I won this book in a giveaway on twitter from user @bookitforwardUK. The concept of their giveaways is simple - to enter you RT their giveaway tweet and if your chosen as a winner they send you the book in the post. All they ask in return is that you post a review of the book you have been sent.
The book I won is Phantom Thief Jeanne - Volume 1
Author & Artist: Arina Tanemura
Type: Graphic Novel / Anime
Number of Pages: 258
Maron is a high school student who lives alone in a block of flats - her neighbour is her friend and sometimes enemy Miyako.
Maron is not an ordinary student she is the reincarnation of Jeanne D'Arc and together with her little angel (? I think its an angel) Finn she hunts out demons who are hiding in beautiful works of art to capture human hearts. Every time she captures a demon the picture they were inhabiting transforms into something even more beautiful so most of the owners dont complain which means the police have little to go on.
Miyako is the daughter of the chief of police and is determined to catch Jeanne the Phantom thief who she doesnt know is her friend.
Chiaki a new boy moves in next door to Maron and she has a huge crush on him but so does Miyako. Chiaki seems to be interested in Maron choosing to seek her out and make contact at every opportunity.
Another Phantom Thief - Phantom Thief Sinbad also appears on the scene and Maron has to beat him to the paintings to capture the demons before he does.
I honestly didn't like this book. I found the storyline a tad confusing and it didn't draw me in. I couldn't really relate to the characters either and found the whole thing a tad boring.
I don't normally read this style of book - the only graphic novels I read tend to relate to tv shows I watch where I already know the characters well so this may well be the reason why it didn't grip me.
I struggled without any background information on the characters and hoped this information would be forthcoming as the book went on but it wasnt - Jeanne lives alone because her parents vanished but no explanations about that, then another teen moves in the building and lives alone again with no explanation. Maron discovers she is the reincarnation of Jeanne D'Arc and meets Finn but there is no back story around how this happened! The whole story kind of meanders along with random characters appearing without explanation. It's ending answers no questions and leaves you hanging - I understand it's part of a series but it hasn't made me want to go and buy the next book to find out what happens next! Although maybe I will look into watching the anime tv series based on it in the future.
Apart from the cover work which was lovely I found the art work within the book to be mediocre. It was often difficult to differentiate between the characters and there was limited use of shading/ light dark to help with this. The art work made the storyline difficult to follow rather than enhancing it.
I also found reading the pages backwards difficult - I think I am preconditioned to work left to right so did get lost reading right to left!
Overall I would give this book 2 out of 5.
I like the concept of the BookItForward page and in that spirit I have taken the book into the hospital where I worked and put it into the staff library there (every 6-8 months the books are reviewed and older ones donated to a local charity)
I loaned this book to my anime mad 17 year old niece (well she stole it when she saw it on the side) - she enjoyed the book and asked me if I had the rest of the series for her to borrow - I would therefore conclude that it's target audience is probably teen girls aged 12-18 and that within this group it has plenty of appeal