Off the Shelf: Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale

Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale (Serenity, #3)Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale by Joss Whedon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At last, a look into the enigmatic Derrial Book’s life! Scenes from Book’s life are illuminated in a constant flashback, starting from his death in the movie Serenity and working backward to his childhood. These vignettes are interlocked & evocative, giving readers insight into the character as well as leaving a few questions unanswered. However, this graphic novel will give readers more closure than previous entry Serenity: Those Left Behind.

The structure of this unconventional timeline not only plays on the idea of “life flashing before one’s eyes”. It also serves the idea that Book himself mentions in the opening: that ripples of cause & effect move through time touching so many events it is hard to know what their true origin was. The writing served as a great tribute to the character that Ron Glass and Joss Whedon created together. Certain moments from the series came back to me as I paged back & forth through the story. The reveal that Book had fought on both sides of the War for Unification particularly brought more weight to his final words to Mal. Diehards will already have this graphic novel on the list, but Shepherd’s Tale will be more accessible to those just getting into the series too.

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