The Heart Hunter
by Mickey George
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 3 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2022
Legendary Comics, Legendary Comics YA
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 115 members
I thought the concept of this story was super interesting. A curse means people cannot die until they find their soulmate, but killing your soulmate means living forever. I think I would also really enjoy reading this in literary form to understand more of the world building and character development.
My favorite thing about this story was that your soulmate doesn't necessarily need to be in a lover and that true love can be found in any form. Being vulnerable is hard but can also lead you to finding the greatest love story. The story overall was very wholesome in its message.
While the illustration was very detailed and beautiful, I found it to be just a tad overly graphic. By no means did it detract from the story, it just was a bit much for me.
Overall, the plot and message wrapped up well in the end and I was satisfied with where the characters ended up. For a short graphic novel, the characters go through a large development and I was quite pleased with the pacing.
I loved the concept of this story. The idea of an island where everyone is cursed and have to wear their hearts outside of their bodies is imaginative and the world that results from this curse is well-imagined. The art work is glorious and the colour palettes are dramatic and the story is superbly drawn so it’s a real pleasure to look at. I enjoyed the story and the plot twists and turns but the main drawback for me, was the characterisation. I felt that the characters seemed very 2D and I never really engaged with them. Neither of the main protagonists felt real to me and I was more interested in Jez, the young boy who helps Psyche than the two main characters. It is a good graphic novel though and deserves its three stars.
I was able to read an advance copy of this through NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you to Legendary Comics for making this available.
A curse in Envecor has doomed its residents to stay on the island and be immortal until they find their soulmate. The king, however, sends out Heart Hunters to kill his soulmates so that he can live forever. The story follows Psyche, a Heart Hunter, and Isaac, the king’s soulmate.
This art style is so unique and not something I normally see in graphic novels. This graphic novel has a great balance of storytelling through both the words and the art. Additionally, there is such a beautiful exploration of platonic love, as well as romantic love. I highly recommend to graphic novel lovers!
A big thank you to Netgalley and Legendary Comics for the ARC!
TW: gore, death, suicide
"Love is only mortal. It's human. In becoming deathless, we have outgrown our own humanity."
The Heart Hunter is a visually compelling graphic novel following Psyche, a heart-hunter who specializes in killing soulmates in a world where immortality can be achieved through that means. When the king sends her to murder his soulmate, Psyche finds herself an unexpected friend and ally in her supposed victim. Together, they set on a journey to defy the curse, with Psyche learning how to mend her broken heart along the way.
I thought the overall premise was an intriguing concept. The idea of soulmates is popular in fiction but it is the way that The Heart Hunter expands upon it that sets it apart from the trope. George explores the wider ramifications of having the soulmates system in place, providing depth to worldbuilding that only makes the story more fascinating to read. I also thought the manifestation of intangible concepts such as 'indifference' or 'twist of fate' into perceivable elements in the story was a very clever decision.
Both the art and the narrative was absolutely stellar. The art style is expressive and bold, narrated through a diverse cast with strikingly distinct personalities. The art translates each characters' idiosyncrasies endearingly. Gagnon and George do not let the amusing interactions and relationships between different characters distract from the gravity of the message the story conveys. The graphic novel handles dark and gritty topics, like the loss of a loved one or suicide, with graceful tenderness. It is, in the end, a hopeful story even with the multitude of suffering, approached with great compassion and love.
The only real problem I had with this graphic novel is that sometimes the lore and the worldbuilding got too overwhelming. I understand the writers' intention of trying to create a rich plot within the confines of a limited amount of panels, but at times, I found myself lacking behind from the sheer amount of information.
Overall, this was still an excellent read. I strongly urge anyone who enjoys a good subversion of the soulmate AU to give this graphic novel a chance.
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
I really loved this standalone graphic novel. The story and world mythology were really original and the characters felt fleshed out for a story that had a lot of world building to do. The overarching theme of grief and dealing with a broken heart was woven into the story really well. The art was phenomenal and I absolutely loved the character designs and color palette.
What I really appreciated the most about this story that is focused so much on soulmates and love, is that it isn't all about straight/ heteronormative romantic love. The author has characters who are queer and also characters who experience familial and friendship love, and it all being shown as a valid form of how you feel about someone.
Envecor is an island cursed by immortality, it’s citizens wear their hearts outside their bodies in indestructible jars, the only way to break the curse it’s to find your soulmate but there’s a curse in it too because once you find them, you have to immediately leave the island, meaning abandoning your family and friends otherwise you met certain death.
