Kazu Kibuishi – Amulet, Volumes 1 & 2
Length: 188 & 220 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Started/Finished: 18 February 2013
Where did they come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I really enjoy Kazu Kibuishi’s stories and art.
Monsters kidnapped their
mom, but they’ve got a necklace
and some robots’ help.
Summary: After the death of their father, Emily, her younger brother Navin, and their mother move to their old and dilapidated family home to begin a new life. As Emily is exploring, she finds a strange necklace in a storage room.. and then on their first night, their mother is abducted by monsters. Emily and Navin follow after, and find themselves in a strange world new world. The amulet that Emily is wearing seems to have strange powers, but it turns out that there is more wrong in this new world than may first meet the eye, and rescuing their mother is only the first challenge they will have to face.
In The Stonekeeper’s Curse, the siblings must track down a rare fruit that will heal their comatose mother. Apart from the dangers of the journey itself, they’re being hunted by the king of the elves, who craves the power of Emily’s amulet. But they don’t have to work by themselves; not only do they have the robots created by their grandfather, but they also have the help of a secret resistance that opposes the rules of the elves.
Review: I love Kibuishi’s artwork, and while his contributions to Flight weren’t always my favorites, I loved Daisy Kutter, and his stories are typically really interesting. So I was definitely interested in checking out his multi-volume series, even if it was geared towards a younger age group than most graphic novels I read.
On one score, Amulet didn’t disappoint. The art was uniformly lovely, colorful without being bright or gaudy, enchanting and creepy by turns, as good on the figures as it is for the backgrounds. But I thought that the story, and the worldbuilding, didn’t quite hold up their ends. In a way, it all felt sort of dreamlike – full of lots of cool, interesting elements, but they don’t always fit together or follow after one another in a way that makes sense. (Kind of like Spirited Away, actually.) Or maybe not so much like a dream, but like a bedtime story told to a five-year-old, who’s going “and then there’s an airplane that chases the monsters! And then a ninja! Who’s a fox! And there’s a house that’s really a robot!” It’s all very imaginative, and there’s certainly plenty of adventure, but it doesn’t necessarily feel cohesive. Maybe it doesn’t feel cohesive *yet*; there’s certainly potential in the story of the amulet and its powers and the elves. But thus far I’m left feeling a little jumbled. 3 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: I’m going to hold off judgement until I’ve read the rest of the series. It’s very pretty, but it’s sort of all over the place, and I’m not really sold on the story yet either.
Other Reviews: 1330v (1 & 2), Beth Fish Reads (1), The Book Pirate (1), This Purple Crayon (1 & 2), and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
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