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Hoang Nguyen was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He has worked for Marvel, Dark Horse, and other comic publishers, and his original project Metal Militia was optioned by Dino De Laurentiis for feature film development. More recently he has worked in the videogame industry, having contributed to such well-known titles as the Elder Scrolls series for Bethesda Softworks. He was the lead artist and character designer on Dead to Rights for Namco and is currently a consultant for Namco Bandai Games.