I was pleasantly surprised by this book. All the major plot points are there, though some of the finer nuances and changes in attitude which a reader would infer from the text in ‘Emma’ are here spelled out more clearly as there is less text to describe things.
I hadn’t read anything in the Manga style before. There is a useful user guide at the front of the book (what I would usually consider the front of a book) for people new to Manga to tell you how to read the book. I knew it went from back to front but it also tells you how to read across the page. I quickly got used to the reading direction and I enjoyed the drawing style of the illustrator. It gave the story a real sense of movement and energy that I enjoyed. I liked the appearance of some of the characters very much – Emma was particularly good, as was Harriet, who was adorably cute, just the type of girl who would catch Emma’s eye. For me, some of the gentleman were less successful – Robert Martin is almost like the Hulk, he’s so huge as to be monstrous! Mr Knightley was very stylised, and looked quite elfin, which didn’t strike me as quite right for his character.
As I said, I wondered how the book would fare with the loss of Austen’s ‘voice’ in this low-word format, and for me it loses some of its charm, though the Manga style has a charm of its own. I think part of the target audience for this type of book would be people who’d read a graphic novel but not a novel. Personally I wouldn’t give this to somebody who was reading ‘Emma’ for the first time; I think they’d get all the plot but without the icing on the cake that Austen’s style provides. However, it’d be an interesting addition to an Austen-lover’s library. I enjoyed this book and I’d rate it as a 4 star read.
*I received an e-book of this title via Netgalley for my honest review.