BOOK REVIEW: Alexandra Christo “To Kill a Kingdom”

34499221Title: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Goodreads Synopsis

My thoughts: 

This is how you write a retelling, people. It doesn’t have to be the same in every way and it’s okay if it’s a looser portrayal. To Kill a Kingdom is a re-imagining of The Little Mermaid, and I have to say that I loved it even more than the original.

Now truth be told I don’t actually love the original Disney adaptation with Ariel’s insisting “but Daddy, I love him” and claiming she’s “not a child anymore” when she’s 16. (You know you’re getting old when you start to side with the adults in kid’s movies?) I also can’t say that I’m all too familiar with the original original story, except that I know it’s quite sad so I have no interest in it. Happily ever after or bust, man.

Yet Allie Christo’s adaptation was everything I need from a good story: morally grey MCs, hilarious secondary characters, a psycho villain, slow-burn romance, clever banter and action.

I had my doubts about this book considering I have no love for Ariel and Eric, but Lira and Elian are bae and I say this unironically. From the very beginning, I rooted for them both and they were such believable characters. Even though they weren’t likable right of the bat, I connected with them and in turn, grew to love them.

The world that Christo created was fascinating, both on land and in the water. I loved the world of the sirens and mermaids and also loved the different kingdoms and cultures that Elian’s crew encounters. Plus, the dynamics between Lira and Elian were amazing: Lira, siren, Princes’ Bane and Elian, pirate, prince, siren hunter. And yet throughout the book, only Lira knows both of their identities since Elian still believes that she’s human.

Also let’s talk about the writing: it was incredible.

… Oh, I thought I had more to say about that. Moving on.

In conclusion, To Kill a Kingdom was such a fun, satisfying romp and Christo has been added to my list of authors on my auto-buy list. My wallet says thanks.

 

Alexandra Christo: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Seanan McGuire “Every Heart a Doorway”

51QNWyKjJAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Every Heart a Doorway

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Goodreads Synopsis

My thoughts:

Every Heart a Doorway ended up being not at all what I expected. I thought this was going to be a light, atmospheric fantasy, but instead ended up being altogether darker and heavier than I would have imagined.

Now obviously, I can’t blame my expectations on the book and I was able to set them aside after the initial jarring reaction. Still, I’m not sure I would have read this if I had known because I was not in the right frame of mind for this.

The story follows the children living in Eleanor West’s home for “troubled” teenagers, but this isn’t exactly true. This is what Eleanor allows the parents to believe, who would never understand the truth: that their children had visited another world and had come back very different.

“… You know, I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when I was a kid, and I never thought about what it would be like for Alice when she went back to where she’d started. I figured she’d just shrug and get over it. But I can’t do that. Every time I close my eyes, I’m back in my real bed, in my real room, and all of this is a dream.”

Eleanor West provides these children with a safe place for them to come to terms with their current situation, and the entire experience is treated like therapy. There are two kinds of homes for children who have visited other worlds: one for children who wish to forget, and one for children who wish to go back. Nancy, our main character, wishes to go back.

The book is beautifully written and extremely quotable, I will definitely give it that. I loved the whole idea of it and loved hearing about the worlds that each child had visited, for they were all wildly different. I wanted to hear more about this, but instead, the story shifted into a murder mystery about halfway through the book.

Suddenly, students started turning up dead under very mysterious circumstances, and it’s obvious that there is a murderer loose in the school. Under normal circumstances, I would think that the administrator would decide that the student’s lives are more important than anything else and have them sent away until the problem is dealt with. That is not how Eleanor West handles the situation.

To a certain extent, I understand why. Part of the reason that many of the children are staying in the home to begin with is because they come from toxic households that would not make for good healing environments for the children. However, I think in this case the choice is simple: either stay at the school and potentially die a horrible death, or go home for a short time while the murderer is tracked down. Or don’t even send the children home, just get them somewhere safe? But no, after every murder, Eleanor pleads with the children not to alert the outside world to the murder problem so the school doesn’t get shut down. This was very frustrating to me and I felt it selfish to value a “safe place” over the lives of the children.

Not only that, I felt the reader wasn’t given enough time to connect with any of the characters before people start getting murdered, so I couldn’t even bother to care if any of them died. I wasn’t invested in the story and overall, I wish this had taken a different direction.

Don’t get me wrong, I still adore the idea and I definitely plan to at least read the second book before deciding if this series is a lost cause. I hope that Down Among the Sticks and Bones is an improvement on this book and focuses more on the worlds that the children visit and their journeys to recovery.

