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Review: Shattered Warrior

Strong female protagonists in stories are more than trend, it has become part of the new normal. As Shonda Rhimes, talked about diversity a few months ago, at a panel, when asked how she employs such a diverse cast in her shows, she said something in the way of she is “Normalizing America”. As she shows on her shows, not only diversity when it came to race, but also sexuality and mental health. This normalizing does not only include television and movies, but also include print media.

The past few years has seen, an increase in these type of characters, especially in the books written by Philippa Gregory, in her telling of the War of the Roses. Another excellent writer, whose work has been recently adapted into a television series, is Margaret Atwood, whose stories shows trauma in a realistic light but also employs fortitude in her female characters. I cannot speak on excellent writers without talking about Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick, who both have forged female characters who have more mettle than their male counterparts. In Sharon Shinn’s and Molly Knox Ostertag’s epic graphic novel, Shattered Warrior, she introduces another great female protagonist into this entirely too short of a list, who has nothing left to lose, but must resist or assimilate.

We are introduced to Collen Cavanaugh, whose world and family has been destroyed by an alien race, as we meet her, the reader soon realizes she is, very much dispossessed and embattled, but has one friend, in Jann, a member of the resistance against the aliens, knowns as the Chromatti, and ally in Angit, who is part of the alien race, but is very friendly to her. She nevertheless soon realizes she needs a purpose which she finds, when she finds out her niece, Lucy is alive. What gives Colleen, fortitude, is what all heroes realize eventually, they must do something for the betterment of all. By the end of the book, everyone who is not who they seem to be and moving on from tragedy is never easy but love overcomes everything.

Overall, a moving odyssey of feelings that will keep the reader questioning what would they do in these situations. The story by Shinn, has you rooting for those who are oppressed and keeps you wondering what are the limits before one resists, proving that  these characters, are a study in patience. The art is luminous within characters and settings, and grimy when needed, but emotion is the essential paint of Ostertag’s illustrations. Altogether, an affecting tale, that shows the connection that makes us human, is what gives these characters hope to live another day.

Story: Sharon Shinn Art: Molly Knox Ostertag
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy