This Was Our Pact
Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact is an astonishing, magical-realist adventure story for middle-grade readers.It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in.Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.*And a talking bear.

This Was Our Pact Details

TitleThis Was Our Pact
Author
ReleaseJun 11th, 2019
PublisherFirst Second
ISBN-139781626720534
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Comics, Graphic Novels Comics, Adventure

This Was Our Pact Review

  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fairly lovely graphic novel with a sweet, interesting story, but it's way longer than I feel like it ought to be, and I actually put it down at the halfway mark when I realized I hadn't cared about anything that had happened in a while. It doesn't help that the artwork is all pretty monochrome, so things start to blur together after a time.Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Alissa
    January 1, 1970
    Ohwowohwowohwowohwowohwow!Studio Ghibli REALLY needs to obtain the rights to this fantastical and beautiful tale of friendship and adventure! I have a feeling those particular writers and animators would have what it takes to truly capture the magic of this story (forget Disney or Dreamworks--too mainstream). I'd watch it...and probably buy my own copy as soon as the dvd was available. So I could get lost in the journey to find the lantern's final destination among the stars. I want to encounter Ohwowohwowohwowohwowohwow!Studio Ghibli REALLY needs to obtain the rights to this fantastical and beautiful tale of friendship and adventure! I have a feeling those particular writers and animators would have what it takes to truly capture the magic of this story (forget Disney or Dreamworks--too mainstream). I'd watch it...and probably buy my own copy as soon as the dvd was available. So I could get lost in the journey to find the lantern's final destination among the stars. I want to encounter fisherbears and map-drawing crows and explore caves that carry all the stars in the cosmos. And I want to see it all unfold on the screen.But for now, I was enchanted by this graphic novel. It was exactly the book I was looking for, even though I didn't know I was looking for it.Also, this sort of reminded me of Tales from Outer Suburbia, which I loved as well. The stories have a similar vibe.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    In this delightful graphic novel a group of young boys set off into the night to follow the lanterns that their town releases into the river during the Autumn Equinox Festival with the goal of finding out what happens to them. Before too long only two boys remain, all the others breaking the pact they all made, “No one turns for home. No one looks back.” What follows is a whimsical adventure full of magical realism, humor, and fantastic art. The story reminded me so much of a Hayao Miyazaki film In this delightful graphic novel a group of young boys set off into the night to follow the lanterns that their town releases into the river during the Autumn Equinox Festival with the goal of finding out what happens to them. Before too long only two boys remain, all the others breaking the pact they all made, “No one turns for home. No one looks back.” What follows is a whimsical adventure full of magical realism, humor, and fantastic art. The story reminded me so much of a Hayao Miyazaki film mixed with an adventure story like Stranger Things. I don’t want to spoil who all these two boys meet or what happens on their magical adventure, so you’ll just have to pick it up and be delighted for yourself!
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  • Earl
    January 1, 1970
    The must read graphic novel of the summer starts off like with a realistic premise of a group of boys out to see whether a fantastical story they've heard all their lives is true or not and then veers off into Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli territory! What I also liked is that this was pretty substantial text-wise.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    This Was Our Pact is an awesome combination of every TV and film based in the 1980's with kids on bicycles meets the magic Studio Ghibli.
