Book Review: I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1

I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever AfterTitle: I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young
Series: I Hate Fairyland #1
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Humour
Pages: 128
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 20th April 2016
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Rating: ★★★★

Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old's body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who hates Fairyland.

So, I’ve just finished I Hate Fairyland and it was… interesting.  The story is about Gertrude, a little girl who is taken to Fairyland, a colourful, cheery world full of magic.  To go home, all Gertrude needs to do is go on a quest and retrieve the magical key that will allow her to leave.  If only it were that simple.  Decades later, Gertrude is still searching for the key, going slowly insane in a fantasy world that is no longer quite so peaceful…

What an incredible premise for a story.  I had never considered what might happen if a child were to get stuck in a Wonderlandesque world, and now I’m traumatised by the thought.  With nobody but an exhausted, cynical animal guide to support her, Gertrude has found only one way to express her frustration: though constant, remorseless violence.  I was pretty certain from the cover that this would be a gruesome read, but I really had no idea just how gory a cartoon could be.

I Hate Fairyland, Vol 1

Gertrude’s rival in the story is Queen Cloudia, who despises Gertrude’s destructive personality.  The laws of Fairyland dictate that the Queen of Fairyland cannot harm a guest, so she sets about to find a loophole that she can use to her advantage to bring Gertrude down.  I liked the fact that the two main characters were both villains in their own way.

However, I think by the end of the volume, I was finding the violence, the writing, the plot, a little repetitive.  I would still read on to find out what happens, but I’m not sure a long series would be able to keep me engaged to the end.  I would have to hope for some major character development, as Gertrude’s attitude was fun for one volume, but I believe it would become boring relatively quickly.  She also seemed to be unfairly overpowered, and nothing seemed to really damage her – every character needs a weakness!  Therefore, I did find myself rooting for Queen Cloudia after just one chapter…

Overall though, it was a funny read, and the juxtaposition of cute and gory makes it a little different from what I usually read.

Happy reading,

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  1. 17th July 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Ooh I just found your blog through your Dorkface ad and I’m super excited because I’m newer to the graphic novel scene so could do with recommendations – I’m excited to see it’s one of the focuses of your blog! I just added this one to my wishlist on Goodreads. While it is disappointing that Gertrude doesn’t really have a weakness, the juxtaposition between the cute and gory has left me quite intrigued and the art style looks so fun and colorful that I’m definitely hoping to pick up a copy. Thanks for the great review! (And if you have any recommendations for must-read graphic novels, let me know! My favorites are Through the Woods and Nimona. Both so good for completely different reasons!)

    • 18th July 2018 / 11:28 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment! Ah, you have excellent taste in graphic novels – Nimona and Through the Woods are also two of my favourites, haha. With those titles in mind, I think you would enjoy The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, and Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (he wrote Scott Pilgrim!). If you were looking for a longer series then I cannot fault Saga – in fact, I’ve never read anything from Brian K. Vaughan that I didn’t like! I’d also love some recommendations if you know of any good titles I haven’t checked out yet!

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