Adapted and colored by John Ira Jennings, illustrated by David Brame, lettered by Damian Duffy
Chioma is a Chicago cop visiting her grandmother and grand aunt in Nigeria. It rains for three days, and a little boy with his scull bashed in stands on the doorstep. Chioma opens the door, and the little boy touches her hand, sizzling her flesh, and declares, “tag, you’re it!” She is it, indeed. The elders all become fearful for Chioma; lizards start stalking her everywhere she goes; shadows eerily creep behind her, just out of sight. Then, one night, Chioma is attacked by supernatural forces and undergoes a transformation unlike anything she could have imagined.
This story definitely has the creepy factor and should not be read if you’re alone, at night, and especially not if it’s raining. While the lack of full explanation at the end will probably dissatisfy readers, the ending forces you to wonder and ponder for days to come. This is based on the short story “On the Road” by Okorafor, and there is no sequel, but perhaps there could be and we can see what happens to Chioma back in Chicago, back in her life as a cop, with what happened to her. Chioma has some real depth to her character that we don’t get until almost the very end, but its revelation begs for a reread with that information in mind.
Brame’s illustrations utilize heavy lines and draw extensively on traditional African artistic themes. The digital copy I obtained was in black and white, so I will have to buy the book to appreciate Jennings’ coloring, which will probably be vibrant like his other books are.
There are a few f-bombs and some other cussing, as well as some gore. This title is better suited for older teens.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 9781419743559 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Magic, Horror, Adaptations
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