Available Copies: Downtown Youth, Pittsfield Youth, West Youth
"After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves" -- from publisher's web site.
Emily finds a magical amulet in the old house that she, her brother Navin, and her mother move into after her father dies. When her mother gets taken by a mysterious monster, Emily follows the instructions the amulet gives her in an attempt to get her mother back-- but should she trust the messages from the necklace, or be wary like Navin?
The highlight of this graphic novel are the creative creatures created by Kibuishi-- in a world somewhat reminiscent of Carrol's Wonderland, squid-like monsters, sentient stuffed rabbits, and grumpy robots all coexist. Imaginative readers will love the possibilities that the parallel earth of Amulet provides, though readers should beware that the story can get quite scary and that the dangers of death are present.
The art of Amulet is basic, and while it gives suggestions for how readers can picture the characters and action, it doesn't add much to the story on its own. However, the readers who are drawn into Amulet's story will likely have the imagination to fill in the blanks that the art leaves.
The art in this book is breathtaking and gorgeous. It just shows the power of picture. The images are forlorn and a bit creepy which I love. However, the storyline is not that good. It is kind of typical and predictable. If Kibushi had just thought of a better story, this book would be amazing.
Emily, Navin and their mother move into a dank, abandoned family home after the death of their father and husband. When poking aroun in her great-grandfather's puzzle lab, Emily happen upon a strange alter, which, upon taking her blood, bestows a beautiful amulet on her. After receiving a vague warning from the amulet, Emily watches in horror as an otherworldly monster steals her mother away. Unwilling to lose another parent, Emily and Navin follow their mother to a parallel world, a world that, by taking the amulet, Emily now owes a particular responsibility. But while the Amulet and the magical powers and advice it bestows help the pair chase after their mother, how can they really know that the talking stone - and their great grandfather, who owned it before - had good intentions? Kibuishi's art style takes clear reference from the manga tradition, with his characters' big eyes an simple faces. However, his use of thin line weights and soft, muted colors stands in opposition the manga style's heavy reliance on thick lines and deep blacks. The simple art lacks a certain dynamic quality, relying on soft color gradations to lend mood and feeling to panels. Certain story beats feel incredibly familiar - the traumatic death of Emily's father, for instance, seems somewhat cliche, and several elements of the parallel world, though imaginative, clearly reference other works. This story, while perhaps not the most original, still delivers with an entertaining plot using visuals that hearken back to the beginning of the story to give later occurrences more emotional weight.
submitted by camelsamba on August 23, 2011, 11:22 pm
The artwork in this graphic novel is lush, evocative, and beautiful. The storyline, however, is pretty intense (father dies in car accident, mother ripped away from children by a scary creature - more than once!, etc). More sensitive youngsters (such as my 11yo son) might get overwhelmed.
You need to check out the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi, the legendary creator of the Flight Anthologies, if you haven't yet. It's amazing how Kibuishi can convey so much action with just a few scenes. And, the storytelling is top notch. I get the same chills of excitement reading this as when I, say, first started reading Bone. It's that good, and I can't wait for the next one. Take a peek at this all-ages fantasy romp about a girl with a magical amulet and a very unique destiny and you won't be disappointed.