“In the deepest darkness, all it takes is for one point of light to shine…”
Luc is a frail child who’s afraid of anything and everything, no thanks to his Italian grandmother and her dark bedtime stories. So when he disappears from his bedroom one night, everyone fears the worst. Has he been kidnapped? Did he run away like his sister once did?
Little do they know, Luc has travelled to a mysterious land filled with monsters and strange creatures named Shadows and is about to embark on a terrifying journey around the world where he must learn to conquer his fears if he ever hopes to return home.
Accompanying him on his journey is the mysterious Uomo Nero, the bogeyman from the nursery rhymes his nana used to sing to him… (Goodreads)
Before anything else, let me just take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been following this blog. I just reached my first anniversary a few days ago. When I first started this blog I just needed to have more space to talk about books and reading. I started posting bookish stuff in my bookstagram (Instagram: @pryngols) but I would occasionally hit the character limit. Looking back, it’s funny how simple my motivations were 😅 This blog has evolved to a wonderful outlet for my musings ever since. I do appreciate every one of you who has chosen to join me.
I still have a lot of reads to share with you all. In fact I may also decide to post a few non-bookish things moving forward, so please stick around 💖
Moving on with my featured book today– it’s another great find from one of my favorite publishers Europe Comics– The Heart of Shadows ✨
I love the whimsical art and the Tim Burton-esque landscapes. You can tell right away from the cover that it’s going to be full of mythical creatures and fantastical adventures. At the beginning, we meet Uomo Nero, a creature of the night, an entity so fearsome and made of the evil our mothers always warn us about when we were kids. The main character is a frail and easily scared kid. He is someone you’d want to protect like a little brother.
We are transported to the Kingdom of Shadows where darkness reign. The artist used marvelous technique with the color scheme and paneling to differentiate space and time. The creature design is simply stunning! A curious style is also used on fonts to indicate sound effects.
This started really good and I was so engaged, however things got somewhat confusing for me at the middle. I am unsure if it’s just lost in translation but some of the lines seemed stilted. The purpose of the journey is lost to me, and there are too many characters and dialogues that I had difficulty following. I adored the artwork but I really don’t know what’s happening anymore. I am failing to understand what the conflict is, and this stops me from investing emotionally to any of the characters.
At the end, what I could interpret is that the story is a bit reminiscent of the animated film Monsters, Inc. but with a lot of influence from various folklore. I was reminded of the popular film because the story lets us see another side of the so-called monsters, and makes us realize that these creatures of the dark may just be as equally afraid of us like we are of them.
The book is also an exploration of how humans always end up haunted by their own creations. This is normally a theme I would totally enjoy, and it would have been a better experience if the writing also spoke to me. I do love its general message that we must always learn how to face our fears, and that we all have our own light within us to fight the darkness—we just need to trust ourselves to find it.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for providing a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.
So why did I choose this title for my anniversary post? There’s really no major reason except for the fact that I love the overall message of positivity that the story brings. It gives me a sense of hope and courage for the years to come ✨
“There is a light in you, which can chase away darkness, the shadows, and all your fears.”
Overall Rating: 3/5
About the Creators
Marco Cosimo D’Amico was born in Rome in 1976. Following his university studies in scientific engineering, he dedicated himself to his two real passions: comic books (as a member of the International Comic Book School in Rome) and aikido. In 2008, he wrote his first book, Moksha, illustrated by Roberto Ricci and published by Editions Laffont. He followed that up in 2016 with Le Coeur de l’ombre published by Dargaud (The Heart of Shadows, Europe Comics), illustrated by Roberto Ricci and Laura Iorio.
Artist & Scriptwriter
Laura Iorio was born in 1982 in Frosinone, in central Italy. From a young age, she discovered her love for drawing, and knew that one day she would become either a jazz singer or an artist. In the end, art won out. Following her studies at the International School of Comic Books in Rome, she debuted in 2009 alongside Roberto Ricci and Giancarlo Dimaggio with June Christy (Editions BD-Music), a story about a jazz singer. In 2016 she completed a second collaboration with Roberto Ricci, along with writer Marco Cosimo d’Amico, Le Coeur de l’ombre (Dargaud; The Heart of Shadows, Europe Comics), winner of the Silver Award at the International Manga Awards in 2017.
Born in Rome in 1976, Roberto Ricci studied music for eight years before an injury stopped him in his tracks. It was then that he decided to enroll at the International School of Comics in Rome to become an artist. Upon graduation, he started publishing short stories in the American magazine Heavy Metal, and by the early 2000s he’d begun collaborating with Philippe Saimbert on the award-winning series Les âmes d’Helios (Delcourt). Following that, he undertook several different projects, including Moksha (Laffont), Delta, (Humanoïdes associés), and June Christy (Editions BD Music). Most recently, he has completed the graphic novel Le Coeur de l’ombre, alongside Marco Cosimo d’Amico and Laura Iorio, published by Dargaud (The Heart of Shadows, Europe Comics).
About Europe Comics
Europe Comics began as an idea of Franco-Belgian comics agent Mediatoon Licensing. Three years (and a lot of work) later, it evolved into a 13-partner pan-European alliance, supported by the European Commission and held together by the desire to spread the European graphic novel heritage around the world.
Visit their website here.