 

Seanan McGuire: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Tricia Levenseller “Daughter of the Pirate King”

33643994Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Goodreads Synopsis

My thoughts:

This had all the makings of an entertaining, action-packed read: snarky female character, swoony love interest and unique magical elements. Instead, all I felt was frustration throughout this entire reading process.

Alosa is, as the title mentions, the pirate king’s daughter. This makes her incredibly well-trained, smart and quick, so her father sends Alosa on a mission to steal a piece of a map which is hidden on board an enemy ship. To do this, she purposely allows the ship’s captain to take her prisoner so that she can then escape and search for the map piece. At any point, Alosa could supposedly easily escape if she wanted to, except she obviously wants to stay on board until she completes her mission.

See, but here’s the thing: if she could so easily escape undetected, why is it that every time she broke out of her cell to search the ship, she ends up getting caught? If she’s so dang good, why does she continue to be found out? Every time someone finds her out of her cell, she makes some half-hearted attempt to escape so that the crew continues to think that she truly doesn’t want to be there. Yet after the third, fourth, fifth time, it just became pathetic.

So in this barely 300-page book, Alosa spends practically the first 225 pages escaping, unsuccessfully searching for the map piece, getting caught and being thrown back in her cell. Over and over and over again. It just became so old and repetitive that it took away much of the enjoyment for me.

Otherwise, I feel I would have loved this. Alosa and Riden (the captain’s brother and first mate) exchanged some hilarious flirtatious banter that made me laugh out loud several times. I loved the siren abilities that Alosa is eventually revealed to have later in the book; her ability to see people’s emotions as colors in her siren vision and the things she was able to do with her song was so cool.

Things finally started to pick up and start happening in the last 75 pages or so of the book, but by then I was so done that I couldn’t bring myself to care. It’s really unfortunate that I didn’t like this more. However, I’m fully planning to read the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, because I have hopes that it will be a significant improvement on the first book. Hopefully Levenseller focuses more on Alosa’s abilities and on creating a more engaging plot. For now though, this remains an unsatisfactory debut.

 

Tricia Levenseller: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Crown of Midnight”

covers_244928Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

*Summary provided by Goodreads.

WARNING: this review will contain spoilers for both the first and second books of the Throne of Glass series. Proceed with caution.

My thoughts:

This is it. This is the book where things start to get crazy. And we’re only at book two.

Sarah J Maas is a genius crafter and creator, her books constantly taking wild turns, revealing shocking secrets and being chock-full of action, wit, humor and feeling. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: her stories only get better and better. She one-ups herself every dang time and it is emotionally exhausting, can you please just chill, SJM?

I remember reading the book the first time around and being like, “Oh, this is cool, an assassin with a mysterious past and woah now, what’s this about summoning monsters and Wyrdmarks and what?” Then I read the second book and I was like, “Okay, cool, I know what to expect now, there’s some magical/supernatural elements and some creepy Valg things and HOLY CRAP, CELAENA IS FAE?” And it just kept getting better as the books went on. Every time I opened a new one, I’d think, “I know what’s coming, I know this world now, it’s all good,” and by the time I was finished, I was on the floor gasping for breath because wow.

Plus that huge reveal at the end? I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming, and I can’t say that lost princesses are a super original story trope. But you have to admit, that reveal was so dang satisfying. Chaol slowly putting the pieces together, the facts slowly dawning on him and the book ending with him finding out? It was brilliant.

The scenes under the library were so chilling and creepy that I quite literally had to read with my back against a wall so I could see the entire room. I don’t care that I’ve read this before and I know what happens, it’s downright terrifying.

I have to say that I docked half a star for two reasons: I thought it was sort of ridiculous that Celaena didn’t realize that Asher was playing her. It was obvious to me from the beginning that he was being shady, and so that whole part of the plot was frustrating to me. I also hated what occurred between Celaena and Chaol. Sure, should he have told her about the possible threat on Nehemia’s life? Maybe. But as the reader, I could understand Chaol’s dilemma and I never ever blamed him for Nehemia’s death. And Celaena is smart enough to realize that her newfound hatred for Chaol was pointless. Sure, it would probably have put a rift between them romantically, but she shouldn’t have wanted to kill him for what he did.

Also, where are all the Chaol-haters at? I want someone to explain to me why they don’t like him, because I honest-to-God don’t understand it. I promise not to try to sway you or change your mind, I’m simply curious about the reason for the negative feels!

