Saturday, August 22, 2020

REVIEW: Amulet, Book 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse (graphic novel, vol. 2) by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet is SFF (more heavily fantasy, but with robots). I bought my copy used.

This review contains mild spoilers.


Although Emily and Navin managed to rescue their mother, she is now unconscious and slowly dying of poison. They use Silas's house to travel to the city of Kanalis, where they hope to find medicine that can cure her. Unfortunately, the main ingredient for that medicine is the fruit of the Gadoba tree, which hundreds have died trying to obtain. Meanwhile, Prince Trellis has been taken back to his father, the Elf King, who once again sends him out to find and kill (or capture?) Emily because she's a Stonekeeper. Trellis is accompanied by Luger, one of the Elf King's henchmen, to ensure that he'll do the job right this time.

Book 2 didn't work quite as well for me as Book 1. The world was still fabulous, I still generally liked the art, and the battle at the end was pretty cool, but the characters didn't really grab me and the revelations about the amulet, although not unexpected, were a little depressing. It sucks that Navin gets the uncomplicated joy of piloting something that's essentially a mecha house while Emily gets powers that come with a constant risk of corruption. Here's hoping she actually gets to enjoy her abilities at some point.

The detail about the residents of Kanalis being affected by a curse that gradually turned them into anthropomorphic animals was interesting and unexpected. And yeah, I noticed that Miskit never answered the question about whether the curse was contagious, so there might be an "Emily or Navin is turning into an animal" storyline in the future.

Emily and Navin were joined by Leon, an anthropomorphic fox who for some reason was destined to teach her how to use her powers (never mind that he wasn't a Stonekeeper himself, as far as I could tell). It's possible that the rest of the series could be devoted to Emily and Navin's efforts to help the rebellion against the Elf King. Although Trellis is still presented as an antagonist, just a different brand of evil than his father, I have a feeling his path is going to be that of the reformed villain who ends up joining forces with the rebellion.

Will I continue reading on? Maybe, but not right now. This is the last of the volumes I own, and I'm not interested enough in the series to buy or check out more.

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