Night Air by Ben Sears
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My Rating: ★★★★☆
Set in a very clever, adventurous and futuristic world, Ben Sears introduces an odd duo in Night Air: Plus Man and his robot sidekick named Hank. After Plus Man and Hank are given a tip on where to score valuable alloy, they are determined to locate the treasure. The one thing they have to go through to get to this treasure, however, is a very haunted castle. Very reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s works, Night Air is full of both intriguing and mysterious characters, an elaborate world with magical elements, and a plot that leaves you wanting more.
As a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki and his talents, and then hearing that Night Air was being compared to his work, I could not pass up the opportunity to see how well Ben Sears would live up to this comparison. To say the least, I was not disappointed. Now don’t get me wrong, it would be totally unfair to pit the two storytellers against each other. While some of their skills do parallel each other, they still have their own distinct characteristics in how they get their story across. Like I said, I am a huge fan of Miyazaki, but I still wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Though I do think Night Air is the perfect introduction into the world of Ben Sears and what he’s capable of.
Just shy of 60 pages, Night Air was one quick and short read. It was difficult not to devour it in one sitting. It was practically begging to be finished all at once. And this, quite frankly, was my only concern with it. It was just too short! I didn’t want it to end too soon. While this isn’t exactly a bad thing, I do still wish there were more backstories for both Plus Man and Hank and perhaps a little more history on the world itself that the story takes place in. Of course, being a graphic novel meant for middle grades, I can’t dwell too much on its length. After all, it seems as though there will be more instalments for it in the near future.
If you’re a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki like myself, and you too are looking for something to satisfy and impress you, then give Ben Sears a chance. You may end up thinking that the two storytellers are nothing at all alike, but I promise you that you’ll still have a blast reading Night Air nonetheless. Night Air promises adventure, and an adventure is what you’ll get.
*thank you to Koyama Press for my copy of Night Air in exchange for my honest review*