Cucumber Quest Book One: The Doughnut Kingdom
By Gigi D.G.
Published by First Second

Review by Stephanie Cooke

What. A. Fun. Book. WHAT A FUN BOOK! I enjoyed the heck out of Cucumber Quest like whoa. It’s delightful, sweet, and as mentioned, a LOT of fun. Cucumber Quest is being adapted from its original web comic form into a four book series for publisher First Second.

The official synopsis that came from the publisher is this: What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction? World domination, obviously.

The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight.

Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour? Sure, why not?

Adapted from the popular webcomic series, Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom is the first graphic novel of a clever, adorable, and hilarious four-volume heroic adventure that is sure to make you hungry for sweets and action.

The art is so gosh darn cute and the characters are a lot of fun. They have a conventional “legendary hero” story that starts thing off… the hero doesn’t want to be the hero and instead, Cucumber’s little sister Almond wants to be the hero, but like, who’s ever heard of a little sister being the legendary hero? (don’t yell at me, that’s what they actually say in the book!) Cucumber just wants to learn about magic and go to the Harvard of magic schools where he’ll get a real legit education, so he’s very upset that this whole quest to save the kingdom thing begins interfering with that. Almond, however, is ALL ABOUT fighting bad guys and monsters and wants to be the hero that the Oracle chooses to save the day and ultimately, the story is about stripping away the stereotypes and showing people that you don’t need to fit into a particular ideal of what makes someone a hero (or whatever). Following your passions and doing what feels right will make you happy.

It’s part Lumberjanes, part Star vs the Forces of Evil and Nimona, but ultimately the story is original and great for readers of all-ages.

My only little bit of dismay was that I thought I had close to 200 pages of story but was cut off quite a bit earlier than that as the first chapter wrapped up. Instead, the rest of the pages were bonus content, which is obviously wonderful but I wanted more story instead. Four volumes seems like an odd choice, given that a lot of book series tend to be more like three volumes, but I guess that’s the best way they thought they should release it given the content pulled from the web comic.

Verdict:
Buy this book!
Seriously, it’s such a delight (as I’ve mentioned like 5 times already). I love all-ages books, especially when they just embrace their silliness, and this book definitely does that.

Cucumber Quest Book One: The Doughnut Kingdom will be out later this year on October 10 2017.

Stephanie Cooke
scooke@hotmail.ca
Stephanie is a Toronto based writer and editor. She's a comic book fan, avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music, and sarcasm. She is a purveyor of too many projects and has done work for Talking Comics, JoBlo.com, Agents of Geek, Word of the Nerd, C&G Magazine, Dork Shelf, and more. Her writing credits include "Home Sweet Huck" (Mark Millar's Millarworld Annual 2017), "Lungarella (Secret Loves of Geek Girls, 2016), "Behind Enemy Linens" (BLOCKED Anthology, 2017), "Home and Country" (Toronto Comics Anthology, 2017) and more to come. You can read more about her shenanigans over on her <a href="http://www.stephaniecooke.ca">personal web site</a>.

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