Swamp Thing: Twin Branches – First Impressions + Teaser!

Hey Book Lovers!

I’ve got another sneak peak at the up-coming Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater and Morgan Beem! You’re seriously not going to want to miss this graphic novel friends!

First up: a big thank you to NetGalley and DC Entertainment for the advanced e-ARC of the graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. Another big thank you to DC Entertainment for the ability to share these sneak peaks each week until release day! I’ve been having a lot of fun reading this graphic novel and I’m so excited to share parts of it with all of you!

A quick reminder of what Swamp Thing: Twin Branches is all about:

cover of Swamp Thing: Twin Branches. Cover includes the silhouettes of two young men facing away from each other--one is a yellow green and one is filled with plants.

From #1New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the
Raven Cycle series) and artist Morgan Beem comes DC’s newest
young adult original graphic novel, the spine-tingling saga Swamp
Thing: Twin Branches. In the pages of this haunting retelling of the Swamp Thing origin story, teenage twin brothers Alec and Walker Holland arrive in Virginia for their last summer before college, but while Walker thrives in the light of parties and social life, Alec recedes into the cool darkness of the lab, driven to finding answers in his plant experiment on consciousness and memory. But what Alec comes to realize is that the experiment isn’t about solving nature’s riddles, but about finding out who he really is. And though these twin brothers have grown apart, they share the same roots – and will unite once more before splintering apart forever.

Swamp Thing: Twins Branches is a haunting coming-of-age story about growing into who you’re meant to be, and the sacrifices you make to protect the people you love. This original young adult graphic novel is aimed at readers ages 13+ and deftly interweaves in social issues like bullying, peer pressure and living with a medical condition, while examining themes like
growing up, the importance of communication, sharing memories and experiences, and overcoming trauma. Swamp Thing: Twin Branches hits stores everywhere books are sold on 10/13/2020.

Peaking your interest? You can preorder Swamp Thing: Twin Branches right here.

Before I share the sneak peaks, I want to share some first impression of Swamp Thing so far! I’ve only read halfway through the graphic novel, but had to seriously force myself to stop reading all the way until the end so that I could give you all an honest first impressions based on the first half of the novel. So without further adieu, here are my first impressions:

First Impressions:

Let’s Talk Characters:

  • Alec and Walker are twins who have to move to Virginia for the summer. Walker is extroverted and easily makes friends. You can tell he’s full or life and definitely enjoys living that life. Alec is more withdrawn—introverted, but not really awkward in my opinion, just quiet. He withdraws into his own world and into his research — finding comfort in the lab and work he has built for himself. Stiefvater and Beem do a good job of showcasing the reasons for this in some flashback scenes. Honestly the dialogue and illustration pairing in this graphic novel is phenomenal. They work seamlessly together to showcase a full picture of Alec.
  • What I really loved seeing was how as a reader I could watch and pick up on Alec’s changing moods depending on who he was talking to and what he was talking about. You can really see (through the illustrations) and hear (through the dialogue) when Alec feels uncomfortable or less confident and then when he is more comfortable and confident—I really love being able to pick up on that and see it clearly—it really gives a full picture of Alec as a character

Let’s Talk Illustrations:

  • Like I mentioned above, the illustrations are BOMB in this graphic novel and work so well with the dialogue and written word. I love the seamlessness of the both interwoven together to create this story so clearly and beautifully. With that said, I have to say that I’m OBSESSED with the coloring in this graphic novel! I’m not sure if Beem did or oversaw the coloring or if it was all Jeremy Lawson, but the coloring is SO ON POINT! I’m in love with all the different shades of green, the muted yellows, pinks and purples—ugh, it’s so pretty and really fits the narrative of this story! You really get a sense that you’re in a “swamp” without every actually being in one just yet in the story. Gah, this is just SO WELL DONE!

Let’s Talk Storyline:

  • What I’m noticing so far in this graphic novel is that the storyline has a subtlety to it. You have to keep an eye on the hints the art is showing you outside of the dialogue. It’s there where you really start to see this story unfold! With that said, I still feel an urgency to turn the pages which means that I am invested in the story so don’t misconstrue my descriptions of “subtlety” as “borning,” because that’s not the case. It’s just that the suspense and “action” are less in your face and more interwoven within the whole story.
  • This first half of the story seems to be laying down a strong foundation to what might happen in the second half. Readers get to meet the secondary characters and really get a deep dive into who Alec is at this moment and where his mood and his “head” are at. I’m also enjoying the flashback scenes & how Stiefvater and Beem are utilizing flashbacks as a storytelling device—it really works for this storyline and I’m interested to see if they’ll be continuing in the second half of the novel
  • I definetly stopped reading in a critical point of the story that if this book ended there, I’d definitely saw was a cliff hanger…so I’m going to have to use all of my strength not read further until next week!

Let’s Talk Sceince:

  • Alright, so I was a bit hesitant with all the science lingo being throw around in this one, but really I think it actually works super well for this story. I don’t see it as a barrier or pulling me too far out of the story. Do I understand everything said? No, I don’t think so. But I also kind of think that is the point and as a way to really develop Alec’s character and some of the secondary characters as well. I don’t think it will turn readers off. I think it’s an asset to the storyline.

Favorite Quote:

Alec: “I’m attempting to isolate the sense of self and personal history in plant models with eventual expansion to human applications, with particular focus on glutamine use.”
Dr. Bleeker: “Who did you say your cousins were again?”
Alec: “Dalton and Jolie Patterson.”
Dr. Bleeker: “You’re sure?”
Alex: “You’re as shocked as I am.”
—— (this interaction really made me laugh!) (p.58)

Summary:

  • Swamp Thing: Twin Branches has a suspense that’s so seamlessly interwoven into the storyline that you barely realize that you’re turning the pages so fast to see what happens because of it and not because of some random cliffhangers or in your face action. The coloring in this one thrusts you into the setting so well that you’re in the “swamp” before you even realize it. Stievfater and Beem have masterly crafted a main character in Alec that I really feel like I’ve got a good handle on his characterization and am already invested in him and his story. I cannot wait to see what the second half of this novel will show! How will Alec react? How will his brother and family? How will the plants??? Eek cannot wait to continue with this one!

Ok, now for the most anticipated part of this whole post—-the sneak peaks!

(if you missed last week’s sneak peaks, check out my post from last week!)

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Sneak Peak page 62 of graphic novel. Alec and his twin brother are sitting on the hood of their car talking about a girl who smiled at Alec.
sneak peak of page 63 of graphic novel. Alec's brother is urging him to go talk to the girl while they both hold ice cream cones.
Sneak Peak page 64 of graphic novel. Alec's brother jumps off the hood of the car and urges Alec to come with him to talk to the girl one last time. Alec stays on the car and you can see his brother talking to the girls.
Sneak Peak of page 65 of graphic novel. Alec is alone on the hood of his car with his arms around his knees. He thinks "He makes being human look so easy..."
Let's Chat

Let me know how you’re enjoying these sneak peaks! Is Swamp Thing on your TBR? Have you read it already? Let me know all of your thoughts below!

Don’t forget you can pre-order Swamp Thing: Twin Branches here before it releases on Oct. 13!

Happy Reading!

xx, Nicole Lynn

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Hello! NicoleLynn here! I’m a twenty-something avid reader & lover of all things bookish! I enjoy both coffee & tea, a good slice of pie and cuddling with my kitty. I haunt libraries, cafés & bookstores 🙂 Then I write about all these things! ♥

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