Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson

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I received an eARC copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

CONTENT WARNINGS: grief, loss of a loved one, murder

“We have so much history…those ties go deep and aren’t easily cut.”

Friends, this was such an enjoyable read! I’ve been suffering from the worst reading slump for the past couple of months and just wanted to read and finish something. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, and I figured that there is probably no better cure for a slump that a dose of nostalgia — and how right I was!

One of the things I loved most about reading Nancy Drew was how strong, smart, and capable she a character she is. I loved the reimagining of the characters we know and love as modern day teenagers, and unlike some other reboots that I’ve read this is written in a way that doesn’t alienate a younger reader unfamiliar with the source material but also doesn’t alienate people my age that are in it for the nostalgia factor.

I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but I was impressed with how good the character development is in these first 5 issues! Thompson managed to give the reader a real sense of who the characters are and their complicated backstory effortlessly. With Nancy returning after seven years of drifting apart from her friends, the graphic novel briefly touches on that hurt but also shows how with some friends you can just fall back into patterns as if no time passed at all. I liked that the Hardy boys are also in these comics and how gloriously diverse this is.

There was a conversation between George and Nancy that I especially loved that dealt with our propensity to apologize for being emotional or crying. George’s response was so perfect: “Why is crying dumb anyway? What are we — freaking robots?”I really appreciate the normalization of crying in fiction, and the way that both Nancy and Pete are processing their grief in different ways but also are kind of brought together through their loss as well.

Overall this was a really fun read and I will be watching for the next issue because OH GOODNESS THAT ENDING! I loved the art style and the writing is easy to follow, witty, and full of life as the voices of the characters shine through the pages.

Recommended for: fans of strong female characters that aren’t all pointy (can be soft, too), mystery lovers, and those that read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as a kid.

Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly ThompsonGoodreads Synopsis

Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything… ESPECIALLY solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed.

KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits) team up to present an all-new modern spin on a classic mystery icon!


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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

21 thoughts on “Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson

  1. What a fun read, glad you enjoyed it and got yourself out of a slump! I totally agree with your comments about crying and showing emotion, and love that it was adressed here. Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Nancy Drew, mom had gotten me all of the Nancy Drew books as a kid, and seeing this, I didn’t go for it because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations but the art really does look gorgeous and your recs are solid, so I’m now like ‘do…do I add it?’ haha, great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great review Kal! Like I said before, you really know how to make a girl add to her TBR when she doesn’t want too! I grew up with Nancy and the gang so I’m a little hesitant with recreations solely because I don’t want to tarnish the mems I have from the original. But based on your review this sounds like it could potentially enhance the mems. Can’t wait for it’s release!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YESSSSS NANCY DREW WAS MY CHILDHOOD. Plus I think they came out with a younger, more middle grade version, so I ate those up along with the original ones. I’m so happy to hear this adaptation puts a modern spin while being able to um… waddle between both age groups? Wow, what is English. And oooo the Hardy Boys are in here too? *ears perk*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NANCY DREW WAS MY CHILDHOOD TOO! It’s amazing to think about the books and music I consumed as a child and how they shaped me as an adult. Weird. Anyways. Yes this was good and I want to read more! Also the Hardy Boys were too cute, much fun


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