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Serenity Volume 3: The Shepherd's Tale (Serenity series) [Kindle Edition]

Joss Whedon , Will Conrad , Laura Martin , Adam Hughes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

One of Serenity's greatest mysteries is finally revealed in The Shepherd's Tale, filling in the life of one of the show's most beloved characters-Shepherd Book! Who was Book before meeting Mal and the rest of the Serenity crew? How did he become one of their most trusted allies? And how did he find God in a bowl of soup? Answers to these and more questions about Book's past are uncovered in this original graphic novel by rising stars Zack Whedon (Dr. Horrible, Terminator, Fringe) and Chris Samnee (Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, Daredevil). A pivotal chapter in the ongoing Serenity saga, The Shepherd's Tale is also a rollicking, action-packed epic in its own right! • "Dark Horse's Serenity displays the key ingredients of the series in a substantial and entertaining way."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I wasn't born a Shepherd, Mal." 9 May 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"I wasn't born a Shepherd, Mal."
"You have to tell me about that sometime."
"No, I don't."

A graphic novel about Shepherd Book was never going to be as good as a Book-centric episode of Firefly. But wait - it is. (And hell,
he deserves it for his meager role in Serenity.)

"A Shepherd's Tale" is a heavily biographical series of flashbacks through the life of Shepherd Derrial Book. It illustrates where Shepherd
Book was as a child, a teen and a grown man, and does so in a spectacularly unexpected narrative style. There are more than a few twists in
the Shepherd's Tale, and for all those Browncoats eager to discover just how he knows so much about the Alliance, this is a necessity.

If, like me, you are not an avid comic-book reader, there are a few things you should remember. This is not simply a book. The visuals are
as relevant as the text, if not more so. Incredible love and care have been put into the illustrations. Treat this graphic novel like another
episode of Firefly, not like a novel. Read it slowly. Ron Glass played Book with cool wisdom and Zen-like composure, and these qualities
are prominent throughout the story - the narrative style fits Book's character perfectly.

Of course it's not as snappy as an episode of Firefly. There's no music, and the dialogue is less playful. But Malcom Reynolds is a
young man. Book is not. Just appreciate what there is here.

And if you are a graphic novel fan, well, why haven't you bought a copy already?
The book itself is a treasure. Hardcover, high-quality printing, great cover art, and an author's note at the back. Very well presented,
and well worth the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent episode in the Firefly serial 18 April 2014
By Pink Fluffy Bunny TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is an excellent episode in the Firefly serial, which through a series of well-chosen flashbacks, takes us sequentially backwards through the life of Shepherd Book, starting from the settlement we saw him living in in Serenity [Blu-ray] [Region Free], through his leaving the crews of Serenity, to his leaving his abbey, through his leaving his down and out life as he finds a religious calling (and one of the best religious awakenings I have seen portrayed), through his leaving his military career with the Alliance, through his leaving the Independence movement, through hs leaving his life on the streets, through him leaving his home... and so on. Each flashback scene reveals something about the preceding (future) scene, usually something you were not expecting, and all reveal something about the lives that Shepherd Book kept leaving behind him.

This is a superbly scripted and well-illustrated story that fills in some of the history of the Firefly/Serenity continuum. It is completely `in-continuity' and gives away no spoilers of anyone else's storylines, while fully illuminating the life of Shepherd Book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Firefly fans will enjoy 27 Jan. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a bit of a secret sci-fi fan - I don't enjoy all of it, and I prefer fantasy, but I love Serenity and Firefly. It helps that my other half likes it too, and it's nice to have something we both enjoy. I am a comic book and graphic novel fan too, and when I saw this for a very reasonable price, I had to get it. It's a fantastically written little bio of Shep, and I couldn't put it down. The only down side is that it's not very long, but on the flip side, this does allow for your imagination to fill in the gaps without having to make too much up for yourself. Definitely worth reading, but if you're not a collector, I'd see if you can borrow it from someone
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3.0 out of 5 stars Back-story rather than story. 27 May 2014
By Caramba
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This short book (only 48 pages of story) does what it sets out to, it's a prequel to the Serenity movie, filling in Shepherd Book's mysterious background in a series of short flashbacks taking us in stages backwards from the Serenity movie back to his childhood. This obviously means that the rest of the Firefly crew barely appear, but then this is Shepherd's story, not a Firefly episode. While Book's back-story is something viewers have been waiting for for a long time it's presented here as a series of events rather than as a story, so rather than a tale in which we learn about Book's dark past, instead we get his life flashing before him, which may have worked beautifully within the context of a larger story, but her it feels a bit like reading a resume.

The artwork is lovely inky brushwork by Chris Samnee, with colour by Dave Stewart, reminding me a lot of Batman Year One. The art's nice & clear & easy to follow (unlike a lot of modern comics) & Samnee nicely captures Book's likeness (the brief cameos of the other Firefly characters fare less well, relying on clothes & hair colour to identify them, but it's still clear who's who).

The story by Zack Whedon is based on an outline by Joss Whedon (judging by comments in Zack's Afterword Joss' outline was probably extremely sparse), so don't expect anything recognizable as Joss Whedon's work (no funny bits or quirky language, not even any imaginative cursing in Chinese).

Overall this is a nice read with excellent art, that fills us in on the backstory that the TV series never got a chance to tell, but the brevity of the book means that this feels more like information than entertainment. This is not the way the story would've been told if it had been told in the Firefly series, but it's the only option we've got.
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