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Black Ice - Review


*I received a digital copy from NetGalley. All reviews are my own.*


As I was perusing the Read Now section on NetGalley, I stumbled across an independent black graphic novel by Bradford D. Smith II about a boy and his newfound powers of ice. I'm all about promoting diverse titles, Black especially, so I said what the hey! I'll give it a go! ... I'm confused.


"In Black Ice, Oscar Lewis, one day, wakes up with ice powers and an uncontrollable urge to travel towards an untamed wildfire. During his travel, he notices that he can see a spirit world filled with black wispy creatures.
He'll make a few friends, as well as a few enemies along, the way. He has no idea what's happening with him or why he seeks out to journey towards the fire.
But there seems to be someone, a lady, he saw the night he awoke with his powers. Who is she?"

This is not the usual completed omnibus graphic novel that I read and review. I like reading completed work. Nobody has time for volumes in the Bookstagram world. I wish I knew Black Ice was a volume before I went into it, but we're here now, and there's no going back. Or forward, for that matter. I was left very confused.


I'm not exactly sure what I read. Or I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this comic was. From the synopsis, I thought I was going to get a story about a boy journeying to uncover the truth about his random ice power by heading toward a raging wildfire and why he can see spirits. Instead, the story's main focus was questioning, "Is it because I'm Black." I don't know what the two have to do with each other, but it gets lost in translation with whatever the hell the message is.


On a side note, this has nothing to do with the author and more with NetGalley formats, but I would have loved to see this comic in color. I missed out on the intricacies of artwork and detail because there was no color. The boy mentioned a few times, people were turned off by his blue eyes, and I couldn't relate because everything was black and white. NetGalley dropped the ball on that one. And the cover seems so vibrant.


Overall I rated this book 2.5 stars. I didn't DNF the book, but I won't be returning. I need a whole lot more context with this story before ever considering picking up another volume. I'm not sure mixing the Black man's plight with searching for superpower answers was the right mixture for the first volume of this series. I think the author needs to work more on development and direction.


Black Ice is available now.


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