Sunday, February 3, 2019

Winter Reading 2019 Over the Wall

Anya climbs over the wall into the abandoned city looking for her brother. He and the other young men his age entered the city the day before for their manhood trial and he is the only one who didn't return to his family. Memories of him are slowly escaping from their minds and Anya can't even think of his name, but she is determined to save him.

Inside the city, everything is desolate and there are only demons left in the places that used to hold hundreds of humans. With the help of a possibly reliable resident, Anya sets out into the empty streets to search for her brother. 

Scenes vary from closeups of details to long views of the echoing avenues and architecture. Readers get a small bit of backstory from what Anya shares with her brother when trying to revive some of his memory, but are left wanting more. The limited palette of black, white, and purple adds to the shadowy and eerie tone of the story.

I met the creator, Peter Wartman, at ALA Midwinter and had my first introduction to Anya's world.


  1. Your personal take on the book? Recommended? Thanks!

  2. If you know middle grade or older readers who enjoy fantasy and don't mind that some of the characters are "demons," I would recommend it. Some families do not want their kids reading books with magic or what they consider occult elements and would not approve of the nonhuman characters because of their name. The smaller demon that is shown on the cover actually reminds me of the dragon Mushu from the movie "Mulan." There are a lot of panels with no text, just the images to convey the mood or the action, so this is also a good book for struggling or reluctant readers.

    And for those who enjoy it, there is another book after this one, Stonebreaker. (The story of Anya began as a webcomic and can be found on the website for those who want to check out more of the artwork and story.)