RaveThe New York Review of BooksThis recreated sketchbook is artistically masterful ... each page has all the energy of an image drawn on the spot. Kugler’s line is astute, sinuous. He pulls the main characters out with color, but lets the background details overlap and congeal. He records the half-drunk Arabic coffee, the portable heater, the eloquent detritus of camp life. At their best, sketchbooks like Kugler’s make readers feel as if they are sitting beside the artist—watching the refugees climb onto the beach of the Greek island of Kos after crossing the Aegean from Turkey, or smelling the tea sold by a vendor in an Iraqi refugee camp ... Kugler’s sprawl of testimony shows how these individual histories accumulate, blur, and shuffle.
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksIt is a straightforward story filled with maps and statistics, generous with the sorts of definitions American audiences still need after decades of meddling in the Middle East ... his discussion of the war’s origins are pages well spent ... To those familiar with the Syrian war, this may seem simplistic, but without knowing this background, how can a reader understand why Syrians continue to flee? Brown draws simply, laying digital washes over his sketchy charcoal line. At his best, he verges on the stark simplicity that comics can do so well ... Brown tells Syrian stories without names or identifying details. Sometimes this works ... Other times, this anonymity is less successful ... Brown is at his most damning when he describes how the world turned against Syrian refugees.