Reviews

Carmilla: The First Vampire, by Amy Chu

ekateclark's review

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dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

sunflowerjess's review

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challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I looooved the art and story in this book! I just love that there are queer female vampire legends that pre-date Dracula. So many kudos to Amy Chu for bringing these legends to us in this incredible graphic novel. 

caseythecanadianlesbrarian's review

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dark mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

There is incredible moody art in this graphic novel retelling of the lesbian vampire classic Carmilla (1872). I also loved the noirish tone, the 90s NYC Chinatown setting, the way Chinese folklore is integrated into the European vampire lore, and the main character Athena's relationship with her Yeh Yeh (grandpa). The Carmilla character was very well done and updated for the 20th century and how she worked her way into Athena's life. 

It took a weird turn plot-wise near the end, with two deaths that were unnecessary for the plot and not explored enough to have real emotional resonance. One of them was the main Black character and the other was the only trans character, so it was pretty disappointing to see them killed off like that! It kind of soured the rest for me. 

spikers's review

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dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

geno's review against another edition

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mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

Esta novela gráfica se promociona como una versión moderna de Carmilla, aunque más que eso funciona mejor como continuación. Conocer el material original ayuda, pero no hace la diferencia.

La historia está situada en los 90 en Chinatown. El estilo gráfico le da cierto aire "noir" que acompaña muy bien la trama principal.
Hay un intento de mezclar la mítica de los vampiros con el folklore Chino que tiene resultados variables según el momento.

Respecto a la representación asiática, Athena y su abuelo transmiten el amor por la cultura y religión. Algunos detalles de la mitología China se integran muy bien en este mundo. Sin embargo, en su afán por ser su propia cosa, esta novela gráfica pierde todo lo interesante que podía haber tomado de Carmilla.

Hay un par de subtramas que salen de la nada
Spoiler- por ejemplo: la familia cazadora de vampiros o la muerte de sus padres. Que, además, son detalles que se acercan más a Drácula que a Carmilla.- 
. También hay muertes que sirven como golpe emocional que no están bien construidos.

Existe una intención que la historia tenga peso social, hablando de asesinatos a chicos de la calle, pero a medida que pasan las páginas, se olvida.

En general, es una buena historia, aunque se siente un poco apresura. Contiene muchas subtramas que no llega a desarrollarse. Esperaba otra cosa por el nombre del libro, pero si uno acomoda esas expectativas, puede ser una lectura interesante.

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This graphic novel is a kind of retelling or continuation of the book of the same name.
The setting is Chinatown in the 90´s so the vibe is different but the art style makes it feels like a noir detective story.

I liked how Chinese folklore is integrated into vampire lore, and I think it adds a very interesting point of view. The relationship between Athena and her grandfather was sweet and real and one of the highlights of the book.

Unfortunately, I also felt that some plot points were just there for shock value.
SpoilerThe vampire hunter blood was a nice touch closer to Dracula than Carmilla but it came from nowhere. Unlike the subplot of the Chinese vampire-demons that have more support in-story.


There is also a subplot about social injustice that starts strong and later it's just an inconvenience that adds noise to the story. I feel the author has good intentions but not enough pages.

Overall it felt rushed. It's not a modern interpretation of "Carmilla", this could have any name and work just fine.

Of course, knowing the original story helps, but this comic is its own thing. I would have preferred to stay closer to the original and add on that. But the way it was resolved helps readers that might not know the source material.

It's an OK comic that has the potential for more.
 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

sea_adame's review

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

1.75

emily_mh's review

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dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

mellambert's review

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dark hopeful fast-paced

3.25

I wanted it to be darker. But it was pretty sexy. 

eachuisce72's review

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced

4.0