Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story is perhaps one of the most romantic and captivating stories yet in DC’s quickly expanding Young Adult lineup.
Never have I read a graphic novel that left me so breathless and instantly craving more. With writing by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle and art by the incredible Isaac Goodhart, this story of young, passionate love pulls at the heartstrings, and while it deals with many heavy issues such as loss, illness and death, it’s an absolute must-read for fans who enjoy good, complex love stories.
As DC fans, we all know that Victor Fries turns out to be one of Batman’s most villainous rogues, Mr. Freeze. However, do we really know what made him take on that role? What’s his backstory? This graphic novel just might give you an idea about who Victor Fries really is—the man behind the cold heart. Keep reading this Book Breakdown to discover more!
This cover is gorgeous and features our two main characters front and center, romantically looking into each other’s eyes. I like the fact that Victor and Nora are seen as if inside of a snow globe. Of course, we all know Victor has a fascination with the cold and we know who he will eventually turn out to be, and while that may be what most people think of when they think of the snow globe, I believe it represents the two characters together in their own little happy world together. The snow and ice represent their connection more than I think they serve as symbols of who Victor is. And of course, we can’t forget the title telling you exactly what kind of novel this is—Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story. And a love story indeed it is!
Tell Me A Story:
There’s so much greatness about this story that it is hard to fit into just a paragraph or two. The focus of this graphic novel really is the romance between the two main characters, Victor and Nora. We first meet Victor as a shy 17-year-old young man with a huge passion for cryogenics’ “cold science.” Victor has a pretty tragic past as he lost his older brother when he was younger in an accident he blames himself for. He often visits his brother in the cemetery, which is where he meets Nora Faria. Nora also has a pretty painful past, as she lost her mother when she was younger. Sadly, her present is no picnic either as she suffers from a terminal disease and only has a month or two left to live.
The two bond over their sad pasts although they couldn’t be any more different in their personalities. Victor is more shy and reserved, while Nora is very spontaneous and free. However, as they become friends and then grow more and more in love with each other, they help each other live out their lives to the fullest…until Nora’s time runs out. Once Victor finds out about her illness however, he formulates a plan based on cryogenic science. The question is whether Nora will be open to his idea for a potential cure. Read the book to find out!
Let’s Talk Art:
Isaac Goodhart’s art is, as usual, absolutely gorgeous. Goodhart is no stranger to the realm of DC’s YA graphic novels, as his work can be previously seen in the 2019 Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale (also written by Myracle). I just adore the way Goodhart draws his characters, as they tend to have very realistic and beautiful faces and one is able to see every little bit of emotion they’re feeling through his art.
One of my favorite aspects of this graphic novel is how Goodhart uses a different art style to indicate when Victor and Nora are thinking up different scenarios in their heads. He uses a Tim Burton-type style for one of Nora’s darker imaginings as well as a style that’s pure Golden Age for another scenario. It is all very clever, and makes it clear to the reader that those scenes are all going on inside the character’s head.
Lauren Myracle does a phenomenal job helping the reader get to know Victor and Nora. When reading, I felt as if I was falling in love with their relationship as they were falling in love with each other.
This story, like Under the Moon before it, deals with a lot of darker issues and I think Myracle tackled them well. Although the themes of this story can be considered very heavy, Myracle writes in a way that is inspiring and even uplifting. The characters’ attitudes towards difficult topics such as death or chronic illness is something that we could all learn from, as they take these hard situations they are given and try to turn them into something positive. The big one is their openness to falling in love, but there’s also Victor’s determination to find a cure for a deadly disease.
Voted Most Likely:
Without a doubt Victor would be voted Most Likely to Succeed. He already is quite successful in this story, even at 17 years old! You can easily see the scientist he’s destined to become emerging throughout the story. Victor’s work in cryogenics is already being praised by his seniors at the laboratory and ultimately, he succeeds in creating his Accela-Freeze compound, which allows him to freeze an organism without destroying its DNA.
Perfect Food Pairing:
I always love to recommend a perfect food pairing in all of my Book Breakdowns, so why should Victor and Nora be any different? For this graphic novel, I think the perfect, and most obvious, treat to eat while reading is something cold and sweet! A Popsicle, an ice cream cone, a snow cone or milkshake—any of these sweet treats would be perfect to enjoy. Honestly, how could you not eat something cold while reading a story about the future Mr. Freeze?
The Final Word:
Overall, I think this graphic novel is one that will stick with you for a long time after you read it. The themes are intense, but the love story itself is beautiful and touching and makes you wish all relationships could be as true and pure as the one Nora and Victor share. With outstanding writing by Myracle and gorgeous art by Goodhart, the story flows beautifully and leaves you wanting more. Definitely check out Victor and Nora as soon as you can get your hands on it, as you definitely don’t want to miss out on one of the most beautiful YA love stories I’ve read this year.
Amanda Levine loves everything DC, especially Harley Quinn, whom she often cosplays. Her favorite Young Adult books have always been Harry Potter and the amazing world that J.K. Rowling created. Be sure to follow her on Twitter at @pixiedust0623 and on Instagram at @pixiequinncosplay.
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