Adaptation: Todd A. Kaylor & Tom Dheere
Illustrator: Karl Waller
Publisher: Radio Repertory Co. of America (2013)
Length: 24 pages
Series: Book 1 Anne Manx graphic novel, prequel to the audiobook series
Anne Manx is a rookie cadet at the intergalactic police academy. There, she meets Jean Richmond, who is a senior cadet. Fans of the audiobook series will also recognize other characters like Jack Reynolds.
Since I am already a fan of Anne Manx via the audiobook series, I was quite intrigued by this graphic novel. Here we have the origins of Anne and her law enforcement career. She’s young and has some self-confidence, but circumstances will harden her further into the tough, decisive private investigator I know and love from the series.
Jean Richmond, oddly, becomes her friend somewhat and also gives her some mentoring. This really explains some of the exchanges these two characters have later in the series. I really enjoyed this blossoming friendship as both women can be a bit bullheaded.
The plot itself was an exciting mix of character development, getting to know the police academy, and action. It’s law enforcement, so sooner or later we have to have some weapons play and hand to hand combat. I was not disappointed! Also, this was a great way to sneak in some future scifi tech, which I also enjoyed.
We have several male characters tossed in to balance the ladies. While Jean & Anne are the primary females, we see some others, mostly as background but all in academy uniforms looking professional. The men some times needed saving and some times did the saving. It was a great give and take balance that I so like about the audiobook series.
The dialogue varies between serious talk about the plot and sharp, sometimes cutting, humor. This book is an excellent origin story to the Anne Manx series. It really is a good fit, mirroring everything that I enjoy about the audiobook series.
I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Illustration: The cover art of the audiobooks reflects the faces of the voice actors for the major characters and I wondered if the art in this book would do the same. Indeed it does! Since I already have this idea of what Anne and Jean look like, it was awesome that the illustrator kept this going, perhaps smoothing the lines a bit to make Jean & Anne look younger. While both ladies are curvy, I didn’t feel they were two exaggerated. Also, both men & women at the academy where tight pants with big bulky jackets. While I appreciated that the uniforms were the same for both sexes, there were more backside shots of women than men. I personally would have liked this to be a bit more balanced – meaning that I wouldn’t have minded a few more backsides of men being on display.
What I Liked: Anne’s earliest days in law enforcement; her relationship to Jean Richmond; unisex uniforms; illustration goes well with the audiobook cover art; good mix of action, character development, and academy life; by the end, Anne is a bit tougher.
What I Disliked: This is a small criticism, but I would have liked a bit more equality when it comes to the occasional focus on buttocks.