This book series is incredible and I’m so excited for the new book and if I sit here and continue talking about it, I could type for days. Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Leigh Bardugo “Six of Crows”

Six-of-Crows-Cover

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

I feel as though it’s almost pointless to include a summary here for Six of Crows seeing as I’m one of the last humans on earth to finally get around to reading it. However, for those who live under a rock, this book can be described as a high-stakes heist story with six main characters told in 5 alternating points of view featuring magic, action, violence, romance and awesomeness. This book is set in the same world as that of the Shadow & Bone trilogy, known as the “Grishaverse”. Grisha are beings that have different types of abilities and are totally cool.

This book has the most incredible, fleshed out characters I have ever seen in literature; Leigh Bardugo truly outdid herself. First we have Kaz, the leader of our mismatched crew: he’s dark, dangerous, calculating and generally unfeeling. He’s also incredibly swoony somehow, despite being such a cold character. He has quite the revenge complex which is what keeps him from being very emotional, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling for Inej, his Wraith. Kaz saved Inej from a life of prostitution when he saw her potential. She’s sneaky, quick, light on her feet, invisible. So she works for Kaz to gather secrets and inform for him.

Then there’s the sharpshooter with a gambling problem, Jesper. So deep in debt, he finds himself working for the Dregs in order to pay back those he owes, all while his father believes him to be away at school. He constantly wonders what would have happened if he had focused on his education rather than wind up in the slums. Jesper forms a reluctant connection with Wylan, a newer member of the dregs. Wylan is the estranged son of a rich mercher, with plenty of secrets and a lot to prove.

There’s also Nina, the charming Grisha Heartrender who is hopelessly in love with Matthias, a Fjerdan. Fjerdans are very prejudiced against Grisha and believe them to be unnatural, so they hunt them, give them trial and put them to death. Matthias is no different and finds Nina to be repulsive… and gorgeous, incredible, etc. He is constantly fighting his feelings for her, struggling between the desires of his heart and remaining faithful to his country and his beliefs.

Together, this band of misfits join together for the most dangerous, impossible heist they can imagine.

Everything about this book deserves an A+. Five thousand stars. Just wow. The characters are so wonderful and Bardugo does an amazing job of giving us backstories to make us even more attached to them. I became immediately invested in each of these characters, their relationships, their livelihoods, their everything. I just want to hug them all and make sure that they’re all happy and healthy and loved. And of course, they’re all so morally grey, but you can’t help but adore them.

The plot had me on the edge of my seat throughout. The writing was phenomenal; so much quotable material! Six of Crows was perfectly paced, perfectly executed, perfectly ended. And it had me dying to read Crooked Kingdom as soon as possible.

Honestly, I can’t believe it took me so long to finally read this book to completion. What an absolutely stunning, incredible read. Leigh Bardugo deserves all the praise in the world. Wow.

 

Leigh Bardugo: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Throne of Glass”

TOG-NYT-CoverTitle: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Ardalan’s Assassin Celaena Sardothien has been slowly dying as a slave in the mines of Endovier as punishment for her crimes for the past year, yet the Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard offers her the strangest of salvations. He asks her to compete in a competition to become the King’s Champion, and if Celaena wins, Dorian promises her eventual freedom.

This being her only opportunity to get out of Endovier, Celaena accepts this deal and accompanies Dorian back to the glass castle, where she is pitted against other brutal, equally dangerous contestants. The tests are difficult, and some even perish, but this isn’t the only thing that Celaena must worry about. Another, possibly supernatural evil lurks within the castle, and magic that hasn’t been touched in years. Soon, it’s apparent that this competition, the glass castle and its inhabitants are much more than they appear.

My thoughts:

This is not the first time I’ve read Throne of Glass. I have been a huge fan of this series for almost 5 years now, but I decided it was time to reread the entire series in preparation for the final installment coming out in October 2018. In addition, I never reviewed this book when I read it the first time, so I thought it would be perfect to write something now that I’ve re-familiarized myself with the events of the first book once more.

Reading this the second time brought back all the feelings of the first round. I can recall exactly where I was when I read Throne of Glass for the first time, and the way my heart raced and my jaw dropped at every awe-inspiring moment. This book was so dang cool to me then, and it was just as cool to me today.

Knowing what I know about the rest of the series, I can read this now and appreciate the way Maas eases the reader into this world that, in a few books, is going to get way crazier. I love the way that she slowly introduces the magical and supernatural elements of the story and that we’re not just thrown into this world with foreign terms that haven’t been explained yet. Maas takes the time to explain it and build her world and I’m so thankful for it.

Celaena is so wonderful to read. I can understand why readers are sometimes put off by her because she can be pretty vile at times. However, I think that’s what I love about her: the things that rub other readers the wrong way are what make her realistic. Yes, Celaena is vain and a little too sharp-tongued for her own good, but as you read on, you see also how brave and selfless and loyal that she is. She’s a complex and absolutely beautiful character, and I will always love her.

