BookBin2015: The Art of War


One final entry for the 2015 Book Bin. I knew, even as I was writing the reviews I posted on the last day of last year, that I was forgetting a book. It frustrated me to no end that I could not recall even that it was a graphic novel. Thankfully, during a trip this weekend to the library, I ended up seeing the book I knew was missing from my 2015 reading list, happily tucked back on the graphic novel shelf where I first found it.

The Art of War is, of course, based on the same-titled ancient military philosophies of Chinese General Sun Tzu. This novel, however, takes Sun Tzu’s teachings and filters them through a two-color rendering of the philosophies as they apply to this futuristic (but still stunningly violent) thriller.

To be honest, the power of this graphic novel doesn’t reside in writer Kelly Roman’s rendering of Sun Tzu’s philosophies. Instead, the strength rests squarely in the hands of artist Michael DeWeese. Stark, stunning, bloody, visceral, and all with a little red thrown in for good measure to a purely monochromatic palette. DeWeese made me continue to turn the page, even when I had long lost interest in Roman’s tepid tale.

Final Verdict: I wish I had remembered this novel before now. I would have much rather ended 2015’s BookBin reviews with the one-two Harper Lee review I posted than this dud of a read. I also wish I had read more than 29 books last year. My track record has continued to drop with each year I do this. Competitive streak aside, reading has always been incredibly important to me. Watching my record for reading plummet with each passing year means that I’m slipping in time put aside to enjoy something that has brought me endless hours of joy my entire life. That’s just not acceptable. I need to fix that this year.

BookBin2015 Final Tally: 29

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