TITLE: Kriss: The Gift Of Wrath
AUTHOR: Ted Naifeh & Warren Wucinich
PUBLISHER: Oni Press
GENRE: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Young Adult
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
Lean, ghostly pale, and permanently grim-faced, Kriss has always been an outsider in his small village. Not even his adoptive parents love him. Only Anja, the blacksmith's daughter, brings kindness and friendship into the life of the sullen teenager. But Kriss is haunted by dim memories of his true father, Erikk Iron Tooth, the king of Darkovia.
When Anja's mother is killed by a wild sabercat from the far north, the young girl's world is shattered, and Kriss determines to avenge her. Armed with only a pitchfork, the skinny teen sets out to kill the beast, only to learn that it's actually a dark spirit from Darkovia, come to bring him his destiny. The spirit grants Kriss the power to vanquish the mightiest foes, and commands him to reclaim his father's kingdom. But his gift of power comes with a price — uncontrollable rage. And leaving the village would mean leaving Anja, the only person who's always been there for him. Kriss must choose between his destiny and Anja, who needs his friendship more than ever. But his growing power, and the fiery anger that comes with it, threatens to make the choice for him, and burn everything he holds dear.
What I Liked:
- The art style was really cool! I loved the panel work, the colouring and the way that Naifeh & Wucinich brought their character concepts to life! I particularly loved the drawings of the residents of Darkovia - Erikk Iron Tooth and his band of warriors. So cool!
- The story was pretty cool too and I'm definitely intrigued to see where it will go. It was essentially a series of mini adventures for Kriss as he desperately tried to win the love of Anja, bargain with the spirit that has granted him his newfound powers and find out more about his origins.
What I Disliked:
- Despite the plot and character concepts being cool, there was a little bit of a repetitive edge to this. Kriss would become embroiled in a situation, make someone angry with him, get angry and use his powers and then isolate himself even further constantly. It felt as if every time someone tried to throw Kriss a bone, he would do something stupidto ruin it. It was normally the right thing, but still super irritating.
- Anja's character unexplainably irritated me too. I can't put my finger on what it was about her but I found myself rolling her eyes every time she would take the moral high ground. Ugh.
My interest is definitely piqued with this one! I'm intrigued by the world-building, in love with the artwork, and excited by the idea of Kriss leaving his village to go adventuring in the North. I want to meet the warriors he keeps envisioning in his dreams/hallucinating!