Friday, August 14, 2015

The Divine

I have been waiting to get a physical copy of this book for what feels like a year. Seriously, I feel like I started reading about The Divine last summer. Perhaps I had? After all, the book has been talked and whispered about since FirstSecond announced taking it on. This week they finally released the book for the first time in English (originally released by Dargaud in French, this past January). 

The graphic novel is a joint effort between Israeli film maker Boaz Lavie, and award winning illustrators Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka. This seems to be the year of Asaf with his release earlier this year The Realist

The Divine was inspired by the true story of child soldiers. In fact, in the back of the book there is a picture of two Burmese child soldiers which, when originally published gripped the world. Johnny and Luther Htoo are claimed to have led a village in 1997 when Burmese troops swept through the Karen territory.  They are reported tot have called themselves God's Army and were worshipped by adult followers. They controlled the populace of the village and were reported to be able to walk through mine fields untouched, as if guided by some divine entity. It is this image and it's legend which caught the eye of the three authors and from there The Divine was born.

Johnny & Luther Htoo

The Divine is one of the most stunning books to be released this year. The story possesses your body and compels you to read further. I had lost control of my hands and eyes, almost forced to read on by some unearthly body. However embellished the story of the twins had become by media and rumors worldwide, the authors have weaved beauty out of the confusion and horror the picture evoked in the public. Each setting within the story is illustrated in a unique style, setting apart the real, the fantastical and the divine. Five Stars for The Divine, I could not put it down. 

If you wish to read more about the story of Johnny and Luther Htoo there is an article here from NY Time which I recommend but the internet is full of their story.