Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

My very good friend Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous has been raving about the Saga graphic novel series so I’ve been really curious about it. Last Friday, Kinokuniya Books was having a sale and I decided to drop by and see if I could grab any interesting books. I ended up buying the Saga Volume 1 and Volume 2 since the cost wasn’t too bad after the 20% discount. I found it hilarious that the copies that I got had stickers that said “Unsuitable for the young.” I opened up Volume 1 on Sunday afternoon to try and read maybe one chapter and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I picked up Volume 2 right after. I was in the middle of other novels but I chose to ignore them in favor of Saga.

Saga

I’m not really much of a graphic novel reader. I’ve only read a couple of them and I think the only other graphic novel / comic book series that I’ve reviewed on the blog is Trese by Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo. It’s not that I have anything against graphic novels, it’s just that I’m not familiar with what’s out there and I find them a bit more expensive than paperbacks or hardcovers. But I’m usually game to try something that comes highly recommended (or if a friend lets me borrow his or her copy so I could check it out). I’m so glad I decided to give Saga a try because I really enjoyed reading it, it’s now right up there with Trese as my favorite graphic novel series. But again, that’s not saying much since like I mentioned, I haven’t read that many graphic novels. Saga is the story of Alana and Marko, two soldiers from the opposite sides of an ongoing war. These two are from different worlds and different species and yet they find a way to bridge their cultural differences and connect. Even their personalities are poles apart but I feel like they balance each other well – Alana is sassy and quick to anger while Marko is more reserved and is a pacifist. Alana and Marko’s relationship is new and definitely not perfect, they argue and bicker but I love that their conversations are peppered with humor. There were actually some scenes that made me laugh out loud while I was reading. Also, I think it’s awesome that Alana’s favorite book plays a significant role in the story.

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I think the art also complements the story very well. I feel like it reads like an animated film, with some very unusual creatures and settings thrown in (because of the space opera / sci-fi nature of the story). It never got confusing even though the points of view shifted quite a bit. That’s another thing that I liked about the story – there are people after Alana and Marko, those who oppose their union and think that it will have a huge impact in the war effort. But even these characters are portrayed as complex individuals with their own motivations behind their actions. Like with any kind of war, there are a lot of gray areas instead of clearly defined good versus evil. In a war that has been going on for so long to the point that the fighting has been outsourced, it gets even more complicated. Ultimately, I feel like Saga is about family, relationships and how war affects human interactions. Saga is something that I wouldn’t have picked up if I wasn’t curious about it because of Maggie and another friend IRL who read it about the same time I did. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a space opera adventure story with some romance in it. Can’t wait for Volume 3.

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9 thoughts on “Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

  1. Pingback: Want Books: Y: The Last Man, Volume 1: Unmanned | Chachic's Book Nook

  2. I purchased, read, and donated Vol 1 and 2 to my library – I made sure that it ended up in our adult graphic novel collection. Our cataloger flipped through admiring the artwork and was shocked by the sexual content! While I think this content is fine for the intended audience (and probably plenty of others as well), it is disappointing that I don’t feel comfortable, as a professional, sharing this with teen graphic novel readers. I think they would love it, but I highly doubt that their parents would approve. I wouldn’t discourage them from checking it out, that’s not my job, but I wouldn’t encourage it either.

    • …oh yes, and I love this series as well. The main characters are complex, the world is unique, and I’m finding it hard not to switch over to reading the individual comics, as opposed to waiting for Vol. 3.

    • I was warned about the adult content so I wasn’t so surprised when I came across the artwork while reading the books. Now I don’t know if I would have been surprised if I didn’t know about it beforehand!

      Yes, so many things to like in this series, right? I’m really tempted to switch to individual comics as well because Volume 3 wouldn’t be out in a while. But then I have no idea if the individual comics are available in the bookstores here. I should try and look for it. I heard that the most recent installments are pretty good.

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