The Divine

Boaz Lavie

Book - 2015

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 a...nd 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. From world-reknowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast-paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed.

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy comics
Graphic novels
Published
New York : First Second 2015.
©2015
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
149 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781596436749
1596436743
Main Author
Boaz Lavie (author)
Other Authors
Assaf Hanuka (artist), Tomer Hanuka
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This action thriller with horror overtones casts familiar elements into new shapes and offers an adult adventure like nothing else available. Mark is an explosives expert who, despite his better judgment, signs onto a freelance job with his amoral partner. In Quanlom, a fictional Southeast Asian country, the pair are assisting the military when Mark is lured in by a group of child soldiers intent on forcing a showdown between ancient magic and modern technology. The book's highly cinematic storytelling, pace, and visuals come as no surprise considering two of the three creators have a background in film. This lends wonder to the unique fantasy elements that burst onto the scene as the troubling climax careens ever closer. Lavie never allows the unreal to undermine the tale's gravity, though; he consistently grounds the story by emphasizing Mark's innate empathy and establishing believable human relationships. Serving both the reality and the fantasy of the proceedings are the Hanuka brothers' incredible crisp, candy-colored imagery, summoning both the humidity of the jungle war zone and the awe of divine powers at play, and always alive with the immediacy and dynamism of top-level animation. Stunning artwork and creeping dread weave together in this satisfying and moving page-turner. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Heady, hellacious, and phantasmagoric, Israeli filmmaker Lavie's (The Lake) debut graphic novel—illustrated by veteran artists the Hanuka twins (Bi-Polar, The Realist)—feels like something Alex Garland would have come up with after bingeing on Apocalypse Now outtakes. Mark is an explosives expert whose economic anxieties are ratcheted up by his wife's pregnancy. When near-psychotic old pal Jason promises a weird gig for great pay—all they have to do is go down to the Southeast Asian nation of Quanlom and rig an entire mountain for controlled demolition—Mark jumps. Once in Quanlom the mood pivots from merely ominous to outright wartime nightmare, as Mark is taken prisoner by some particularly vicious preadolescent rebels. The story gets more and more violent and fantasy-like from there. The Hanukas' layered illustrations coat everything with a hyperreal glaze, accentuating the story's dreamlike aspects. The only off-key note comes at the very end, when a source of tragic real-life inspiration casts this otherwise gripping book in somewhat of a sour light. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When his old army buddy offers him a lucrative contract in the obscure Southeast Asian country of Quanlom, Mark winds up with more than he can handle.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"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. From world-reknowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast-paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed. "--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERMark'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. From world-renowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast-paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed.