Ares & Aphrodite
Ares & Aphrodite is the graphic novel equivalent of a beach read, a romance set in Hollywood with plenty of spicy tricks and sparkly back-and-forth dialogue. If this was a movie — and sometimes it reads as though it wants to be — it’d be a classic romantic comedy.
Will Ares is a successful divorce attorney, which means a lot of people dislike him. His most recent client is Evans Beatty (a terrific name choice to evoke an aging Hollywood player), who’s dumping his screenwriter wife to marry a just-out-of-her-teens rising star. Gigi Averelle is their wedding planner, whom Will flirts with.
Plans become even more complicated when the young lady, Carrie, inks a deal to star in a princess wedding movie with the first Beatty ex-wife playing … her mother. Will Carrie and Evans’ wedding happen? Will Will and Gigi get together? Who keeps vandalizing Will’s car? Events continue building, and more motivations are revealed, as the story continues through this world of celebrity stardom.
Jamie S. Rich (A Boy & a Girl, You Have Killed Me, 12 Reasons Why I Love Her) is great with dialogue and relationships. Megan Levens (Angel City, Madame Frankenstein, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) draws distinctive, animated figures full of action. I don’t know how much of Ares & Aphrodite I’ll remember tomorrow, but I enjoyed the time I spent reading it. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)
I really liked this one, but the lack of resolution frustrated me. I also felt like Will and Gigi had a backstory we were missing.
I liked that Will and Gigi weren’t treated as blank slates, but I agree, the ending was pretty open. I see more and more books like that, though, hoping to become a series.