Review: Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth Media Tie-In

12:04 AM

Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth Media Tie-In | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss+ by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

First thing: there were A LOT of things I really enjoyed about Deadly Class! Riveting, darkly entertaining and full of some intriguing characters an unique setting. Second thing, ah, second? There as one MASSIVE thing I didn't like about it... the good news is that the massive thing had to do with the central villain, which is very fitting and is keen on making me hate the bad guy thoroughly. But, it is still something that made me dock that extra point because the shuddering that I put into this single character took me out of the story.

We'll get to that in a minute. I'd rather focus on the good in Deadly Class because frankly there was a lot more good in the graphic novel than bad. Well, that's actually a bad way to word it because the story itself is dark and morally, the characters are not the good guys and reside in the gray, "I'm an assassin but somehow still likable" end of the spectrum. What I liked most about Deadly Class was the action, the jump-and-dive of nearly every violent page.

My friend had hyped up Deadly Class to me right before I began to read volume one by saying, "The characters are oddly lovable and stick to you like Harry Potter characters do, for some reason. Oh, and their school is like Hogwarts but for assassins." I asked him if I include this in my review because it's actually really kind of true?

This isn't your typical YA (but not) graphic novel: it's much more than that. Deadly Class is at its smartest when it combines the dark and gritty tone with the colours in its graphics, the slight hints of humor and truth.

I am always into stories more when they combine genres and Deadly Class has these tropes common to assassin/action based stories and coming of age stories; its structure is almost like, the way the main character is taken in, that of a superhero origin story. Only these characters aren't heroes. And this isn't a tale of redemption--Deadly Class is fueled on violence, intensity, absurdities and revenge.

I loved it for these reasons. Plus, I genuinely enjoyed the art. It really added a lot for the bleakness. In terms of atmosphere, Deadly Class felt like the tip of a knife pressed against your throat. The addition and use of imagery sharpened that knife.

Deadly Class isn't for the lighthearted reader and at times will require a stomach that doesn't jerk at subtle, and sharp, tugs of gore. I wouldn't call it gory, despite the plotlines, but it's still enough that it won't be for everyone.

Further, the villain is gross. This is great for the hatred of him. And the fear. And confusion.

However, it takes a lot for me to be grossed out by stuff. So, this surprised me. That it was so quick to unsettle and disturb me enough to draw me away from everything else in it. I'm a fan of horror. I find sustenance in the genre and have a particular love for the psychological aspects of it. I'm a fan of thrillers and actions and the like.

So, I am conflicted in it? It just felt unnecessarily gross and I won't go into it beyond the villain has some... disgusting relationships with animals that is mostly implied. So, this wasn't something I was keen of and even now, I'm grossed out. Sexual violence is something I am always going to be hugely squeamish over, so that should tell you all you need to know about the villain.

That being said: I loved the main characters, the kids at the school, and the atmosphere. This was nearly perfect!

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