Title: Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published On: October 13, 2020
Publisher: DC Comics
Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.
While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.
Creative, diverse, and educational, Swamp Thing: Twin Branches brings to life a verdant world where plants and super powers unite.
So, I’m new to the Swamp Thing. I read this graphic novel with no prior knowledge of the comic book character. Graphic novels aren’t my first choice. I tend to pick them up the most when I’m trying to wrap-up a reading challenge for the year. They’re great for quickly filling those harder to fill prompts. But when I heard (thanks to my daughter) that Maggie Stiefvater, one of my favorite authors, would be releasing a graphic novel, I knew I wanted to read it—and I didn’t care what it was about. I immediately went to Netgalley and requested it!
Try as I might, the only way I could read Swamp Thing: Twin Branches was on my iPhone, which was a bit of a challenge. My aging iPad was too old to download the app required to read it. BUT I managed to read it by zooming in on each page. Not the most satisfying way to read a graphic novel. 😉
Despite all that, I still enjoyed Swamp Thing!
The story of twin brothers Alec and Walker is layered and engrossing. The character arcs of both brothers exemplify their differences and how they balance each other out. Alec is diabetic and Stiefvater turns this hardship into a stepping stone for the character. He learns from it and uses the knowledge for good. Walker is the out-going brother, who continues to try and connect with Alec, pushing him to be more social.
Morgan Beem’s illustrations complement the story. I wouldn’t expect anything less than the dominant green color variations, and it made me wish I could surround myself with plants. (I keep trying, but I’m not a very successful plant mom.) The complimentary colors of purple, yellow, and orange also made the story pop, creating a visually satisfying palette.
One of my favorite things about the book is how different types of plants and their basic manifestations are used to explain human reactions and emotions. It’s very innovative and the illustrations bring the facts even more to life. (Unfortunately, they didn’t include any of those pages in the press release for me to share.)
I would love to have a physical copy of this one to add to my bookshelf, and I look forward to more in this universe!
Thank you to the publisher DC Comics and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy.
Rating: (4 / 5)
About the Author
About the Illustrator
A Song For A Book
On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.
This graphic novel gave me all kinds of emo-punk feels, so The Cure’s “Twilight Garden” works well here.
I lift my hands from touching you
To touch the wind that whispers through
This twilight garden
Turns into a world
Where dreams are real
Have you read Swamp Think: Twin Branches? Did you add it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!