Hello, my friends!
Can you believe it? Another Blogtour? I’m part of TBR and Beyond Tours “Mapmakers and the Lost Magic” blogtour and today is my stop! Thank you for the opportunity, guys! Don’t forget to check out the other posts in the blogtour!
For centuries, the Mapmakers kept peace in the Valley, but they’ve long since disappeared. Now the Night Coats hold power with an iron grip–there are only rules, punishments, and consequences. Until one night, on the run from the Night Coats (again), after breaking another rule (again), Alidade stumbles upon a secret door leading to a magical hideaway that belongs to the Mapmakers. There, she finds a map of her home and accidentally brings to life Blue, a magical creature called a memri who is meant to protect the Valley. Blue needs Alidade’s help to find the Mapmakers and save the Valley from the Night Coats! But the Mapmakers are long gone.Alidade has a choice: leave the Valley like she’s always wanted…or become a Mapmaker and save the only home she’s ever known.
TL,DR: A graphic novel full of an oppressive authority and a girl that dreams of freedom and to leave her boring and restricting life behind. While the graphic novel had some weaknesses I still enjoyed the story in general and hope there will be some background in future parts of the series.
I quite like books that have to do with maps. Especially magical maps. MG books that have anything to do with traveling or exploring are like catnip for me. So, of course, I had to jump at the possibility to read a graphic novel that has exactly those themes in it.
I feel like this graphic novel is a mixed bag. I was not completely convinced by the artstyle but I liked the story quite a bit, even though it’s not perfect either.
The idea of a oppressed village what has long given up on rebellion (mostly because it has always been that way), is not new, but this graphic novel made it look especially bleak and made me angry at the people for being useful idiots for sticking to all the rules and not thinking for themselves.
Which makes Alidade a very promising protagonist, because she questions the rules and loves the great outdoors and the forest, which makes her very sympathetic, even though she seems brash and headstrong and at times not very smart.
Her counterpart was timid and careful Lewis, who is Alidade’s best friend and keeps getting dragged into adventures and trouble with her. This was probably one of the things I liked best about this story. Even though Alidade and Lewis are pretty much opposites and had different interests, their friendship is solid and seems very natural and although there might be some hiccups and disagreements, they are still very supportive of each other.
While some things were very unclear and confusing to me, I really liked the themes of friendship, freedom, humility and togetherness in this graphic novel. I am still wishing for more background to some of the things that happened in the past. With a few more explanations this book could have been really, really good.
Cameron Chittock is a writer from northeast Ohio. He grew up surrounded by siblings, wildlife, and comics of all kinds. Cameron’s writing is possible thanks to patient teachers, encouraging friends, and a supportive family. His favorite stories are those of heroes and friendship. Cameron previously edited comics, including titles such as Mech Cadet Yu, the Eisner Award–nominated graphic novel New World, and Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal. He now lives in New England and works in education. When he’s not writing, he enjoys coaching basketball, reading giant fantasy books, and sitting by the pond with his family. Mapmakers and the Lost Magic is his debut graphic novel.
Amanda Castillo is a comic artist, illustrator, and storyteller, born and raised in the Bay Area in California. Having grown up inspired by piles of manga, games about friendship and adventure, and the endless wonders of the California outdoors, Amanda went on to study illustration to hone a skill set to tell warm and heartfelt stories that could be enjoyed and remembered by someone like you! After getting into the comics world through working with Youth in Decline, Amanda has since contributed to publishers such as BOOM! Studios, Lion Forge, and now Random House Graphic. In addition to making comics, Amanda has shown work in galleries domestically and helped judge annual comics awards. When not making comics, Amanda enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones, making warm and hearty meals, learning to tend to plants, and taking in the lovely moments the world has to offer. Mapmakers and the Lost Magic is their debut graphic novel.