I’ve reviewed books from Ylva Publishing in the past and even did a feature on their books earlier this year as part of a series of ClexaCon related features. While at the convention I had the opportunity to pick up more of their books and found out about an amazing project they are undertaking. They have recently launched a Kickstarter to turn one of their books, The Power of Mercy, into a graphic novel. This is the first book in a series focused on a badass lesbian superhero of color, which is something that we definitely need more of in the world of superheroes.
Written by Jamaican born author, Fiona Zedde, The Power of Mercy introduces readers to Mai Redstone, a meta-human with the ability to shapeshift. When a politician is murdered her alterego, Mercy, is asked to help the police find the killer, but this request is anything, but easy. The murder victim is Mai’s uncle, a man who made her childhood hell, and she has to deal with the completely disparate feelings of responsibility toward her family to find the killer and also a sense of elation that this terrible person has been removed from the world. As a shapeshifter, Mai is unlike a number of heroes I have read or seen before. She does not need a costume, but instead creates a visage of a costume over her body. Very early on in the book itself, Mai is spotted naked jumping from building to building and has to quickly alter her appearance to become Mercy and not a streaker on the side of a building. What sets this series apart from other books focused on super powered beings is the idea that those who are considered meta are tremendously powerful and influential. There are a hierarchy of families and Mai comes from the one with the most power due to her mother’s position as the matriarch of them all.
The original book version of The Power of Mercy is full of action, drama, and even romance. Mai is a protagonist that you will be able to easily connect with and her attempts to deal with everything going on around her, while still trying to find an escape as her identity, Mercy. The plot is full of surprises and will keep you guessing throughout. Beyond that the romance between Mai and another female character, no spoilers, is very steamy. The Kickstarter that launched allows you to preview the first few pages of the graphic novel and they perfectly bring to life the world of Mai and her superpowers. They do add a robe for a bit of privacy in the scene that originally included a nude shapeshifter. If you love superheroes and comics, you need to ready The Power of Mercy and you definitely need to back the Kickstarter. Mai is the perfect fit for fans of Thunder in Black Lightning and for X-Men fans, even if superheroes aren’t your typical read the humanity of the story will speak to a diverse pool of readers. You can find out more about the Kickstarter and back The Power of Mercy adaptation today.