Book Review: Hopeless, Maine: Sinners by Tom and Nimue Brown

hopeless maine sinners cover shows woman standing in flying boatHello, traveller.

This review will contain spoilers for Hopeless, Maine: The Gathering which I have reviewed here. You have been warned! This is your final warning! Don’t go below this line unless you are okay with major spoilers for The Gathering!

We return to the island of Hopeless. Some time has passed. And Owen, who left the island at the end of The Gathering, returns. In the nature of these stories, he is now expected to have all the answers. Which he doesn’t, although he does have a nice earring and better hair.

This time around, there is something in the air of Hopeless. Perhaps it is getting into people’s heads, or perhaps people are simply very good at building their own hells. One of the wonderful things about the worldbuilding here is that it could be either, or both, and the story would still work. There is an inexplicable illness going round, and there are, maybe, vampires. There are things in the mist.

And there is Salamandra, living in her granfather’s lighthouse, stubbornly trying to figure out what to do now. She is still not a witch. There are still not a lot of options available. And things thought buried keep bubbling to the surface in a way that is both fantastical and wholly believable, while her and Owen struggle with, well, everything.

The art, as ever, is exquisite. All of the chapter title pages are plays on famous art pieces, and there is a series of pencil-coloured spreads in which a whole other story is taking place. I’ve read Sinners twice now, and re-read The Gathering, and I can say that it is always worth looking at the art for a while – there are generally things hidden in it.

Sinners has the same sense of bittersweet humour that was in The Gathering, and I found it very touching. I particularly enjoyed the sense that, although we are on a strange island in bizarre circumstances, the people are all very much people with hopes and dreams and fears (lots of those), who have histories, and who make terrible mistakes. And I had a great deal of fun picking up all the strings that ran through The Gathering and continue into Sinners. My only complaint is that, if you have eyesight that isn’t brilliant, the text is all a bit small.

Read this book: remember the sun…


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Also, for anybody confused about reading Hopeless Maine – there are multiple copies out and about. My understanding is that the series was published with Archaia, and that they published Personal Demons and Inheritance. The series then moved to Sloth Comics. Sloth comics published The Gathering, which includes the main story parts of Personal Demons and Inheritance as well as the Blind Fisherman prelude (which is really rather vital!), although it does not have the same extra tentacles as Personal Demons and Inheritance (information on the island’s famous families, for example). There are still copies of the Archaia versions floating around, but the writers don’t get any money from those any moreSinners (now published by Sloth) is technically volume two.

Also, a disclaimer, I know the authors. But I’m still reviewing honestly, because that’s my jam.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gothicmangaka
    Jul 12, 2018 @ 09:44:21

    Reblogged this on The Hopeless Vendetta and commented:
    FIRST review of Hopeless, Maine-Sinners!

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Hopeless Maine Sinners – a review | Druid Life
  3. Trackback: Hopeless Maine Sinners – a review – WiccaWeb
  4. Trackback: Hopeless Maine Sinners – a review – Your Success 101

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