This was one of those total impulse grabs from the library. Had never heard of it before, but it looked fun. And it was fun, but certainly won't make my top ten reads of the year or anything.
The story begins with a terrible accident in which Emily's father is killed. A couple of years later, Emily's mother moves the family (herself, Emily, and Emily's brother, Navin) to an old family home. She claims that she's just still trying to give them a fresh start. But we come to wonder if, unbeknownst even to her, there's something more going on with this move. The family arrives at the home, and on the very first night, events spiral out of control. The children find an amulet, their mother is kidnapped by a strange tentacled creature, and they all find themselves in a world completely foreign to them.
The downside: The story just doesn't have a lot of depth. But I would like to hope that maybe that will come as the series continues. (And there are hints that this may well be the case.) I realize that this is a series aimed at younger children, but I don't believe that means it needs to be overly simplistic. (I'm actually hoping that I can convince Gray to read this, so I can get him opinion.)
On the positive side: I love the art! I found the "creatures," both the good ones and the bad ones, to be utterly adorable. And I don't quite know how to explain it, but I love the coloring of this novel. I hesitate to use the word "pretty," but I honestly can't think of a better word. It is both subtle and vibrant all at the same time. Oh crap...I'm making no sense at all here. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed looking at this book.
Rose by Jeff Smith and Charles Vess.
I've actually had this on my wish list ever since I read my first graphic novel, Alice in Sunderland. (Talbot spoke of a number of books in Alice in Sunderland that got added to my wish list.) Anyway, when Rose was finally available at the library, I of course, snatched it right up.
It's a beautiful little fantasy story. Just read it's beginning words:
When the world was very, very new, and dreams had not yet receded from the waking day...
The first dragon was a queen named Mim. And Mim was the keeper of all who dreamed.
She cared for the dreaming by encircling the world and holding her tail in her mouth...
As long as Mim held her tail in this way, balance was maintained.
And balance is most important, for the dreaming is a thing of great delicacy.
I don't want to give any of the story away, but I'm sure you can easily guess that something happens to this balance. A balance is regained, but again disrupted. And it eventually falls upon Princess Rose to right things. I love Princess Rose...she's young, a bit naive, a bit impulsive...and who wants a princess that is too perfect, right? It's a story about dreams, and growing up, and hard choices. I really, really enjoyed it.
And hey, it doesn't hurt that Charles Vess created the artwork, huh? It is stunningly beautiful.
I didn't realize until after I'd finished the book that is a prequel to BONE. From the little I know about BONE, I believe this prequel is a bit darker in nature. But I plan to find out for sure...after finishing this book, I had to immediately go and order BONE: One Volume Edition.
Castle Waiting by Linda Medley.
Oh my, what can I say? This is easily my favorite of the three. I absotively, posolutely adored this book! Delightful. Beguiling. Captivating. Enchanting. (O.K., O.K., I'll stop now before I feel the need to dig out the thesaurus.) This was a book that just made me happy. The only other recent book I've read that I can remember making me feel this way is The Goose Girl. Not that the two books are alike, they just made me feel the same. I wish I was better with words so I could explain what I mean. It's just sort of a happy innocence. A being fully transported away into a land of pure magic. Of course, that's not to say that either book is all lightness and fluff. Anyway as I said, the two books really aren't all that similar, other than the fact that a review of each would likely contain the words "fairy tale" at some point. Castle Waiting has much more depth. There are layers upon layers, stories within stories. And OMGosh, is this book funny! And bottom line, it's about how anyone can come together and become a family.
Ahhh, I seriously want to read it again already!
*Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot (Castle Waiting)
*Eva at A Striped Armchair (Castle Waiting)
*Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books
*Kailana at The Written World (Rose)
I'd love to add your two-cents, so if you'd reviewed any of the above, please feel free to leave me a link in the comments. Thanks.