Thursday, December 17, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] The Hardy Boys: To Die or Not to Die? Volume 9 by Scott Lobdell

Title:  The Hardy Boys:  To Die or Not to Die? Volume 9

Author:   Scott Lobdell 

Artist:  Paulo Henrique

Genre:  Mystery / Romance / Thriller / Crime

Year Published:  2007

Year Read: 12/10/2015 

Series:  The Hardy Boys #9

Publisher:  Papercutz

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Fighting Scenes)


After reading the first book in “The Hardy Boys” graphic novel series written by Scott Lobdell, I was a bit turned off by how slow paced the very first book was in the series.  But then, when I picked up this volume of “The Hardy Boys” called “To Die or Not to Die?” (Although I have not read the previous volumes before this one yet), I have discovered that this series is getting a bit better (at least a part from the first volume).

What is this story about?

In this volume, Frank and Joe Hardy get a new mission where they have to protect the lovely contestant Joelle Rinker from being killed in the All-State Drama Competition.  However, it seems that Frank Hardy has fallen in love with Joelle and while a new romance is brewing, a series of mysterious and dangerous accidents are happening during the competition to prevent the other contestants from winning the contest!

Can the Hardy Boys solve this dangerous case or will the contestants be at risk of being killed in this competition?

Read this book to find out!

What I loved about this story:

Scott Lobdell’s writing: After reading the very first volume of the “Hardy Boys” series, I was wondering to myself about whether or not this series would get better as I continue to read each volume.  Even though I skipped over a few volumes before getting to this one, I must admit that this volume was a huge improvement over the very first volume of this series!  Scott Lobdell’s writing is much sharper and more interesting in this volume than in the first volume since the characters seem a bit more fleshed out and I really loved the way that Scott Lobdell wrote each character, especially Frank and Joe Hardy!  I liked the fact that Frank had more focus in this volume as it shows how his careful nature could change once he fell in love and it was great seeing him struggle with his conflicting emotions regarding Joelle.  I also loved the fact that Frank Hardy is the wiser and more charming of the two brothers and I enjoyed seeing him take interest in things like acting and taking his cases seriously since it shows how mature and intellectual he is.  I also loved the fact that even though Frank is into his studies, we get to see him in action as he jumps at the opportunity to rescue anyone in trouble (which I must admit that I found myself swooning over the scenes where Frank uses martial arts skills to save lives)! Even though we did not get much focus on Joe in this volume, it was great seeing him bring some comedy into this story as we usually see him making comments about Frank’s love life.  I also loved the way that Scott Lobdell wove the mystery element into this story as you try to figure out who is trying to kill the competitors in the competition, while throwing in hints that would help you solve the case!

Paulo Henrique’s artwork:  Paulo Henrique’s artwork in this volume is actually a huge improvement for this series as the characters are extremely well drawn and it fits quite well with the intense and comedic nature of this series!  I also loved the fact that the Hardy Boys themselves look much more muscular in this volume than in the previous volumes, which made me swoon over the boys even more!

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this volume a four star rating was because I felt that the story was a bit too fast paced and it felt like the characters were not progressed enough for me to really get into their journey through the story.  However, I did find the main love story with Frank and Joelle to be pretty interesting, even though I wish that their relationship was developed more.  Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too anticlimactic since I wanted to see more happen at the end once the case was resolved.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “The Hardy Boys: To Die or Not to Die?” is a great volume for the “Hardy Boys” series and I would definitely recommend this volume to fans of the “Hardy Boys!”

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