March 25, 2018

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Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure by Matt Kindt | SLJ Review

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redstarKINDT, Matt. Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure. illus. by Matt Kindt & Sharlene Kindt. 168p. Dark Horse. Jan. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781616559892.

Gr 7 Up –Matt Kindt delivers another amazing graphic novel with an imaginative premise. This is a highly unusual locked-room mystery, centering on an unexplained death that occurred in an undersea research station. Mia is sent down to the station to find out exactly what happened to her father. She doesn’t know if his death was accidental or intentional or whether it was part of a larger plan. What she does know is that several people she once trusted, including her brother and a former friend, are among the suspects. The book jumps between the present and the past as Mia’s memories keep pushing to the surface, making connections between then and now. This is a gripping murder mystery, made even more fascinating by the conflicting emotions that rage inside Mia as she tries to uncover the truth. Soon it becomes clear that her own safety is at risk, whether she is inside the station or out in the deepest part of the ocean, surrounded by sea creatures. The Kindts’ illustrations are murky and rough, capturing the dreamlike quality of the undersea world and drawing readers further into this surreal story. VERDICT An enthralling mystery in a unique setting that will leave graphic novel fans clamoring for the next volume in the series.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2017 issue.

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