  • Becky B
    January 1, 1970
    Every year at the Autumn Equinox the town releases lanterns into the river. This year, some boys from the town have made a pact to follow the lanterns and see where they go even if it means going past the point their parents have told them is their exploration barrier. Ben is very committed to the pact, but not many of his friends are. Only Nathaniel, a boy Ben’s friends ostracize, is willing to go past the bridge barrier with him. The two boys’ fathers work together in the observatory but Ben h Every year at the Autumn Equinox the town releases lanterns into the river. This year, some boys from the town have made a pact to follow the lanterns and see where they go even if it means going past the point their parents have told them is their exploration barrier. Ben is very committed to the pact, but not many of his friends are. Only Nathaniel, a boy Ben’s friends ostracize, is willing to go past the bridge barrier with him. The two boys’ fathers work together in the observatory but Ben has tried to keep his distance from Nathaniel since the others don’t think he is cool. Their adventure together to follow the lanterns proves much harder than they thought. Is it even possible? It will take them to unexpected places, teach them things about themselves and friendship, and stretch their strength and imaginations. I had thought from the cover that this would be a realistic story, but it is very much a flight of fancy and imagination. The boys run into a bear on a quest, creatures beyond their ken, a crazy inventor, and more. And of all the wild and wonderous and weird things they do see, the readers will notice that there are even more things close but just out of sight that the boys never notice. Perhaps a commentary about how the world is full of wondrous things that we often fail to notice? I really like the things that Ben learns along the way about friendship and kindness and how he has misjudged Nathaniel. Nathaniel is a lovable oddball with surprising skills and knowledge. While weird new things may put Ben in a stupor or funk, Nathaniel faces them with aplomb and a sense of wonder that is contagious. The boys are good foils to one another. I wasn’t sure what to make of the bear for a while, but liked him in the end. The book also has a nice bit on real astronomy for those who like to look to the night skies. And last, but certainly not least we need to talk about the artwork. The entire thing happens in night conditions so the book is mostly illustrated in blues with splashes of yellows and white and it is utterly enchanting. If you just pick this up to look at the illustrations, I think you’re entirely justified in doing so. There’s an open enough ending there could be more adventures with Ben and Nathaniel and I think students are our school would definitely welcome more. I can see this being quite popular. Highly recommended to graphic novel fans, adventure fantasy fans, friendship story fans, and beautiful artwork fans.Notes on content [based on ARC]: No language issues. (Some unkind things said about Nathaniel by other boys, but he has a thick skin and eventually he and Ben talk about these things.) No sexual content. (The boys go swimming in just their underwear at one point, but it didn’t feel scandalous just more practical so their clothes wouldn’t be sopping wet and cold.) Some potentially perilous situations, but everything works out ok and no injuries. Some parents/guardians/teachers may want to talk to kids about the boy going so far from home without permission. The book is so fantastical it doesn’t feel to me like the kind of thing kids would read and try to emulate in real life, they may fantasize about what it would be like to go on such an adventure but I can’t see readers taking this book as license to do the same. Still some adults may want to talk to readers about that point of the book.I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Zack Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted on link: A to Z Book Reviews.Each year at the Autumn Equinox Festival, the people of a town light lanterns, place them in a river, and watch them drift out of sight. The town’s legend says the lanterns end up as stars in the sky.Every year, a group of friends chase the lanterns on their bikes until they reach the edge of their town, where their parents say they can not go past. But this year, a pact is made to follow the lanterns until they know for sure what happens to them. N Originally posted on link: A to Z Book Reviews.Each year at the Autumn Equinox Festival, the people of a town light lanterns, place them in a river, and watch them drift out of sight. The town’s legend says the lanterns end up as stars in the sky.Every year, a group of friends chase the lanterns on their bikes until they reach the edge of their town, where their parents say they can not go past. But this year, a pact is made to follow the lanterns until they know for sure what happens to them. No turning back. No matter what. They hop on their bikes for a great adventure.But as the journey goes on, each friend turns back except for Ben and Nathaniel. Ben didn’t want Nathaniel to come along in the first place, but he had been following behind the group. With only Nathaniel left, Ben has no other choice but to continue his journey with him.They continue together into a place where they have never been allowed to go before. That comes with anxiousness and excitement. The plot, the characters, and the art are just screaming something magical.Then, the boys meet a fisherbear, who is on the hunt for the fish that come every Equinox. Together with the fisherbear, they get lost, and then later, separated. The boys get help from an irritable potion master, who looks to be making things worse before they get better. But gives the boys an adventure, no doubt.Ben and Nathaniel used to be friends, but have grown apart as Ben found himself in the cool crowd. But as the story goes on, the pair learn the power of real friendship. I’ve read some amazing graphic novels over the past few years. There’s something different about This Was Our Pact. The depth of the story and the art combine to make a spellbinding adventure that hooked me from the start.
