Gene Ha’s Mae is a surprising, dreamy journey to another reality. Two sisters, Mae and Abby meet after a long separation and try to locate their dad, kidnapped into another dimension. The story is original and exciting, and the illustrations are superb. I really enjoyed reading this graphic novel and learning to know its resourceful and fearless main characters.

mae gene ha 2

Mae, vol I
Gene Ha

Abbie is a ruthless warrior, who’s found a way to survive in a world that is strange and unforgiving. She often takes action before thinking about the consequences, but this ability to function has also saved her from many potentially deadly situations. Mae is new to Abbie’s world and only beginning to understand its workings. Apparently Abbie has been a queen there, but is now chased by some bloodthirsty hunters. The plot was a bit confusing, but I hope it’ll clear out in the volume II. Because – for the sake of the superb illustrations I definitely want to see how this story develops.

I checked a few Goodreads’ reviews of this title while writing my own review, and was quite surprised that so many had not liked the illustrations. I loved them. Some reviews stated that they would’ve preferred more traditional style and others were put off by Gene Ha’s line art… I don’t know. This is of course a matter of taste, but in my opinion the illustrations show good technical ability and skill and also work very well with the story.

mae page gene ha

In the end part of the book, there are lots of information on how the story was created, sketches of the characters from the development stage and drawings of the characters by other artists on their own styles. There is even a glossary, as many of the names in the book are based on Czech words.

All in all a wonderful reading experience. I’m looking forward to read the volume 2…