I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Divine by Boaz Lavie
Illustrator: Tomer Tanuka, Asaf Hanuka
Published by Macmillan on July 14th 2015
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Manga, General, Fiction, Action & Adventure
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Mark's out of the military, these days, with his boring, safe civilian job doing explosives consulting. But you never really get away from war. So it feels inevitable when his old army buddy Jason comes calling, with a lucrative military contract for a mining job in an obscure South-East Asian country called Quanlom. They'll have to operate under the radar-Quanlom is being torn apart by civil war, and the US military isn't strictly supposed to be there.
With no career prospects and a baby on the way, Mark finds himself making the worst mistake of his life and signing on with Jason. What awaits him in Quanlom is going to change everything. What awaits him in Quanlom is weirdness of the highest order: a civil war led by ten-year-old twins wielding something that looks a lot like magic, leading an army of warriors who look a lot like gods.What awaits him in Quanlom is an actual goddamn dragon.
From world-renowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast-paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed.
Why Did I Read This Graphic Novel:
I read The Divine by Boaz Lavie art by Tomer Tanuka and Asaf Tanuka because Josh had read it and was raving about how good it was. I tend to trust his taste in regards to comic books and graphic novels – given that they are one of his passions. I was initially interested in The Divine because I love books that have to do with war, diversity, and that deal with hard hitting topics. This book completely delivered on all fronts. I am also happy to confirm that Josh’s recommendations are actually quite solid.
What’s The Story Here?
The Divine by Boaz Lavie is about this guy named Mark who works a relatively boring job in Texas. Mark was once military, however, he is out now. He lives in a small house with his wife, who is a travel agent, essentially. Mark’s old army friend Jason shows up one day and tries to convince Mark to sign on to a secret contract to launch explosives in Quanlom for a huge amount of money. At first, Mark is reluctant, but when he realizes how much he can make and how it can help him to better support his soon to be growing family, he accepts Jason’s proposition.
Here’s the thing, Jason is kind of a dick. He is not at all a good person and totally okay with blowing up precious things and people and even, mystical things all for the almighty dollar. When Mark is in Quanlom, he learns that something is not right with Jason. And so, while on a mission to blow something up, he saves this kid. It turns out this kid is an orphan and part of a group of children who have magical powers. Mark begins to see Quanlom and his mission in a different light. Meanwhile, Jason is kind of hellbent on destruction and that’s all I can tell you so you guys, get yourself a copy of The Divine because the way that the storyline plays out is absolutely stunning.
What Are The Themes?
The major theme within Lavie’s The Divine is war and its impact on children. This is the book where we see child soldiers, essentially. We see how they are impacted and forced into sad lives due to imperialism and the desire for material goods. There is a fantastical element to this book, sure. I think it just enhances how brutal war can be. This book doesn’t shy away from those awful realities. In fact, to me, I think the true miracle of this book is that Mark was able to retain his humanity despite the things he saw and the time spent with Jason who is the actual worst. Like, Jason is such a stereotype, I cannot even right now.
Further, at the end there is this photograph and this page about the book’s inspiration – these two brothers whom seemed to almost have mystical powers. They did not actually have mystical powers, but at the time, there was a an aura almost of protection around them. They held a building hostage, again, during a time of war. And, well, maybe it isn’t quite a theme, but this inspiration and the fact that they included it in the back of The Divine really enhanced my enjoyment of the book, it just made it much more real for me — even though there is talk of dragons and such in Quanlom. Again, IMPERIALISM. That’s probably the biggest theme, going hand in hand with war. I yell imperialism because Mark and Jason want to kill the dragon, but the dragon is an important symbol to the people and how do you go about dominating other countries? Aside from firepower – forced assimilation and getting rid of symbols. This is just one fascinating book.
How Is The Art?
The artwork within The Divine is about Asaf Tanuka and Tomer Tanuka. I think they are brothers. Anyways, I have never read any graphic novels where they have been responsible for the art before – a pity. As, the Tanukas are superb at what they do. It is almost as though the pages pulse with movement and anger and feeling. Of course, I loved this. In addition, there’s impactful use of color. This is one of those graphic novels where the art is unique and perfectly suits the story within.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
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