Okay, Submerged by Vita Ayala and Lisa Sterle was a lot darker than I was expecting. And while I’m not usually the sort of person who enjoys dark, almost horror themed novels let alone graphic novels, I really liked this one. It was darker in an exceptional way. I don’t personally think I would ever buy this for myself, merely because I don’t want to read it again as a result of how emotionally taxing the experience of this book was for me. But despite the emotions that made this reading a little rough, I can say without question that Submerged is a brilliantly executed novel about the gay daughter, Elysia Puente, of an abusive crime lord and her own very personal and emotional experience as an adult in response to her family and the situation at hand. Where I was expecting this to follow somewhat of a zombie monster-type path based on the cover and synopsis, the journey that this graphic novel took me on was one of a more materialized internal monsters and how one might visualize them in order to cope with their situation.
I was pretty amazed at the course that this novel took, never fully understanding the meaning of everything until the very end. I had several moments where I suspected correctly, though the ultimate twist shocked me. I left this book feeling as though I had just finished reading about a dream someone had as they coped through the tumultuous experience of their family life. And I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but the connection that it all had to the main character, Elysia’s little brother, Angel, was so shocking and amazing and gut-wrenching all at once. Had I not been in public when I finished this book, determined not to let anyone see how utterly destroyed and emotional I was over this book, I likely would have cried.
If you feel up to an emotional journey through some tough decisions and the ways in which one’s life can be thrown upside down as a result of being connected with some rather dangerous people, I would one hundred percent suggest that you give this graphic novel a shot. It’s a rough ride, but it’s one that’s definitely worth it. Submerged is nothing short of a brilliant and amazingly executed story that I will likely be forever impressed with. The emotional upheaval was a thousand times worth having had the experience of reading it.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.