Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


Every time I pick up one of Kazu Kibuishi’s graphic novels, I turn into a big kid again. I can’t help it. Kibiuishi is such a naturally gifted storyteller that I can’t help but get swept up in whatever adventure he’s spinning and get carried right along.

I’m not sure if the sense of wonder comes from the simplistic but gripping characters and worlds he renders through the development of those, or if that special connection is rendered through the beautiful artwork that graces the pages. Ultimately, though, it has to be a combination of both, but there must be one that is stronger than the other. I just can’t figure out which it is.

I first discovered Kibuishi through the first book in the Amulet series, The Stonekeeper, and have followed the story through the second one, The Stonekeeper’s Curse. Although the books are being published a year apart and the story is an ongoing one, I have no problem keeping up with either the characters or the circumstances.

The story focuses on Emily, a child of our world that fell into another world while searching for her mother, who has ties to that world. Emily’s younger brother, Navin – who is also something of a natural mechanical genius, went with her and they’ve had to scramble to save their lives.

Of course, in order to do all that, and to figure out the mysterious bidding of the Amulet that Emily now wears, they’ve had to pick up companions of the road. Leon Redbeard was once a human but now he’s a fox and he’s an absolutely amazing warrior with a destiny that also seems tied to the Amulet.

In this third volume of the series, the group has to find a way to reach the floating city of Cielis, long thought to be a myth by everyone else. In order to get there, they have to recruit an airship captain as driven to find the floating city as they are.

The story narrative is tense and keeps the pages turning. I couldn’t put the book down and even though the graphic novel is largely pictures, the story took time to be told. I love the world and the characters Kibuishi has created, and I hope he keeps putting these books out for years to come. But this was one more cliffhanger ending and I’ve got to wait yet again.

If you’ve got a reluctant reader in your house, the Amulet series is perfect for getting those kids involved in a story that will enhance their imaginations and vocabularies.

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