On A Sunbeam

On A Sunbeam

Graphic Novel - 2018
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In two interwoven timelines, a ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together; and two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love, only to learn the pain of loss.
Publisher: New York, NY : First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781250178145
1250178142
9781250178138
1250178134
Branch Call Number: YA 741.5973 W144o 2018
Characteristics: 533 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 22 cm

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A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together; and two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love, only to learn the pain of loss. Walden's "Spinning" is also available as a digital download.

Beautiful science fiction comic, with two interwoven stories. In one a team travels to far, isolated places to restore damaged structures. In the other, two girls fall in love in boarding school, only to face tragedy.


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What an absolutely wonderful, genuine, magical story. This is part space opera, part found-family adventure, part high school romance, and all heart, all the way through.

Mia is part of a construction crew that restores old buildings in space. It's a dangerous job, because in this world, space has been colonized, and there are new planets and societies aplenty. Amidst this expansive universe, though, Mia only wants one thing: to be reunited with the girl she loves.

This graphic novel truly has it all. In it for the story? This one is perfectly paced, with alternating flashbacks and present day stories that keep everything moving along and connected in unexpected ways. In it for the characters? This one has a colourful cast that will absolutely tug at your heartstrings and leave you longing for more. In it for the art? This one has STUNNING illustrations that perfectly capture the feeling of each time period, each character, each moment of the story.

I enjoyed the time I spent reading this immensely. I'm a sucker for a good character-driven novel, and I would definitely say that applies here, though there is no lack of action; I was constantly so curious about the characters and how they got to this point. Mia is so fiery, yet soft, and Grace is wonderfully complex in her motivations and backstory. The combination of the two of them and their slow burn relationship took me off guard with how much I loved it all.

I'm on a real graphic novel kick recently, and I would say this is close to my favourite that I've read, other than Mooncakes (for very different reasons!). I just lost myself in this world, and I loved every aspect of it.

Originally a web comic, Tillie Walden brings to life a fantastical world with her writing and her art. A cast of all female characters navigate abandoned buildings in space, cleaning them up for various companies. Though they try to forget their past, that's not possible. The art is breathtaking, reminding me a bit of the Saga series.

s
Sophia222
Aug 16, 2019

Every aspect of this story was incredible. The artwork was beautiful, yet poignant. The characters were tangible and real (and almost all of them were LGBTQ+). The story itself was fascinating from start to finish. I love dystopian and futuristic novels and this one exceeded my expectations--it was nothing like anything I have read before. The book follows the life of a young adult girl who struggled to survive highschool and is now flying around space repairing ancient monuments. I love how the author layered in other stories within the book and the way everything came together at the end. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves futuristic fiction.

c
cv4n
Aug 12, 2019

My daughter, 12, loved this book. Read it 2-3 times in 24 hours.

I couldn't put this book down as soon as I got it from my friend. The book has a wide cast, and i found a piece of myself within each character. I love this novel and would recommend it to any and everyone, considering the impact it had on me.

SCL_Justin Jun 20, 2019

Until the last chunk of the story this space opera is very quiet. There's a boarding school story and a space-crew story (set about five years later) and they're both lgbtq love stories. The colouring is beautiful and the space ship designs as well as the architecture are organically excellent, done with a delicate line. Actually, delicate is the adjective that works best for the whole book. It's great, and even though it does build up to an actiony set-piece finale that feels a lot less important than the exploration of how delicate relationships, even strong ones, can be.

l
Linyarai
Apr 14, 2019

I don't normally like Space Adventures, but this was interesting even if I had trouble telling some of the characters apart.

IndyPL_AustinS Mar 20, 2019

Tillie Walden's writing and artwork continue to amaze me. Whether she is writing something autobiographical like "Spinning" or science-fiction like this, her artwork and writing fit perfectly. Walden trades ice skates for starscapes and a traditional family for a more creative one here, and it drew me in throughout. I loved the story and relished the turn of every page.

Hillsboro_ElenaG Mar 19, 2019

A beautiful story of a chosen family of queer folks on an interplanetary construction/demolition crew, and a blossoming teen relationship severed by circumstance that may or may not be recoverable. The story is lovely, and the color palette of the illustrations in muted primary colors is perfect for this soft sci-fi tale, but this was originally a webcomic and the transition to print didn't do a kindness to the text, which is minuscule, or the fine detail, making it hard to distinguish between a couple of the characters.

Readers may prefer to enjoy this story in its original form, which is still available online.

s
steffcrabz
Jan 02, 2019

This book is LGTQ+ friendly and I highly recommend it. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story revolves around queer love and doing everything and anything to feel like you belong. Community is life or death for queer people and this graphic novel reaches deep into that honesty while putting a beautiful sci-fi twist to it.

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WVMLlibrarianShannon Feb 15, 2019

WVMLlibrarianShannon thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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burgundy_wren_15
Oct 23, 2018

burgundy_wren_15 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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