Book Review | Odessa by Jonathan Hill

Title: Odessa

Author: Jonathan Hill

Publisher: Oni Press

Release Date: 10th November 2020

Source: NetGalley
Three siblings search for their missing mother across a ruined America in this original graphic novel perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Neal Shusterman. 

Eight years ago an earthquake—the Big One—hit along the Cascadia fault line, toppling cities and changing landscapes all up and down the west coast of the United States. Life as we know it changed forever. But for Vietnamese-American Virginia Crane, life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left and never came back.

Ginny has gotten used to a life without her mother, helping her father take care of her two younger brothers, Wes and Harry. But when a mysterious package arrives for her eighteenth birthday, her life is shaken up yet again. For the first time, Ginny wants something more than to survive. And it might be a selfish desire, but she's determined to find out what happened to her mother—even if it means leaving her family behind.

The Cascadia fault line, I had to look it up and the first result heralds THE EARTHQUAKE THAT WILL DEVASTATE THE PACIFIC NORTH WEST , living in Scotland an earthquake is not something I need to worry about when I wake up in the morning, 6 feet of snow - yes, a large chasm opening in front of my house - no.  I know to a lot of people in this region the worry must be very real.

Odessa is set 8 years after a massive earthquake strikes the fault line, devastating the west coast and taking many lives with it. Our main character is Virginia or Ginny as she prefers to be called, the older sibling to two younger brothers. She lives a quiet life with the boys and her father in a rural settlement, life is very different to what is once was.

An unexpected parcel arrives on her eighteenth birthday from her Mother, it sets Ginny off on a trip to find her but the world has changed and people aren’t as kind and helpful as they once where, everyone is out for themselves and Ginny’s journey wont be easy especially when she finds out her brothers have sneaked along too.

The majority of graphic novels I read are colourful affairs with every colour of the rainbow but this one has a near monochromatic colour scheme which I think works really well.  A dystopian future I usually imagine as quite dark and foreboding so this scheme does the job nicely.

The siblings are perfectly written, they bicker and fight as siblings do, they also look out for each other.  The adult characters vary from crazed bikers to kindly strangers, they each play their part well.

A good read, definitely worth checking out.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.



  1. This sounds like a compelling read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I don't read a ton of graphic novels but I'm intrigued by the dystopian setting in this one, so I might just have to check it out. :)

    1. I never used to read so many graphic novels but now I’m obsessed!

  3. This sounds like a good book.

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you are reading graphic novels as well. I adored Persepolis graphic novel and felt the black and white imagery along with huge facial expressions were perfect. I'll look into it, and although I'm not promising, I'll try to comment on this in my next blog post.

    1. I’ve not read that one, I shall have to check it out. I love graphic novels!


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