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  • Miss_Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    The pact had two rules: no one turns for home & no one looks back. Every year after the Autumn Equinox Festival Ben & his friends would follow the lanterns. Usually they went to the weathered rock face and then everyone went home. This year would be different - this time, they would go all the way to the end! Except...not everyone honors the pact. First Mikey, then Elliot, then Adam & Sammy turn back. Just Nathaniel tags along. None of Ben’s friends like Nathaniel and Ben is too much The pact had two rules: no one turns for home & no one looks back. Every year after the Autumn Equinox Festival Ben & his friends would follow the lanterns. Usually they went to the weathered rock face and then everyone went home. This year would be different - this time, they would go all the way to the end! Except...not everyone honors the pact. First Mikey, then Elliot, then Adam & Sammy turn back. Just Nathaniel tags along. None of Ben’s friends like Nathaniel and Ben is too much of a coward to stick up for him. Soon, the two find themselves on a strange new adventure that tests their courage and challenges their understanding of friendship. They meet a talking fisher bear who enlightens them with information about where the lanterns might go. The two boys get a little lost, stumble upon a mad scientist, giant dog, mammoth crows, a dark cave, star farm and raging sea before they eventually find some answers. The story starts out a little Stand By Me, with Ben narrating in the past tense like he’s looking back on the journey with nostalgia & perspective. As the story progresses, it feels a little Phantom Tollbooth, Wizard of Oz and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The illustrations along the blue & red spectrum are captivating and whimsical. Some of the dialogue feels too odd & contrived which pulled me out of the story. Sometimes, characters feel unpredictable or out of alignment. The pact from the title feels important at the beginning but as the story progresses, it seems like the characters are swept up in continuing on more than fulfilling a pact. I suppose the story might be some kind of allegory but I’m not sure for what...the illustration on the cover makes it seem like it’s going to be about friendship and growing up. I guess it is...sorta…? A 12-year old boy I know liked it but agreed it was a little odd. Grades 6 and up.
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  • Siina
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, This Was Our Pact was surely a magical ride for sure! It's so awesome that comics like this are made for kids, since This Was Our Pact is meaningful, full of heart and even the plot is great. There's a lantern festival at a town and everyone puts floating lanterns in the river. This group of friends want to see where the lanterns go, but eventually only two are left of which the other wasn't welcomed at first. These two boys end up still going and get lost, meet a bear and a magician and ev Wow, This Was Our Pact was surely a magical ride for sure! It's so awesome that comics like this are made for kids, since This Was Our Pact is meaningful, full of heart and even the plot is great. There's a lantern festival at a town and everyone puts floating lanterns in the river. This group of friends want to see where the lanterns go, but eventually only two are left of which the other wasn't welcomed at first. These two boys end up still going and get lost, meet a bear and a magician and eventually find the lanterns, but surely it's not the end of the road! I liked the whole overcoming of not being friends at first and all, how really getting to know someone makes you see things in different light and how obstacles tighten friendship. The plot is interesting and full of surprises, it's philosophical even and the astronomy part is a great add to it. There's not too much text even though the comic is quite long, so points for that too.The art is wonderful and cute in bluish hues. This looks a little like Oliver Jeffers actually. The rough sketchy art with a thin line art makes this detailed, but oddly aerial too and the comic is somewhat dark, but in a fluffy way. Like stars in the sky, really. This Was Our Pact is great, but perhaps I would've wanted the boys to overcome the beginning of their friendship with more thought instead of just getting over the bullying so fast. Still, totally an amazing comic that needs to be in every library.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book was similar to the experience of watching a Miyazaki movie--absolute wonder and entertainment. It was like peering into the seamless, perfect imagination of a creative and thorough storyteller. I really appreciate a comic that is beautiful in every panel, where the details are consistent and it looks like the artist only ever worked on it when they were at their very best. This is that comic. I want it to be made into a movie so that I have more ways to get it into other people Reading this book was similar to the experience of watching a Miyazaki movie--absolute wonder and entertainment. It was like peering into the seamless, perfect imagination of a creative and thorough storyteller. I really appreciate a comic that is beautiful in every panel, where the details are consistent and it looks like the artist only ever worked on it when they were at their very best. This is that comic. I want it to be made into a movie so that I have more ways to get it into other people's hands. The treasure of 2019 so far, and I've been blown away by the last few books I've read so this one is really extraordinary.It's a testament to how amazing the story is that I love it this hard considering it has nearly all boy characters and the only girls are a tragic girl with no lines, zany sorceress, and a crow who caws to communicate. Hey, it still technically passes the Bechdel test, and it's diverse in other ways. Would not hesitate to put it in the hands of any kid looking for a whimsical story.Highly recommended to fans of magical realism, Studio Ghibli, adventure stories with gentle conflict, comic books with beautiful art, nostalgia-style stories set in the 90s that have very little to do with the 90s except for F-Zero (where is my two-player sequel???), and great secondary characters with witty lines. It's not a mile-a-minute kind of story, so adventure fans looking for action sequences should look elsewhere.