[Review] Odessa by Jonathan Hill

★★★★☆

graphic novel | young adult | dystopia

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.


I haven’t read anything this fast in a while. Odessa is a heartwarming graphic novel about three siblings that travel through a post-apocalyptic America in search of their mother, who left them years ago and was presumed dead. The world is dangerous out there but there is always someone willing to give a helping hand.

Loved the story and relationships developed here, Ginny and her brothers embark on an uncertain journey, leaving their father behind, in an attempt to find their mother even though they don’t know where she is. The path is filled with territorial gangs and even monsters but that doesn’t stop the siblings in their search. They meet people that are willing to help them, and others that are trying to destroy them, but there is no doubt that what matters here is the journey. There are a few dark themes through the volume, talks about death, murders, cannibalism; although very superficial, it is still mentioned.

I liked the characters, while not all of them are equally developed or explored yet the story has not finished and I can see there is quite a lot to see, so there is still a chance. My favorite so far is probably Four Dollars, he has a lot of internal conflict due to his past and the way the Great Disaster affected his life. He is also funny, ok? I’m still somewhat on the rope with Ginny, she seems to be overly-heroic, but also a little naive when it comes to the harsh reality of how things work and it’s sometimes a little too stubborn. Her brothers are still not very developed? Wes does his best to contribute in a way and Harry is the youngest brother, that’s pretty much what I can say about him. However, at the end of this volume, he goes through a change and I want to see how that affects him.

The art is amazing, I loved the illustrations of the ruins and the crowds, Jonathan Hill did a great job at portraying the state of the world after the earthquakes destroyed everything. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, a tragedy, but I loved the style and felt that it was very suitable for the story.

I will certainly look forward to the second volume, the characters’ journey has not ended and I want to know what else they will find in it.

3 thoughts on “[Review] Odessa by Jonathan Hill

  1. I’m glad you liked this one! I’ve not read a lot of graphic novels myself but I recently got Odessa on NG and I’m really excited to read it. Great review! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

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