Eternal: Zachary's Story

illus. by Ming Doyle. 160p. Candlewick. 2013. pap. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5119-0. LC 2012942385.
Gr 9 Up—Whereas Smith's novel Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) focuses on the character of Miranda and her introduction into the culture of the vampires, called "Eternals," this graphic-novel companion depicts the same set of events from the perspective of Zachary, Miranda's depowered guardian angel. Given this forced perspective, the plot and pacing are often confusing because they require knowledge of events that occur in the novel. That this story is formatted as a graphic novel only serves to emphasize these issues, as passages of time are often inexplicable, secondary character motivations are impossible to decipher, and backstory is nonexistent. Doyle's illustrations are the standout feature here. Her black-and-white ink work is detailed and uses shading to provide clear depth. Furthermore, the framing of each illustration helps to provide a cinematic feel, especially through the use of extreme close-up to highlight facial expressions and character reactions. Overall, this graphic novel cannot break free of its shortcomings and often seems to cram as many supernatural tropes into as few pages as possible. Purchase if students are looking for this specific title after reading the novel.—Ryan F. Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, NY

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