"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.