Book Review: ‘Codex Black: A Fire Among Clouds’ by Camilo Moncada Lozano & Angel De Santiago

‘Codex Black: A Fire Among Clouds’ is a unique story that is perfect for young readers as they try to figure out who they are.

A Fire Among Clouds, the first in the Codex Black series, is a fascinating tale of two young individuals that both embark on a journey and are forced to come to terms with who they are. The graphic novel, which hails from Camilo Moncada Lozano and colorist Michi Desantiago, is a story that takes place in fifteenth-century Mesoamerica. It tells the story of 15-year-old Donaji, and 17-year-old Itzcacalotl. Donaji is on a mission to search for her father who left eleven years ago. She knows next to nothing as to where he went or why he left, but she’s determined to find him. Along the way, she runs into the eccentric Itzcacalotl who has wings and doesn’t really belong. The two teens couldn’t be more different from one another, but together, they make a dynamite team.

The artwork in A Fire Among Clouds is absolutely stunning. The expressions, the designs and the details are captivating, and they’re made all the better by Desantiago’s excellent colorwork. There are moments where the text can be frustrating, with a few “info-dump” moments sprinkled throughout, but the artwork helps to keep readers enticed. While it isn’t perfect, and there are some panels that feel like there’s just too much going on, the overall artwork does a phenomenal job at helping to elevate the story.

As for the story itself, while interesting and unique, the story does have some issues. The biggest issue is that the story itself doesn’t really have a satisfying conclusion. Somehow, the adventure the main characters are on at the very beginning does not an actual conclusion. It feels like nothing really happens. There is a ton of great character development, but in the end, our characters are seemingly back where they started. We get no real answers to our questions, and it is pretty frustrating. Thankfully, the story itself is intriguing enough to want to push through.

A Fire Among the Clouds is the perfect graphic novel for teenagers. It’s a story about self-growth, acceptance, and family that is worthy of a read.

Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive a physical ARC from IDW Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The book is available now wherever books are sold!

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