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On A Sunbeam Review

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Mia joins a spaceship crew which rebuilds broken archaeological structures, but she has an ulterior motive - years ago, in boarding school, she never got to say goodbye to her love. Now she’s on a mission to find her.


Queer, graphic novel, science fiction


Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As new member Mia gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. Soon, though, Mia reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love.

An inventive world, a breathtaking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden.


This is a graphic novel told in alternating timelines, one in the present and one in Mia’s past at boarding school. The illustrations are of a more abstract style, and the depictions of space are beautiful. The spaceships look like fish, and the way they are rendered is so amazing that it would make for a beautiful wall picture.

The story is simple, as they tend to be in graphic novels, but heartwarming. A main character uses they/them pronouns, which is sadly quite rare. I loved the relationships between the crew mates; it has a nice found family feel to it. You can feel how much they care for and are loyal to each other.

The ending was a bit confusing and not fully fleshed out. I got lost at the climax, but this wasn’t enough to dampen my enjoyment of the story. More detail and explanation could have made this better, as well as a less rushed conclusion.

While it has its sadness, this book is overall uplifting and heartwarming, and it left me with a good feeling inside after reading.

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