The story starts with the King of Hearts employing the services of a Heart Hunter, people that had their heart broken in unimaginable ways, they are the only ones who can locate soulmates and Psyche is the best of her kind.
As it happens the King needs her services because he wants to kill his soulmate, after all it’s the only way for him to continue to be king but every single Heart Hunter he had sent after his soul mate were unable to killed him and instead were found with their hearts fully mended.
The plot is so inventive and clever it was really easy to immerse myself on this world of hearts, curses and soul mates. The beautiful thing about it, is that is not only romantic love that it’s depicted, it was really nice seeing the different types of soulmates that can exist.
The characters too were so well written, they had dimensions and I could completely understand their choices and holdbacks.
But really the best part about this comic was the art, it’s so completely beautiful, the amount of details and colors used were so well done I couldn’t help but be mesmerized and it only added to make a fantastic story.
Definitely recommend for those who want an incredible story and amazing art.
The island Envecor is cursed. All inhabitants’ hearts are outside their bodies and they are cursed to be immortal, until they find their soulmate. If a citizen finds their soulmate, they can leave the island together to live a normal life. But there are some who want to live forever…and these darker individuals pay Heart Hunters, people with broken hearts, to find their soul mates and kill them before they can bond with one another. In this tale, Heart Hunter Psyche has been sent by the king to kill his soulmate, under the pretence of living forever to try to break the curse for everyone. But, can Psyche fix her own broken heart?
I absolutely loved the concept of this and leant fully into the curse. Hearts outside bodies with soulmates that heal the heart? Broken hearts when a soulmate is dead? Wearing your heart on your sleeve? Just about every cliché that you’ve heard about a heart is used throughout this graphic novel and it just absolutely works. At it’s heart (hehe), this graphic novel is a dark fairy tale with the traditional elements of people being unfairly cursed and having to find a solution to the problem. Themes of learning to trust and love were entwined through the story.
The art style was lovely and fluid throughout. Visually, this novel was very soft, with a muted palette and gentle lines rather than bold defined artwork. This style worked well with the story. A slight criticism would be that, at times, the action was quite hard to follow as it wasn’t always immediately obvious which panels to read and in which order.
The cast of characters was diverse with a strong contingent of LBGT+ characters and personalities. I particularly enjoyed Jez with his heart on his sleeve and the contrast between his character and Psyche’s more closed off personality. With soulmates, I also enjoyed that the author didn’t make soulmates simply a romantic concept, the idea of platonic and familial love also shone through.
A solid concept with some interesting characterisation. 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Legendary Comics for providing an e-book review copy.
I honestly loved this book full-heartedly.
It's gay, and it slaps!
It's got gay characters; it's got nonbinary characters. It's got some gorgeous art.
This, at its core, is a story of self-discovery and healing.
My only sadness is that we didn't end up with a wholesome Polycule at the end.
This book was gorgeous, both the art style and the story itself. The vibrant colors helped convey the deep emotions of the characters. The story was so unique and really touched on tough emotions we all face with matters of the heart. I wish I could rate this book higher because its a new favorite for me.
"Joy? It... aches. Why isn't it happier?"
"Joy is never shallow. If a heart is whole, it slides right off. Only deep cracks of suffering create room for it."
This unique story and gorgeous art stole my entire heart. There was truly a point I almost cried.
The Heart Hunter is a story about a town where people are immortal until they find their soulmate. At that point, they can leave and grow old together. After hundreds of years of this... not everyone wishes for a mortal life, especially those with broken hearts. We follow Psyche, who as a Heart Hunter, is sent out by the King to kill his soulmate. Only when she meets the soulmate, everything changes.
This GN was truly depicted so beautifully. The amount of emotion used in the deep and vibrant color choices really added to the characters and words on the page. The art style is phenomenal and I can't wait to read more that the artist has worked on and more from the author after this debut!
The story itself felt so one of a kind. The use of hearts in actuality, using things such as Coping Mechanisms and Bleeding Hearts, etc. as story tools was innovative and made the story easy to connect to. The story and its characters are so beautiful as they consider broken hearts, losing those you love, allowing yourself to move forward and love again. Add to that the beautiful art and this is an altogether stunning piece.
Isaac, Psyche, Jez, and Marius all have my heart.