I also don’t care what all you Chaol-haters think: I always liked Chaol. Yeah, he’s grumpy, but that’s also what makes him kind of hilarious. Y’all need to chill. I love the way he takes to Celaena, even in spite of himself because you know he didn’t plan on liking her. I enjoy reading Celaena and Dorian’s banter and just think they make such good friends. (Yes, I have shipped them two before and I thought they were adorable. But I’ve also shipped her and Chaol. Celaena would be amazing with anyone because she’s amazing, okay?)

Everything about this series is amazing. The characters, the magical elements, the world building, the action, everything. I love it all. I’m going to be oh so sad to see this series end. A piece of my heart will die once I’m finished.

That’s all, folks. 10/10 would recommend forever and ever, please read this series, thanks.

 

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Holly Black “The Cruel Prince”

51n9H+zFt1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

Jude and her sisters were stolen away from the human world to Faerieland when they were very young. They were forced to grow up in a foreign, hostile world and raised by the man who killed their parents. You could say that Jude feels like an outsider.

Still, while others might shy away and wish to look small and insignificant so as not to be a target for aggression or bullying, Jude still wishes to be a part of their world. She envies them: their beauty, their power, and their immortality.

She stands up for herself and keeps her head high even in the midst of brutality. But will Jude remain strong through every bit of cruelty that Prince Cardan throws her way?

My thoughts:

Jude was a very interesting character to me. The way that she reacted to her experiences and her situation was unique; after all, many would probably rebel against the man who had murdered their parents and stole them away from their world. Yet the dynamics of Jude’s family was strange: Madoc, their new “father”, seems to have developed genuine love for the girls through the years, even though he only shares blood with one of them. And the sisters don’t really seem to hate him. They do their best to adjust to the new lives they’re forced to live and make the best of things.

The bullying toward the sisters is pretty brutal. The fey don’t take very well to humans, and it’s strange to see them being raised alongside fellow fey. One faery in particular, Prince Cardan, seems to be particularly bothered by Jude’s presence, and she goads him by standing up to him. The prince and his gang participate in some very nasty activities with Jude and her twin, Taryn, making their lives miserable.

And yet, Jude’s response to this cruelty is a desire to rise above it and become stronger. She asks Madoc to train her more intensely in sword-fighting, and secretly moves her way through the ranks of the fey, grasping for power and affluence. It’s all very motivating and I found myself rooting for her and wishing for her to come out on top.

While I was reading this, I found myself very enamored by the story. However, sadly, I also found that once I finished The Cruel Prince and put it down, I wasn’t dying for a sequel. I wasn’t totally “wow-ed”. And when all is said and done, I found it pretty forgettable. I wasn’t particularly in love with any of the characters, nor was I so impressed with the world that I want to visit it again right away.

There is a great deal amount of hype surrounding The Cruel Prince. I never jumped on the hype train because I’ve never read anything by Holly Black before now, and I just didn’t see the big deal. It seems to be just another book about faeries.

Did The Cruel Prince live up to the hype? Not really. I don’t see why everyone is going nuts about it. Still, I enjoyed this enough to want to read any sequels and to read more of Black’s work. I look forward to seeing what else she brings to the table.

 

Holly Black: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Lauren Destefano “The Glass Spare”

29622131Title: The Glass Spare

Author: Lauren Destefano

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 1.5/5 stars

 

Princess of the Northern Isles Wil suddenly finds that she’s developed the ability (or as she may call it, curse) to turn people and even things into gemstone just by touching them. Sadly, this unwanted, newfound skill causes her to be driven out of her kingdom by her father, who tells her family that she died.

This story follows Wil on her journey to discover the origins of her powers and to hopefully get rid of the curse.

My thoughts:

The Glass Spare was a sort of retelling or spin on the classic King Midas story, the gold being replaced with the gemstone. To be perfectly honest, this is a very flimsy concept, and the result of this idea was just as lame.

Sadly, I don’t have much to say about this story. Full disclosure, I skimmed the entire last half of the book to at least see if the ending was worth sticking around for the rest of the series. It wasn’t really.

Destefano took half an idea, slapped on a strange, difficult to picture world that was half-medieval with aspects of technology, and never fully delivered on the rest of the story. It was a painful read to say the least; an absolute total mess.

I’ve read a few of this author’s other works and found that it suffered from the same lack of follow-through. I hoped that this would be an improvement on her earlier publications but ended up disappointed. Don’t waste your time.

