Saturday, August 22, 2020

REVIEW: Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper (graphic novel, vol. 1) by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet is SFF (definitely fantasy, although the robots could be viewed as more sci-fi). According to Wikipedia, the series isn't quite complete yet but should end up being 9 volumes long. I found the first two at a used bookstore.


This begins with Emily and her parents on their way to pick up Emily's young brother, Navin. They get in an accident, and although Emily and her mother make it out, Emily's father is trapped in the car. When it slides off a cliff, he's still inside.

Two years later, Emily's mother is moving the whole family to a rundown house in a smaller, less expensive area. The place was previously owned by Emily's mother's grandfather, Silas, who used to create machines and puzzles. They're all working on cleaning the house up when Emily's mother is attacked by a tentacled monster that traps her, still alive, inside its belly. Emily and Navin chase after the monster and somehow end up in a strange fantasy world with only a talking amulet that Emily found among Silas's things to guide and protect them.

If you're okay with works that begin with a dramatic and tragic parent death (Emily's dad was conscious and had just enough time before the car went off the cliff to realize that he was going to die and to say goodbye), this seems pretty good so far. I liked the artwork, even though the robot character designs didn't quite work for me. The fantasy world was very nice looking, Silas's house was vaguely creepy, and the moving house bit near the end was great.

I'm interested to see where this goes. The amulet definitely gave off a slightly sinister vibe. Every time she used it, Emily's eyes glowed red, which is never a good sign, and at one point it tried to convince her to kill someone. Granted, that person had "villain" written all over him, but still. I have a feeling that Emily will come to regret accepting the amulet and its power without first finding out more about it and how it works. It wasn't like she had many other options, though.

This first volume felt like it was over in a flash, so I'm glad I already have the second volume on hand.

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