Taproot, by Keezy Young
Publisher: Lion Forge
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means… leaving him.
This was short but super powerful. You really feel the depth of emotion and the power behind what is causing all these ghosts to hang around. There is a lot going on for such a short story, but I feel like it didn’t get too overwhelmed or bogged down. It was still clear and explained everything in a way that made sense. Keep in mind it is a graphic novel so there is more art to express what is happening than words and that’s how it is supposed to be.
It was somehow exactly what I needed a ghost boyfriend book to be. I want to read an entire novel of their entire relationship. It’s so good, how dare you make this so short!!!!!! However, that would negate the need for all of the absolutely beautiful artwork. The colors fit the story so well with all of the greens and blues of Hamal’s world, but also the grays and blacks of the mysterious force that comes into play. The linework was also well done and I appreciated that they went with softer lines.
Usually, I’m not big on romance in my graphic novels but this was really interesting and well done. I liked that everyone just thought Hamal was a weirdo who talked to himself but in reality, he had a bunch of ghosts he kept company. That was super charming. Hamal’s sexuality was never clearly defined so he could be bisexual or pansexual depending on how you want to read him. I put bisexual as his label because he said he liked boys and girls but if you’re interested in pansexual or non-binary characters this book would interest you.
My only complaint is that I wish we could have gotten more of Blue’s backstory. He’s really sweet and I like him but I want to know more about how he died and who he is. We get to know Hamal really well but Blue is still a mystery.
I had originally received a copy that didn’t have the epilogue but was sent the full story by the author. The epilogue really adds to the story and makes the ending feel less abrupt so I’m glad they sent it to me.
Plant boyfriends for the win!
Keezy Young is a comic artist from the Pacific Northwest. She writes and draws fantasy and scifi comics focusing on queer characters and experiences.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.