Chew Volume One: Tasters Choice – John Layman and Rob Guillory

Over the last year I have really enjoyed developing an interest in graphic novels. I had never read one until I picked up Amulet by Kabu Kibuishi and although it may not be aimed at my age it had me hooked. To the extent that I have the next one already ordered despite it’s release date being March 2016. The point of all this is that a friend of mine bought me this graphic novel after a long chat about what I was reading and to sum it up she picked the right book for me. 

Chew is a brilliant graphic novel with an ever tangling plot. It follows Tony Chu who is Cibopathic meaning he gets a psychic reading from anything he eats. He can take a bite from any food and know where it came from and what it went through right down to the pesticides used on a vegetable. After being recruited by the FDA he is asked to bite a few unusual things to help solve crimes. With a break out of  bird flu that killed 23 million Americans all chicken and hoof meat has been taken away from public consumption, but somehow it continues to appear in certain areas.

I really liked this graphic novel, the images were so detailed and the use of colour was powerful throughout the plot. The dialogue seemed minimal compared to other books I have read but it worked really well with this plot. Another thing I liked about this was that the plot wasn’t solely focused on Tony and his ability, he slotted in nicely to a much bigger story and although his ability is brilliant in it’s own right it was an interesting twist to learn he wasn’t the only one with a food related power.

The characters in this book were all likeable and I am looking forward to finding out more about them. There is an element of mystery to the characters because you don’t fully learn about them until the plot develops and small bits of their personality or character shows. Tony is a really interesting character and I  like his attitude and the way he comes across in the book, however I still feel like he has a mysterious side to his readers as his character is very reserved when talking to others meaning the reader learns very little about him. A nice touch in this graphic novel is being able to read Tony’s thoughts, not just what he says but what he is actually thinking. This leaves a slither of hope that more information will gradually appear about him especially if readers get a look into his head as he comes into contact with other characters or situations.

As this is the first volume it builds very much on the plot and introducing characters, I really enjoyed it and can definitely say I am hooked. However I can’t wait to get my hands on the second volume to see how the plot progresses and what’s in store for the characters. I gave Volume One a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads as it very much deserves the full 5. It has everything necessary for a great graphic novel and more. I would recommend this to any readers that enjoy this genre or those who are after something a bit different. Although I wouldn’t recommend reading it immediately before or after eating….you could be put off!


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