ARC Review Book Review

ARC Book Review | Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
Author: Maggie Stiefvater 
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published On: October 13, 2020
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: digital
Pages: 208


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.

My thoughts

(Spoiler free)

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 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author

Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been formed by a desire to leave a mark, resulting in spray-painted cars, sharpie-covered computer printers, ink-splattered walls, and stories told in books, in magazines, and on stages. Maggie Stiefvater lives in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

About the Illustrator

Morgan Beem
Morgan Beem

A story artist and illustrator with experience and focus in sequential art, comics, and other forms of visual narrative and story telling.

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!

Happy Wandering!

6 thoughts on “ARC Book Review | Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. I have never ever ever read a graphic novel and comics are a bit of a niche thing in SA. But I love Maggie Stiefvater and this does draw attention. Might see if I can read it on the tablet.

    You did a lot of effort in your post, it looks lovely and catches the eye.

    Hope you are well!

    Elza Reads

    1. Oh really? Never?? I think this would be a good one to start with. Or Rainbow Rowell’s Pumpkinheads. I loved that one, too! But I think I’d read anything Maggie wrote. I love her writing style so much.

      Thank you for stopping by! Happy Reading! <3

  2. The illustrations are so beautiful and the story sounds very unique! It’s been a while since I’ve read graphic novels, but I’m curious now. I do most of my reading on the Kindle, but I wonder if the apps would also work on a computer because I can’t imagine reading on my teeny phone screen!

    1. They are gorgeous illustrations! I’m sure you can read it on your computer if you purchase it. Through Netgalley the only way to read it was via a PDF on the Bluefire app, and my iPad is too old to download Bluefire. 😉 Yeah, I don’t recommend reading it on your phone, although it’s not impossible. But it’s hard to appreciate it fully. <3

  3. Great reivew, Dedra! The illustrations are so classic “comic book” and I don’t know why but it’s different to what I expected from looking at the cover 😂 I don’t know about the Swamp Thing and I’ve also never read anything by Stiefvater although I have quite a few of her books on my shelf, but I love GN and I’m very curious about this one! 🙂

  4. I hope you give it a try, but mostly I hope you give Maggie a try. 😉 She’s one of my top 3 favorite authors. I’ve even attended a writer’s workshop she hosted three hours away last year. She’s so much fun! <3

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