Mini-reviews: ‘Saga’ Vols. 1-4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

What’s This Book About?

Genre: Science-fiction (graphic novel/ongoing comic)

Synopsis: When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. This story sweeps across space following the star-crossed young couple as they struggle to raise their baby in a hostile universe…including fending off lethal assassins, alien monstrosities, rampaging armies and more.

Content warning: Highly graphic (sex and violence). Quite dark and mature themes.

What I Thought:

Volume 1: 4/5 paper planes

There were plot twists galore, a climbing death toll, incredibly imaginative alien designs and hilarious dialogue. It was also full of compelling characters and used multiple POVs to great effect.

It was initially slightly confusing with the world(s)-building, and hard to follow the daughter’s narration as it often spans many pages. Small niggles though! I sometimes wonder if it really needs to be so graphic (especially with sex-related illustrations)…

Great ending, made me burst out laughing! I binge read this, it was so addictive. 

Volume 2: 5/5 paper planes

Even better than Vol.1! It made the smart choice of weighting the number of POVs so we get to know some of the key protagonists a bit better, though with glimpses of important events happening elsewhere. Seamless POV transitions, with excellent character introductions and plot twists.

It had everything that was amazing about Vol. 1 and the way the setting was built up was much less confusing. (Though in part this could be due to this being the second volume). And good Lord, what a cliffhanger!

Easily my favourite of the four volumes I’ve read so far.

Volume 3: 4/5 paper planes

On the whole, this was great. Had pretty much all the hallmarks of ‘Saga’: wacky aliens, fast paced action, unexpected twists, hilarious moments – and that ending was truly jaw-dropping.

I liked that the character Prince Robot IV was developed more. He’s quite complex – you’re never quite sure if he’s going to help or hurt.

However, I found the ‘gay rights’ scene jarring – it didn’t flow naturally at all with the previous piece of dialogue. It felt forced, and they could have portrayed it so much better if they truly were concerned with having ‘Saga’ deal with this important social issue. I was also unconvinced by the romantic development of one of the couples…it all happened so quickly I hardly blinked between them teaming up and the L-bomb being dropped.

Volume 4: 4/5 paper planes

The death toll in this series is like sci-fi ASOIAF/Game of Thrones level. Goodness me.

A new wildcard antagonist is introduced here, and boy are they terrifying. What’s extra scary is that I actually understand his motives…they may be a nutter but they’re a nutter who believes they’re absolutely justified in taking their vengeance and ‘bettering’ the lives of their brethren.

I like a twist of meaning, and for fear of spoiling, all I’m going to say is that “split up” did not come to mean what I’d expected. At all. I will confess that I was disappointed in some of the characters’ choices. They didn’t make that much sense to me, but even so, I’m looking forward to Vol. 5!

Thanks for reading! Have you read ‘Saga’ and what did you think? Do you have any graphic novel/comic recommendations? Let me know below!

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