Friday, June 25, 2021

Review: ‘Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms’ Showcases the Emotional Trauma of Thanos’ Daughters

From New York Times Bestselling author Mackenzi Lee is a deep dive into the tumultuous relationship between the daughters of Thanos, Gamora and Nebula, as teenagers in a new novel, Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms.

Set before the events seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms takes us to a time where Gamora is still fiercely loyal to her tyrant father, doing his bidding willingly with a sense of pride. The relationship between Gamora and Nebula is at its all-time low, with, of course, their father to blame.

The story takes place on a dying planet, Torndune, stripped of its life in favor of mining for a valuable element where Gamora has been sent on a mission to retrieve the heart of the planet. She doesn’t know who has sent her or what they could want with a heart of a planet, but Thanos had commanded her to go, so she did. The shock comes when she finds her estranged sister, Nebula, has followed her. The two must battle through missionaries of a strange cult, the suffering miners whose jobs are killing them slowly, the greedy establishment holding them prisoner, and one another.

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But they closer they get to the heart of the planet—and to each other—
the closer they get to uncovering the truth of what brought them there
and the role they may unknowingly be playing in a twisted
competition with galactic consequences. A competition they can never win … unless they learn to trust each other.

At its core, Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms is a tale of trust and faith … or lack thereof. It’s a fantastic introduction to the Gamora and Nebula we meet in Guardians of the Galaxy, providing a vivid and emotionally rich backstory to the enemy sisters we see introduced in the films.

Lee captures the opposing personalities of Gamora and Nebula flawlessly. From Gamora’s cool, calm, and collected demeanor born of never fearing for her life or position with her father, to Nebula’s neurotic and panicked, yet vicious, personality that comes only when you’ve spent your entire life trying to survive, even within your own family, she adds the layers to these two ferocious women that is so crucial to their characters. With this comes a deep dive into the fragile relationship and trust between the two sisters, with Gamora being content with her father’s affections and feeling no need to fight for those of her sister, while Nebula searches for an ally and the love of the one person who had ever shown her a morsel of kindness.

Along with mastering these two complex characters, Lee balances the action one expects from Marvel content with a heavy emotional barbell that keeps the pages turning in anticipation of how these two doomed lone soldiers will react, transform, and possibly forgive. The supporting characters are nuanced, and the twists and turns this story takes in the back half are stunning… literally and figuratively.

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This novel only solidifies Gamora and Nebula as one of Marvel’s most captivating and intriguing duos, with Lee’s take on the two characters aiding that immensely. It’s a beautiful and tragic tale of Thanos’ tyranny in not only his quests to end half of life, but on everything he touches, even those he claims to cherish.

Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms is available to purchase today! Check out our interview with author Mackenzi Lee, too!

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Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. Her main fandoms are Marvel, The Umbrella Academy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, with special emphasis on one vibranium shield-wielding Super Soldier. Contact: kaity@nerdsandbeyond.com

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