Illustrator: Andres Mossa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am not a huge reader of graphic novels. But, having previously read The Stereotypical Freaks by this author, when he contacted me and asked if I would be willing to read this graphic novel, I quickly agreed. He sent me a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson is a very troubled character. I felt for him as he dealt with issues that affect us at one time or another. Unfortunately, I didn't like him as much as I thought I would. Being a professional ice hockey player, he has had to deal with his fair share of injuries and pain. However, he is now faced with dealing with his potential replacement, who is a lot younger and eager to prove himself, which makes him jealous.
His best friend and agent, Tom Leonard, meanwhile, has problems of his own. I really liked him. He really wants to make a difference to the local community, but when he meets an old flame, he must decide whether to follow his head or his heart.
Because I hadn't read The Hockey Saint, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the story. However, I needn't have worried as it takes place ten years later. As I mentioned above, I am not a huge reader of graphic novels, nor am I a follower of ice hockey. I must admit that it took me a while to get into this story, as I am out of practice reading this genre of books, which includes comics. However, I enjoyed the story as it unfolded. The author has included a play list to listen to whilst reading this book. However, I didn't have any of these songs available to read to on hand, so persevered without them.
The illustrations are excellent and show the progression of the story; this made it easy for me to picture the scenes. I did find the story a little lacking dialogue wise, but this is because I am used to reading novels written in text, where the author has to use words to describe things in more detail and there is more interaction between characters. The story, once I got into it, gripped me and I found myself emotionally involved. I felt for Tom as he wrestled with his commitment to a community project and his love for an old flame. However, I didn't have the same emotional tug with Jake, even though he's going through a tough time himself. Maybe this is because, although I could empathize with him, I haven't been through the same problems he faced.
I congratulate Howard Shapiro on a fantastic tale that touched me deeply. Because this is a graphic novel, his writing style is difficult to judge but I would say it's evenly paced. The flow is also difficult to judge, though the illustrations made the scenes flow seamlessly.
Although I enjoyed reading Hockey Karma, I find that graphic novels are not my cup of tea. However, I highly recommend this book if you love reading them, or are an ice hockey/sports fan. - Lynn Worton
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