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    At the Autumn Equinox Festival, the town sends paper lanterns down the river. Legend says that the lanterns will drift away and end up floating into the sky and become stars. Ben and his group of friends have a pact to follow the river and see if the legend is actually true. But as their bike ride in the darkness gets longer, the kids start to head back home one-by-one. Finally, it is just Ben and Nathaniel, a boy who has been hanging at the back because he doesn’t fit in. Little do both of them At the Autumn Equinox Festival, the town sends paper lanterns down the river. Legend says that the lanterns will drift away and end up floating into the sky and become stars. Ben and his group of friends have a pact to follow the river and see if the legend is actually true. But as their bike ride in the darkness gets longer, the kids start to head back home one-by-one. Finally, it is just Ben and Nathaniel, a boy who has been hanging at the back because he doesn’t fit in. Little do both of them know that this is just the beginning of a huge adventure. It’s an adventure that will take them to meet a fisherman bear who is also following the glowing lanterns, to a potion maker who is having a very busy night, and into a cave that happens to be filled with starlight.This graphic novel is amazing. It has a sense of wonder throughout from the very moment the lanterns are set afloat to the final pages of the book. One never quite knows what is going to happen next, which makes for an enticing read. The world building is well done, the different pieces of the story seeming to not fit until they click neatly into place. The characters are well developed and consistent throughout the book, their decisions making sense as the story progresses. The art is luminous and modern, inviting readers into a marvelous world.A great graphic novel for elementary and middle grades, it is magical. Appropriate for ages 8-12.
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  • Maia
    January 1, 1970
    This book knocked my socks off. The starting scene, of a group of kids on bikes setting off down a dark road might suggest Stranger Things but a closer emotional match is probably Spirited Away. Ben is one of five boys from his school who decide that this year, after the autumn festival, they will follow the paper lanterns released into the river below their town to see where they go. An old folk song says they turn into stars and rise into the sky, but that can't be true, can it? Tagging after This book knocked my socks off. The starting scene, of a group of kids on bikes setting off down a dark road might suggest Stranger Things but a closer emotional match is probably Spirited Away. Ben is one of five boys from his school who decide that this year, after the autumn festival, they will follow the paper lanterns released into the river below their town to see where they go. An old folk song says they turn into stars and rise into the sky, but that can't be true, can it? Tagging after the group is Nathaniel, a nerd and an outsider. Ben's friends tease him and Ben is too uncomfortable to speak up in his defense. But one by one the others drop out until only Ben and Nathaniel are left on the mission to follow the river and the lights. The things they discover are weirder, scarier, more beautiful and more wonderful than either could have imagined- or what I, as the reader, had imagined. This book really went places I wasn't expecting and I loved that. The art is gorgeous- an energetic pencil line with digital colors heavy on blues and purples, except for a few warm yellow or active magenta scenes. I think I will end up buying this book because I want to keep looking at it!
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!This Was Our Pact is a very interesting graphic novel. It tells the story of two young boys who during their town's Autumn Equinox Festival, decide to follow a bunch of paper lanterns down stream. What the uncover, ends up being a surreal experience. Legend has it that the lanterns are transported to the Milky Way and friends Nathaniel and Ben want to find out!The artwork in this graphic novel is stunning. The choice of such soft colours throughout mak 4.5Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!This Was Our Pact is a very interesting graphic novel. It tells the story of two young boys who during their town's Autumn Equinox Festival, decide to follow a bunch of paper lanterns down stream. What the uncover, ends up being a surreal experience. Legend has it that the lanterns are transported to the Milky Way and friends Nathaniel and Ben want to find out!The artwork in this graphic novel is stunning. The choice of such soft colours throughout makes the reader feel like they are going on this journey with Ben and Nate to the Milk Way. There's something almost comfortable about the artwork, and yet this is a true adventure lover's story from start to finish. It also has a talking bear who is THECUTESTTHINGEVER. There's just so many unexpected friendships and twists in this story that I feel like most readers will instantly fall in love with the characters!This truly is both a magical story that also has a deep focus on friendship. While I have been intentionally vague about the story, its only because the surprises are worth the wait. This graphic novel is great for middle grade readers, or lovers of magical realism. Coupled with the stunning artwork, This Was Our Pact has so much to offer readers of any age.
