ARC Review – The Divine by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Boaz Lavie

22718664Title: The Divine

Author: Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Boaz Lavie

Rating:  ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Mark’s out of the military, these days, with his boring, safe civilian job doing explosives consulting. But you never really get away from war. So it feels inevitable when his old army buddy Jason comes calling, with a lucrative military contract for a mining job in an obscure South-East Asian country called Quanlom. They’ll have to operate under the radar–Quanlom is being torn apart by civil war, and the US military isn’t strictly supposed to be there.

With no career prospects and a baby on the way, Mark finds himself making the worst mistake of his life and signing on with Jason. What awaits him in Quanlom is going to change everything.
What awaits him in Quanlom is weirdness of the highest order: a civil war led by ten-year-old twins wielding something that looks a lot like magic, leading an army of warriors who look a lot like gods. What awaits him in Quanlom is an actual goddamn dragon.

Huge thank you to First Second for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

So The Divine is a messed up read. It’s a story about child soldiers, mysticism, and a man who makes possibly the worst decision of his life — and just before the birth of his child!

Mark has no money, loses his job, and makes the decision to go to Quanlom, a war torn nation. There are two ten year old twins who aren’t afraid to make their guests feel welcome but cutting their throats open. Yeah, this comic is one part super stylish, the other being very gory. The twins will make you uncomfortable, feel disturbed and yet you know they live such a crappy life that whatever power they have they are going to use to make others feel the same way.

Plus there’s a mother f’in dragon. Cause every mystic needs a dragon to murder the world. It’s also damn scary.

Truthfully though, the story is quite interesting and disturbing, and it keeps it’s consistency throughout. However, this comic is also not for the faint of heart because some of the torture scenes are pretty graphic (truthfully I found them quite uncomfortable!), and you need to have a bit of a tough stomach. I appreciate the inspiration behind the The Divine, which was a photograph of two twin children smoking cigarettes, and the story the authors weave from it is fascinating.

I think The Divine is going to be very hit-or-miss with readers, and I do think that will have everything to do with the story and gore factor. I think if you’ve got a tough stomach you’ll find it to be quite the intense experience, and I actually enjoyed it because of that (even if it disturbed me so much). I think if the story gets lost on your, you won’t enjoy The Divine, but at least then you can enjoy the pretty pictures? ’cause the art is super super pretty.

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