(The story also has queer characters, possibly (?) non-binary characters (never outright stated by "they" is used in reference to them, and characters of color)
Thank you to NetGalley and Legendary Comics for my ARC!
I really liked the art style, it was unique and beautiful! I really appreciated the metaphors for all kinds of heart, it totally was one of my favourite parts, The concept of the story was very interesting, I would totally recommend this graphic novel to anyone!
This was fantastic. It follows an interesting 'soulmate' concept where people are born with their hearts outside of their bodies and do not age or die until they meet their soulmates. Psyche is a heart hunter who destroys the hearts of the soulmates of her clients and whilst hunting the King's soulmate she falls into an interesting adventure that goes right to the roots of the curse that plagues her island.
I loved that this graphic novel had multiple definitions of what a soulmate had to be. Not all of the bonds were romantic and platonic soulmate bonds were just as relevant. I also loved how gay this was in such a matter-of-fact way, it was never really commented on, it was just how it was. I loved all of the characters although I sort of feel Marius got of far too easy in the end.
The artwork was fabulous and suited the style of the story perfectly. I loved the dialogue, particularly Isaac's. The world-building was extensive and thorough but didn't feel like an info dump and was fascinating. This was also a lot darker than I anticipated, some of the plot points were truly dark and twisty and heartbreaking but were covered beautifully. There is a line of dialogue from Isaac speaking about his first soulmate that is absolutely gorgeous and heart-wrenching.
This is the second graphic novel I've read in the span of two days and both have been excellent, I'm pumped about it honestly. I really enjoyed this.
Thanks to Netgalley for an Arc of this book.
An amazingly imaginative and thought provoking comic. The premise is unique and feels like a remastered classic from ancient Greece. All the play on language expressions linked to the heart are well done, make sense and create a truly fascinating world. The main character Psyche (definitely a classical reference here) is not particularly likable, but we understand her and the cast of supporting characters are great. I wanted to read the comic as soon as I heard about the idea of a world where people are cursed to live forever with their heart outside of their bodies until they meet their soulmate. This was fantasy I could only love and was not disappointed. The drawings are very expressive and serve the story well, I would have loved a little more subtle colours. I think with a less vivid palette or some kind of filter to evoke more emotions it would have had even more impact, but that is just my personal taste - I am a sucker for pretty mood evoking colours. I truly recommend this to people who enjoy adventure fantasy, the Sandman and other great comic works.
An interesting concept with heavily-illustrated, vibrant pages. Teens are going to eat up The Heart Hunter!
What an amazing story! It takes the concept of soulmates, curse, broken heart, and healing together and I enjoyed every second of it. The Envecor island is cursed. People have to carry their hearts outside their bodies, and do not age or die until they meet their soulmate. Only then can they leave this cursed island and grow old. Not everyone wants to find their soulmate and bond, forcing them to leave Envecor, and that's why Psyche is a heart hunter. Killing someone's heart is the only way for them to die. Psyche, who had her heart broken, goes in search for the king's soulmate, to kill his heart and allow the king to stay on Envecor to make the change he wants around the curse for the island.
My favourite things about this story are how soulmates are not necessarily romantic, the casual LGBT+ representation, the heart expressions being literally (bleeding heart, wearing your heart on your sleeve, broken heart, golden heart, etc), and, of course, Psyche's journey and her relationship with Isaac, Marius and Jez.
This is the first graphic novel I’ve reviewed for my blog, but I’ve been a fan of graphic novels for years. Mostly because the format allows for a quick and immersive plot. And this novel was no exception. The plot picks up quickly and stays fast-paced. There were some interesting twists throughout the story as well.
The downside of most graphic novels, I’ve found, is that due to the lighting fast plots that it’s often difficult to connect with the characters. I did have a hard time connecting to the protagonist of this novel at the beginning but I warmed up to her soon after. There is also a fun cast of side characters that I enjoyed getting to meet.
The magic and “lore” of this novel is what drew me to the title. The concept of hearts living outside of the body wasn’t one I’ve seen in a story before, graphic or traditional. The author did a great job of quickly introducing the magic system and developing it as the plot moved along. The world stuck with me long after I was done reading.
The Heart Hunter is a standalone graphic novel by Mickey George. The story could be somewhat graphic or triggering for some readers, but for me the unique plot and world overpowered any gore. The plot is fast paced and exciting,but I did struggle connecting to the protagonist at the beginning of the novel.