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  • Melissa Orth
    January 1, 1970
    In this magical adventure, two boys go on a quest to find where the lit lanterns set floating down the river at the Autumnal Equinox Festival go - is it true they turn into stars? At first, it is a group of boys on bikes who made the pact: do not turn around, do not look back. A geeky loner boy named Nathaniel trails and by the time the pack gets to the bridge that parents have forbidden them to cross, it is down to our narrator Ben and Nathaniel to push on and keep the pact until the end or the In this magical adventure, two boys go on a quest to find where the lit lanterns set floating down the river at the Autumnal Equinox Festival go - is it true they turn into stars? At first, it is a group of boys on bikes who made the pact: do not turn around, do not look back. A geeky loner boy named Nathaniel trails and by the time the pack gets to the bridge that parents have forbidden them to cross, it is down to our narrator Ben and Nathaniel to push on and keep the pact until the end or the road or river. Along the way, the two boys meet a talking bear, get lost, get help, get kidnapped, get rescued, and keep on riding.This is a lovely graphic novel about friendship and storytelling. I loved the blue monochromatic tones for the night, broken by orange scenes for the witch, and other colors for a few other settings. Nathaniel interjects his conversation with Ben and the bear with science facts, mostly astronomical, which pertain to the mystery of the lanterns and the equinox. At times the story lagged as it felt like the journey stalled and was a bit long, but that felt true to the epic adventure the boys are having.
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  • Carin
    January 1, 1970
    Every year, Ben's town has a celebration for Autumn during which they release hundreds of lanterns to float down the river. This year, Ben and his friends are determined to find out where the lanterns end up. Nathaniel, who is only friends with Ben, not the rest of the group, tags along. Which is annoying at first, but when the other friends drop out despite their pact, it turns out to be a good thing. Then the book starts to take on a fantastical tone. As the two boys encounter a fisherbear, a Every year, Ben's town has a celebration for Autumn during which they release hundreds of lanterns to float down the river. This year, Ben and his friends are determined to find out where the lanterns end up. Nathaniel, who is only friends with Ben, not the rest of the group, tags along. Which is annoying at first, but when the other friends drop out despite their pact, it turns out to be a good thing. Then the book starts to take on a fantastical tone. As the two boys encounter a fisherbear, a little witch, and the history behind the lantern tradition, the world gets more and more amazing. But when they get lost and can't find their way back to the river on their own, they have to rely on each other (which Ben sometimes resents) and more importantly, trust.This is a beautiful graphic novel that didn't at all go where I thought it was going to go. It starts off feeling like Stand By Me, but ends up in a bizarrely awesome fantasy land. I especially liked the fisherbear.
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  • Darcy Roar
    January 1, 1970
    Stirringly gorgeous and delightfully written, This Was Our Pact vacillates between humorous and wistful by turns to build a widely appealing fantasy adventure. I absolutely loved it (especially all the little weird world building moments). It somehow manages to be unassuming and sparkling magical in a way that's totally organic. Even the interpersonal bits feel very right and good, and complete a whole character arc (uncomfortable distance, cruel words, blooming acceptance, it has all the hallma Stirringly gorgeous and delightfully written, This Was Our Pact vacillates between humorous and wistful by turns to build a widely appealing fantasy adventure. I absolutely loved it (especially all the little weird world building moments). It somehow manages to be unassuming and sparkling magical in a way that's totally organic. Even the interpersonal bits feel very right and good, and complete a whole character arc (uncomfortable distance, cruel words, blooming acceptance, it has all the hallmarks of a good teen friendship/coming of age story) which is mildly surprising in a middle grade fantasy adventure. Also the art. Ya'll the art is so pleasing it makes my chest hurt a little bit at points with that longing feeling. It's a night story & the colors take full advantage jumping between whole pages of blue, maroon, green, yellow, silver, and more. Highly recommended.
