Silverwing: The Graphic Novel by Kenneth Oppel

There’s something so irresistible about the forbidden; the simple reality of something being off-limits is just so enticing that anyone, even the most well-intentioned could in a moment of weakness, do the unthinkable. Shade, a young bat, who in a reckless moment, showing off to his friends, does the inconceiveable and rises above the tree canopy to see that which has been prohibited to his kind: the sun. A bare glimpse of the glowing disc was all it took; from out of nowhere, the talons of a watchful owl descended upon the law-breaker, bringing shame and punishment to the Silverwing clan.

A bat elder, intervenes on behalf of Shade, saving his life. The cost however, impacts all of them and their summer home is destroyed by the owls. Shade and his clan are forced to travel South to Hibernaculum, their traditional wintering grounds. The adventure begins when a big storm hits and Shade is separated from his clan. He will meet an unlikely companion in Marina, a young Brightwing, who will join him on his quest to find his clan and Hibernaculum. On their journey, they will face many challenges and even defy death; evil is everywhere and it is hard to know who is friend and who is foe.

Kenneth Oppel’s “Silverwing: The Graphic Novel” adapted from his original novel (1997) is a fast-paced and engaging story. Shade and Marina are endearing characters who are counterbalanced by the malevolent forces of evil that they find at every turn. Other than the origin story of the banned sun being a bit underdeveloped, the plot works well and is effectively supported by diverse setting. The different settings of forest and city provides opportunities for more exiting adventures and more hideous and malicious villains. With Christopher Steininger’s powerful and vibrant illustrations, the characters are truly hideous and often mildly horrific. Silverwing works really well as a Graphic Novel because the colour palette and the light play help to evoke emotion, build up characters, and bring Oppel’s story to life.

This book has some scary moments in it that make this a better read for middle-grade readers. While this story resolves, it leaves room for a sequel, which is great because I can’t wait to read the next one!


KENNETH OPPEL is the bestselling author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and was adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by the Times (UK). Kenneth Oppel is also the author of Half BrotherThis Dark EndeavorThe BoundlessThe NestEvery Hidden ThingInkling and the Bloom trilogy. His latest novel is Ghostlight. Ken Oppel lives with his family in Toronto.

CHRISTOPHER STEININGER is an artist and illustrator who has done storyboards for numerous shows and video games, including Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Spec Ops: The Line. He’s also created concept art for a variety of projects, such as Warhammer 40K and Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast. Recently, he’s illustrated In Search of Hannibal, a historically accurate retelling of Hannibal’s epic battle against Rome, and the upcoming The Children of Odin and Age of Ichor. Christopher Steininger lives in Saskatchewan.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins (Sept. 5 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1443462160
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1443462167

Aiden Lee is from Vancouver, BC. He’s in grade 7 and enjoys playing basketball and playing badminton with his family. Aiden is always up for a challenge and he loves reviewing many different genres of books; some of his favourite genres include mystery, sci-fi and adventure. Aiden likes to read to escape the real world and enjoys going on adventures with the characters; he hopes he can help other children find books they can enjoy as much as he does.