Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quickie Reviews - "The Kneebone Boy" and "Hereville"

The Kneebone Boy:  To a point, it’s a fairly good adventure story (and as one character points out, you should definitely have at least one adventure before you’re too old).  It has danger, mystery and enough quirk to be funny without being captial Q quirky.  I enjoyed the characters quite a bit as well, especially Lucia, but the eleventh hour plot twist was really too much for me to swallow. Both too neat and too messy, it strained credulity and was quite frankly too heartbreaking for the book that contained it.  Cracking good cover, though.

The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
2010, Feiwel & Friends
Library copy

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword: “Yet Antoher Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl”.  What graphic novcel could possibly live up to a byline like that?  Well, this one does.  Mirka is a joy of a character, stubborn and adventurous, living in a religious family in an almost exclusively Jewish town.  She fantasizes about fighting dragons, acutally fights bullies and occasionally members of her own family, has a drawn out rivalry with a magical pig and faces the final challenge of defeating a troll to win her treasured sword.  If any of this sounds just a little weird, it should.  This is surely one of the oddest books I’ve read recently, but I loved every page.  The dynamics of Mirka’s family and Mirka’s own individualism come across beautifully.  The art is detailed and captivating (the aforementional fight with the pig is extraordinarily drawn) and is essential to the success of the story.  I can’t imagine this book flying as a novel.   But as a graphic novel it is brilliant, and I certainly hope there will be more where this came from.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
2010, Amulet Books
Library copy

1 comment:

  1. And the ending was pretty horrible. Once Jessamine got deadly ill, she couldn't very well write in her journal, could she? So Weed had to pick it up. From there, things got even weirder. It would shift between Weed's POV (which was eerily similar to Jessamine's), and these weird tripped out visions which Jessamine had of a Plant Prince or something. It was quite difficult to follow. And of course it ended openly because we can't have a stand-alone now, can we?