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  • ⓂⒶⒾⓉⓁⒶⓃⒹ
    January 1, 1970
    This Was Our Pact is a graphic novel about a group of friends who make a pact to chase the lanterns that they send down the river on their bikes, never looking back, and never going home (until they circumnavigate the Earth and make it back around.) It featured beautiful illustrations, as well as an interesting friendship/fantasy story, including (view spoiler)[talking bears, potion-brewing witches, and flying fish. (hide spoiler)] While I am not a big fantasy fan, I still found this an enjoyabl This Was Our Pact is a graphic novel about a group of friends who make a pact to chase the lanterns that they send down the river on their bikes, never looking back, and never going home (until they circumnavigate the Earth and make it back around.) It featured beautiful illustrations, as well as an interesting friendship/fantasy story, including (view spoiler)[talking bears, potion-brewing witches, and flying fish. (hide spoiler)] While I am not a big fantasy fan, I still found this an enjoyable read, due to its central friendship themes. (view spoiler)[Although the main character's friends broke the pact on the 5th page, it still has positive messages about friendship, including not being mean to someone just because your friends don't like them. (His friends turned out to be jerks anyway, so...) (hide spoiler)] I give This Was Our Pact4/5 stars, and ages 9+.
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  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from the publisher!A lovely story that answers what seems like just another question from childhood with a journey full of magic!The art was lovely; while certain scenes made the lineart hard to see, it all felt very atmospheric. I'm biased since I love blue, but I loved the color choices as well. The pencil lineart also fit the mood of the novel; I always feel like sketchier lineart is more intimate.While there wasn't anything to write home about in terms of the writing, it wa I received an ARC from the publisher!A lovely story that answers what seems like just another question from childhood with a journey full of magic!The art was lovely; while certain scenes made the lineart hard to see, it all felt very atmospheric. I'm biased since I love blue, but I loved the color choices as well. The pencil lineart also fit the mood of the novel; I always feel like sketchier lineart is more intimate.While there wasn't anything to write home about in terms of the writing, it was still enjoyable. I went into the story nearly completely blind, and just let myself be taken on a ride. While I would have liked a bit more explanations of the world, the worldbuilding itself was quite fun. Overall, a fun read! I'd recommend this to anyone who likes to image magic within our world and stargaze.
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  • Kally
    January 1, 1970
    I won a free copy of this book in a drawing and had my 12 year old read it before me. He was game to read it, but thought it was quite weird. He didn't have much else to say about it. I think I enjoyed it more than he did. The monochromatic palette gave it a blurry around the edges never ending nighttime adventure feel. The experiences the boys had were quite whimsical a la My Neighbor Totoro. However, the story is sprinkled with these strangely specific facts and I kept expecting to recognize a I won a free copy of this book in a drawing and had my 12 year old read it before me. He was game to read it, but thought it was quite weird. He didn't have much else to say about it. I think I enjoyed it more than he did. The monochromatic palette gave it a blurry around the edges never ending nighttime adventure feel. The experiences the boys had were quite whimsical a la My Neighbor Totoro. However, the story is sprinkled with these strangely specific facts and I kept expecting to recognize a moral or allegorical pattern, which was a little distracting. Overall, I enjoyed reading it but I think once was enough.
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  • Milliebot
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent middle-grade/coming-of-age comic about friendship. I had no idea there was a fantasy element involved in this book, because I didn't bother to read the blurb. I really love when modern-day books have a splash of magic in them - it makes me think that maybe someday I'll meet a talking bear or come upon a barge full of magical creatures or a friendly troll living under a bridge. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, accepting others and bullying seem to be big for me this mo Another excellent middle-grade/coming-of-age comic about friendship. I had no idea there was a fantasy element involved in this book, because I didn't bother to read the blurb. I really love when modern-day books have a splash of magic in them - it makes me think that maybe someday I'll meet a talking bear or come upon a barge full of magical creatures or a friendly troll living under a bridge. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, accepting others and bullying seem to be big for me this month. Very much enjoying that! I highly recommend this one, especially if you love selective color palettes in your graphic novels.
