Thank you Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom
by Kelly Thompson (author) and Jenn St. Onge (illustrator)
Published: March 27th? April 2nd? March 20th? So many conflicting dates.
Read: March 2019
Format: ebook ARC
Genre: mystery, YA, graphic novel
Rating: 5/5 Moose
Nancy Drew is led back to her home town for the first time since her mother died. In fact, someone is hinting that there may be a mystery surrounding her mother’s death. With the help of her old friends – Bess Martin, George Fayne, Danica, and even the Hardy Boys! – she dives head first into figuring out what happened all those years ago.
Nancy Drew – teen detective
Bess Marvin – Nancy’s best friend. Kind hearted, always underestimated
George Fayne – Nancy’s best friend. Tough exterior, marshmallow center. Willing to yell at Nancy when she’s being stupid.
Joe Hardy – Half of the Hardy boys, and in love with Bess
Frank Hardy – the other half of the Hardy Boys
Rants, Raves, and Thoughts
Hi, yes, Andrew Fleming? This is how you modernize Nancy Drew. Not keeping her in an oddly old fashioned outfit, very weird from everyone else (but still endearing). You just let her be Nancy, in her intelligent and fashionable way.
I love everything about this comic. The beginning in media res of Nancy solving a mystery for her school, her team of crime fighting helpers who….aren’t Bess and George what? But we quickly find out it’s because Nancy ran away after some stuff went down and has lost touch with her friends. Then she receives a creepy letter that leads her back home to explore the death of her mother. Very, very Nancy Drew. Not overly gory or gross (the one body found is mostly off screen) and the overall tone is very cozy mysteries for teens. And I mean that in the best way possible.
All the characters are updated – George isn’t just coded to be a lesbian, she actually is openly one. She’s still tough and willing to yell at Nancy, which is exactly what she needs. There’s even a scene where George says “if I stop hugging you, I’ll start yelling” which made me actually laugh out loud. Bess, George’s cousin, is still the sweetest, kindest, and nicest of the bunch, but she is less damsel in distress and terrified. She’s more bad ass and easy to underestimate. Plus she’s on the larger side, something that isn’t a plot point at all, but it’s nice to see. And her relationship with Joe Hardy is swoon worthy.
I wasn’t much of a Hardy Boys fan as a kid – I think I read one or two? And those may have just been the Nancy/Hardy Boy cross over. Still, their personalities come through, reminding me a little of the series I maybe read as a kid. Also, Frank is really hot I am so sorry. I also was under the impression that they were twins, but I am wrong about this?
There is a great discussion between Bess and Joe about not wanting to disappoint Nancy and the look she’ll give if you do – seriously, this book is wonderful for the nostalgia while also being great for anyone who didn’t read Nancy Drew growing up. It doesn’t rely heavily on knowing anything about her or the series as it updates and makes it new. And while I definitely expected Ned to show up, I was pleasantly surprised by the boy Paul who did. No more info about him though – you need to read it to find out! But he’s the other guy in the picture, if you’ve been looking and scratching your head.
I’m just going to point out Nancy’s fashion again:
I want to figure out how to get my hair to look like this, which I know has to be impossible. And again that this is the best crime fighting crew:
If you aren’t intrigued by now, this comic isn’t for you. Just…. Dynamic, can we get issue 6 ASAP? That cliffhanger!