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Thursday, September 9, 2021

#NetGalley: Hematite, Serenade by Victoria Maderna, Federico Piatti

This is an engaging YA graphic novel.
1. Serenade
by Script by Victoria Maderna, Federico Piatti and
art by Victoria Maderna, Federico Piatti
57921175. sx318
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0973B8MSN
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Europe Comics (June 23, 2021)
Genre: Comics, Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Science Fiction, YA
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Hematite is a young vampire who is trying to find her way. As a member of the illustrious Blackwood family, she faces pressure to conform to high society standards, but such grandstanding isn’t for her. And neither is drinking blood—she’d rather have vegetable soup! So it is that she opts for the more diverse Wolven School, rather than joining the ranks of her fellow vampires at the Diaemus Academy. Being different can be hard, though, and doesn’t always help to make friends. Luckily for Hematite, she has her poetry, as well as Drunela—a draugr who won’t let their differences keep them apart—and Emile, a human boy fascinated by the occult who would just love to take a peek at the Blackwood’s private library. Unfortunately, bridging societal divides isn’t always easy, and can lead to terrible consequences…


Hematite is a vampire teenager trying to find her position in life. She doesn’t agree with the cold attitudes of her high society parents. But she struggles to fit in as the first vampire attending the Wolven School rather than the ‘more prestigious’ vampire academy.

Hematite writes in her journal, particularly noting in verse her unrequited love for a human boy, Emile. Hematite shares time with her best friend, Drunela, a draugr (ghoul) who tries to bring Hematite together with her other supernatural friends, a werewolf (Berthe), a jellied creature (Alphonse), and a skeleton (Frida). Hematite is suffering from her conflicting thoughts and is having trouble controlling bursts of anger. She fears that she might hurt Emile.

Hematite gets up to mischief with Drunela and her other friends. The jealousy exists but a shared danger finally draws them together. Hematite then gets to have some time with Emile who is thrilled to see all of the ancient books in her family library. But the visit ends in an accident and tragedy settles on Hematite’s heart. Can she and her friend find a way to make things better? That will be disclosed in the next book.

I totally enjoyed the contrasting light and dark themes of the story. Friendship is the heavy element that ties the characters together. I am interested to see what happens in the next book. The drawings are wonderful. They have a dark undertone consistent with the characters. This is a perfect book to read in October – the supernatural month. This is fine for children, with teachable moments. I recommend this to fans of graphic novels, vampires, other supernatural creatures, and friendship!

Source 2021 NetGalley. This qualifies for 2021NetGalley goal.

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