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  • Kathleen Bergen
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful, breathtaking book. The art is gorgeous. The lines have this sort of ethereal quality which is a perfect compliment to the story. The characters feel fully developed and believable, even though some of them are quite fantastical (an anthropomorphic bear, for example). Honestly this is just a glowingly perfect example of magical realism done well. And the changing relationship between the two boys throughout their journey was so gently and sensitively done. It hit me right in the feel A beautiful, breathtaking book. The art is gorgeous. The lines have this sort of ethereal quality which is a perfect compliment to the story. The characters feel fully developed and believable, even though some of them are quite fantastical (an anthropomorphic bear, for example). Honestly this is just a glowingly perfect example of magical realism done well. And the changing relationship between the two boys throughout their journey was so gently and sensitively done. It hit me right in the feels.Also there is a cool old witch lady and a giant crow. Basically my favourite things.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    A charming, magical story about childhood and its endless possibilities. Although I'm not a huge fan of the way in which the people are drawn (there's a bit too much of David Shannon's David in their smiles and their noses are strange), the use of color is excellent and the pictures do their fair share of the heavy lifting in regards to storytelling. And, every once in a while, there was a two-page spread that just took my breath away. Although it's set during the autumn, this is a perfect read A charming, magical story about childhood and its endless possibilities. Although I'm not a huge fan of the way in which the people are drawn (there's a bit too much of David Shannon's David in their smiles and their noses are strange), the use of color is excellent and the pictures do their fair share of the heavy lifting in regards to storytelling. And, every once in a while, there was a two-page spread that just took my breath away. Although it's set during the autumn, this is a perfect read for a firefly-lit summer night.
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  • Caleb Masters
    January 1, 1970
    A sublime graphic novel adventure. This Was Our Pact starts out simply enough: a group of friends are riding their bikes along a river to see where the paper lanterns it carries end up. This small beginning soon expands into a fantastical adventure along the lines of Miyazaki's Spirited Away or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, all told with Andrew's crisp writing and absolutely breathtaking artwork. I was totally captivated from the first page to the last; an excellent story of adventure and fr A sublime graphic novel adventure. This Was Our Pact starts out simply enough: a group of friends are riding their bikes along a river to see where the paper lanterns it carries end up. This small beginning soon expands into a fantastical adventure along the lines of Miyazaki's Spirited Away or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, all told with Andrew's crisp writing and absolutely breathtaking artwork. I was totally captivated from the first page to the last; an excellent story of adventure and friendship for young readers and the young at heart. 4.5 stars.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Gloriously whimsical magical realism! This middle grade novel explores the shame of uncoolness and betrayals we make of people we care about as we grow at the same time weaving a wondrous and mystical story complete with giant raven, talking bear, and sorceress with a messy basement. This rich graphic novel asks us to explore whether the journey is more important than the destination, and reminds us that adventure is what happens when you’re trying to do something else entirely.
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  • Jillian Jones
    January 1, 1970
    This book was A M A Z I N G. Every page, every illustration was absolutely breath-taking and the story was even better. This Was Our Pact is such a great story about the power of unexpected friendship and adventure. I feel so grateful that I work at a bookstore that allowed me to bring this magic and wonder into my life months in advance. To Ryan Andrews, you did that. Your artistry is unparalleled and I appreciate you. I am a new fan.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Ben and Nathaniel are an unlikely duo, the last two in their group to continue past the town bridge to follow the festival lanterns down the river. No one is supposed to cross that bridge-- and the boys set off on a life-changing adventure when they do. I got more than I expected with This Was Our Pact-- a gentlemanly fisherbear and a sassy elderly scientist included. I laughed, I was enchanted, I was inspired.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel is absolutely gorgeous and just the right level of dreamy-magical. If you like Hayao Miyazaki's work, you should definitely give this one a go, as it has the same blurred boundaries between the ordinary and the extraordinary. I did my second reading in total awe of the art.Another blah review because I wasn't able to write this up immediately after finishing...but seriously, I liked this one a lot and highly recommend it.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book had a really interesting twist of realism and fantasy. At the beginning you really have no idea the fantastical journey that is ahead. It also has a bit of an 80's feel at the beginning with the kids running off on their bikes to explore beyond the world they know.
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  • Asti
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't want to stop reading this. Every time I'd put it down something would pull me back to it. It wasn't the plot so much, just the fantasy of it all. I never knew what to expect each page. I enjoyed just following the boys along for the ride. (Oh, and that artwork? Absolutely beautiful. I think I'm going to have to buy this to add to my collection to admire again in the future.)
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  • Kel
    January 1, 1970
    SO pleased to finally, FINALLY own this! It surpassed every expectation I had of it, every single page was gorgeously and lovingly illustrated, the characters were compelling and interesting, and the world Ryan painted was whimsical and fun and unique and I didn’t want it to end!!Such love for the fisherbear!! 🐻🐟
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