Note: An ebook of this graphic novel was provided to me for an honest review.

I wanted to love this. I really did. But I just can’t. The premise sounded so promising: a world in which ghosts were stuck in our realm, focusing on a small team in London who’s determined to take them down. I noticed small spelling and grammatical errors from the beginning, and the more I went on, the more I found. This may not bother a lot of people, but I’m an editor, so it bothered me a lot and was distracting. That being said, this was an ebook copy, so I’m not sure if a final print version has these mistakes corrected or not.

The beginning few chapters didn’t really set up the world or current situation very well, as I was constantly feeling like I missed something or like information just hadn’t been addressed. If this was done to create suspense, it would make sense, but there was no explanation as to why spirits were trapped, how they can take them down with guns, or what an inspectre or spectral even was in this world. Throughout the story, it felt like it jumped around a lot, as if panels had been cut but nothing was done to stitch together the panels still there.

I didn’t really care for the characters, either. I just couldn’t become emotionally invested in them. Pickles seemed like such a jerk, and Trish was a stereotypical “tough girl” and Todd was the “gentle giant.” In the dialogue, there were just too many cliches and lines that we’ve all heard before. I did really like how the monsters and ghosts were illustrated, and that was probably my favorite thing in the whole book. There were art style changes in later chapters, which weren’t bad but I wasn’t expecting them.

The climax and ending of the plot came up really quick, and once it started the ending, the rest was a bit predictable. Once it was finished, I just didn’t really feel anything, which is usually how I judge a book I’ve just read. There were just a lot of places where there could have been more. This might be better for younger audiences (even though it’s suggested for “mature audiences”) because they haven’t had as much exposure to all of the cliches and tropes used throughout this book, so they may enjoy it more than I did.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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2 thoughts on “Shiver Bureau: Welcome to London by Walter Ostlie

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