Tuesday 10 November 2020

The Inkberg Enigma

The Inkberg Enigma
by Jonathan King (Gecko Press) PB RRP $27.99 ISBN: 9781776572663 

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

Miro and Zia stumble across something fishy happening in their small fishing town and decide to investigate. They soon discover a cover-up which upends the received narrative of their town’s history, and a network of corruption and blackmail weaving through the fabric of their key institutions. With a camera and an antique ship’s log, they set out to tear it all down.

This is a graphic novel, but it is far from a quick read. The book is a quality production running to 125 pages of detailed dialogue and illustration. It has multiple layers of plot and threads in important details from the earliest panels. The dialogue is natural and supported by expressive illustrations of the characters. The panels transition easily from detailed, tension-building close views to sweeping landscapes and thrilling action scenes. 

The protagonists have a quirky individuality which is immediately appealing. We rapidly discover that Miro, a slightly gawky hat-wearing lover of old books, is not quite the nerd he may appear on face value. Zia has blue hair and a broad rebellious streak but is clearly guided by a strong moral compass. There is admirable diversity represented despite the small remote town setting.

This is an intriguing book for lovers of graphic novels and anyone aged 8 to 12 years who enjoys a page-turning mystery. A particular asset for reluctant readers, especially fans of the big-screen comic-inspired universes.

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