Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sailor Twain ~ Mark Siegel review

Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson
First Second
October 2, 2012
400 pages
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When Twain, captain of the Lorelei, a river boat travelling the Hudson River, finds an injured mermaid on the deck, Sailor Twain begins -- as does the beginning of a journey Twain never imagined.

Twain isn't seduced by the mermaid as he found her (and not she him) and hasn't heard her song, but he falls under her spell in a different way. Deciding to keep her on board, nurse her back to health, he also decides to keep her a secret. Twain's life becomes increasingly difficult with his new acquaintance and his secret.

Sailor Twain is a story where mermaids are part of fiction - through a reclusive author and their writings - as well as through other characters beliefs and/or possible interactions.

I don't read a lot of graphic novels -- okay, let's be honest, I'd only read the Buffy Season 8 ones already -- but the story of Mark Siegel's Sailor Twain sounded interesting to me when I saw it on Library Thing's Early Reviewer's page. Then I saw that it was an (adult) graphic novel.

But it was about mermaids and something I would have read as a novel sans 'graphic' prefix, so it would be unfair to let the genre stop me.

I think it'd also be unfair to let it stop anyone else who doesn't ordinarily read graphic novels from reading Sailor Twain. Yes, it's a graphic novel, but it's very much not a comic book. It has a pretty complex story line that unravels over it's 400 pages.

The illustrations were very nice. Some were more detailed than others and even though having some drawings left more as line drawings has bothered me before, it worked here.

Sailor Twain is an adult graphic novel. The mermaid is topless throughout the story and there are some 'erotic' scenes/images, content. Overall, however, I wouldn't say it goes past YA (or older YA).

I will say that the ending did not work for me. It seemed rushed and left me feeling like I had missed something - that or as if a character's actions didn't fit/hadn't been worked in enough. Whatever exactly it was, I was expecting a bit *more.*

Rating: 7/10

thank you to the publisher and Library Thing's ER for providing my copy to review


  1. This sounds really interesting. I've only read a few graphic novels (mostly YA adaptations) so I'd be interested in checking this out. Thanks for sharing!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

  2. Graphic novels are hit or miss for me. But I do love looking at the pictures!


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