How did I get it: I bought this book and two other Mouse Guard titles in the series back in March from the Archaia Studio Press at C2E2.
Why did I read it: Insomnia. And I love both warriors and rodents so fusing/pairing those ideas together always works well for me.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination. Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard’s own ranks.
Review: Before I had my first amazing pet mouse, I read this book and since then I hadn’t given it much thought because no other graphic novels were available in this series at the time. Last night when sleep seemed unlikely to ever stop by, I turned on the lights and stared at my hyperactive mice for awhile. Eventually I noticed this book sticking out from my bookcase. Since then I have been kicking myself for forgetting all about Mouse Guard because this book was fantastic and probably one of the nicest graphic novels I’ve ever read in terms of layout, binding, and color.
I was occasionally distracted by how freakin’ adorable the mice were, but by no means would I call this graphic novel cutesy. Not only were the illustrations simultaneously glorious, action-packed, moving, precious, and occasionally scary, the story itself was sort of like Redwall on speed. I really loved how distinct the personalities that were given to the mice and I loved reading about their journeys. There was a degree of predictability to what happened, but I really didn’t care much. Reading about mice taking on crabs, snakes, and other misguided mice bent on taking the power back for themselves was equal parts charming and just plain cool.
In conclusion, even better than I remembered and a surprisingly excellent cure for insomnia. I also came away from the book with even more potential names for future mice, but I suspect none of these are incentives for most people when it comes to reading. SO! If you love perfectly executed graphic novels and/or awesome adventures about animals behaving sort of like humans but still being portrayed with a sweet, striking degree of realism to their features, you need to get Mouse Guard ASAP. I myself will be moving right along to volume 2 then hopefully going to a comic book store to get the issues of Mouse Guard: The Black Axe that are already out.
PS – Since I feel like seeing is a gateway drug to reading in this case, here is a picture of Lieam that was recently posted on David Petersen‘s blog. Honestly… Is this not the cutest sword-wielding mouse you’ve ever seen?