book review, comic/graphic, young adult

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland, and Hilary Sycamore (Review)

23532871Title: Spill Zone
Author: Scott Westerfeld (Goodreads Author), Alex Puvilland (Artist), Hilary Sycamore (Colorist)
Type: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery
Publisher: First Second (Macmillan)
Published: May 2, 2017
Source: Publisher

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

SummaryNobody’s ever really explained the Spill. Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world? Whatever it was, no one’s allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night, and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world.


– My Review –

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This graphic novel was such a pleasant surprise! I had read works by Scott Westerfeld before (such as Uglies, Zeroes, and Swarm) and was either only mildly impressed, or completely disappointed. Something about this book drew me to it, however. I don’t think it’s the drawing style, since I’m still not the biggest fan of it now after having read the book, but perhaps the colouring of, as well as the mood which the cover image emits. Since I was so drawn to it visually, and since I had not yet read a graphic novel written by Westerfeld before, I thought that I would give it a try.

unnamed (3)And I will never regret that decision, because this is definitely one of my favourite reads of 2017 so far! As I’ve mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of the drawing/illustration style from an aesthetic point of view, but I will admit that it works with the type of story this is. There were some scenes which became more crisp and terrifying simply due to the combination of Alex Puvilland’s drawings and Hilary Sycamore’s colouring. I was completely riveted by the combination of story and visual accompaniment. The combination was truly sensational.

unnamed (5)Going into this book, I only knew that something strange had happened in this “spill zone,” that there was a lot of mystery involved in it, and that we would maybe learn more about it. I was not prepared for just how good the story turned out being, though! I had only planned to read maybe a quarter of this graphic novel before bed, but ended up devouring it all in one sitting. While it is easier to do this with graphic novels, since there is a lot less reading to do, I find that if the story does not capture my attention, or if I really dislike the visuals, I will really struggle to get through it (no matter how little there is to read). Spill Zone, however, held my attention from the very first page.

unnamed (4)The story is not only mysterious (as I had expected, and hoped), but it was also equally enchanting and disturbing. Now I hope that you do not think that I mean that last word in a negative manner. I am a fan of certain types of horror, and the kind which I stumbled across in Spill Zone is right up my alley! I felt an immediate connection with Addison, because she is as brave as I would like to be, and also because I am an older sister as well, and understand that protective, older sibling instinct. The rest of the characters were intriguing, and the things we find in the “Spill,” as it’s called, are even more so.

While a number of the questions you may go into this book with will be answered, you will be left with just as many questions as the plot unfolds. I am 100% hooked, and simply cannot wait for the next installment in this series! I highly recommend this graphic novel to those who (first of all) enjoy reading comics, those who appreciate a little horror, and those who like a good mystery!


– About the Creators –


Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier. He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014. His book Evolution’s Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier’s Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association. You can visit him at!

You can also visit the artist who illustrated this graphic novel, Alex Puvilland, at, and visit the colourist Hilary Sycamore at!


– Purchase Links –

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5 thoughts on “Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland, and Hilary Sycamore (Review)

    1. Yes, this is definitely one of the best ones I’ve come across. I can appreciate it even if I don’t like the drawing style (and I feel like I’ve said that so often!) I’m curious to see what you think of it if you do end up reading it 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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