 

Lauren Destefano: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Margaret Rogerson “An Enchantment of Ravens”

30969741Title: An Enchantment of Ravens

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

In this world of fair folks, the fair seek out the “Craft” of humans. In other words, they themselves are talentless and unable to do the simplest things like cooking and writing, so they pay humans to do these tasks for them. Their payment? Enchantments.

In this story, Isobel is a human whose Craft is to paint. She’s highly-sought after by the fair folk, actually, her talents astounding. They come from far and wide for her to do portrait paintings of themselves and in return, gift her with enchantments of her choosing. Isobel asks for things to protect her and her family, mostly, even though the fair folk laugh at her practicality.

Unfortunately, after doing a portrait for the autumn prince, Rook, and making a terrible mistake, Isobel is taken against her will to stand trial.

My thoughts:

I’m afraid I didn’t do a good enough job of explaining the world in my summary, but sadly it was difficult to do in a way that flowed. I hate to give too much away since I went into this story fairly blind, but know that it’s a beautifully done world with a very interesting concept. I loved the idea of humans having Crafts and that the fair folk were imperfect, as they are rarely anything but supermodels in many other fairy stories.

The beginning of An Enchantment of Ravens was interesting and I found myself hooked from the beginning. Sadly, that’s where it seemed to peak.

There is an obvious attraction between Isobel and Rook, but love between fair folk and humans are strictly prohibited. The punishment: death.

I did not feel their romance at all.

I never got behind their relationship. I never liked Rook. This was a horrendous case of instalove that I could never believe. After spending a few days in the woods with Isobel, Rook decides that he loves her, even though he literally knows nothing about her. She’s immersed in his world so her eventual love for him makes a tiny bit of sense, but he knows nothing of hers. He doesn’t understand the ways of humans; not even their simple mannerisms. There’s no way he loves her.

And sadly yet, the conclusion was so abrupt and sudden.

This book had such a lovely beginning, and it sports some absolutely beautiful writing. However, for it being part romance, I have to actually believe in the couple. And I did not.

 

Margaret Rogerson: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Neil Gaiman “The Graveyard Book” Graphic Novels Volume I & II

Title: The Graveyard Book Graphic Novels Volume I & II

Author: Neil Gaiman

Adaptator: P Craig Russell

Illustrator(s): Kevin Nowlan, P Craig Russell, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson, Stephen B Scott, David Lafuente

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

The only exposure I’ve had to Neil Gaiman before this was Trigger Warning and Norse Mythology, both excellent representations but both collections of short stories. I’ve had about the same amount of experience with graphic novels; nonetheless, I was excited about this read.

Full disclosure, I have not actually read The Graveyard Book, but I fully intend to now. I never knew what it was about and just happened to see both volumes of the graphic novel edition at my library, so I didn’t think it would hurt to pick it up. Selfishly, I also know that graphic novels tend to be quick reads and I was thinking about my 100 book reading goal for 2018, but we won’t get into that.

The Graveyard Book is a story about a little boy, affectionately named Nobody Owens, who was raised by ghosts in a graveyard. The rest of his family had been murdered, so the inhabitants of the nearby cemetery take it upon themselves to protect the infant boy and keep him safe.

The only not-dead resident of the graveyard is Silas, who is presumably a vampire but I’m not sure if we’re ever expressly told this. I think it was more implied, and based on his illustrated form, I think it’s safe to come to this conclusion. Since Silas is the only one who can come and go from the graveyard as he pleases, he becomes Nobody’s (nicknamed Bod) guardian, bringing back food, clothing, and other things needed to take care of a growing boy.

This story follows Bod as he grows up in the graveyard and the people that take care of him. We watch him develop and learn new things, watch him make friends, mostly with ghosts, sometimes with humans. We can see how his upbringing has affected him and has made him a more naïve, yet more interesting, person. Bod is curious and brave, but he also likes to get into trouble. We get to follow him on those adventures, too.

Neil Gaiman is oh so creative and this story is unique, special, breathtaking at times, heartbreaking at times, and all-around mesmerizing and beautiful. I truly loved basically every moment of this story. I loved Bod’s interactions with the other ghosts, particularly his relationship with Silas. I loved seeing this entirely new world of the dead and seeing how Bod and others react to it. I loved the mystery surrounding Bod’s family’s deaths. Throughout the story, we get the impression that their murderer is still searching for Bod, and we’re left to wonder why.

As for the illustrations, each chapter or section of the book was done by a different artist. The color scheme remained the same, and basic character’s traits, but the drawings each had a unique look to them which made the reading experience all the more interesting.

This was an absolutely beautiful adaptation of what I assume is a work of art. I’m so excited to read The Graveyard Book but until then, I highly recommend this version.

 

Neil Gaiman: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads