Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Book of Iona by Bruno Coulais [The Secret of Kells soundtrack].
My reviews are a bit different than most. As an undercover superhero (ordinary girl extraordinaire), my purpose is to try and uncover hidden gems lost from the familiar radar. Because of this, I have set up some guidelines for myself (just like the pirate code). :)
I will focus on YA and Children's literature (with very rare exceptions).
I will not review any book that is one of the top 25,000 bestselling books (based on Amazon ranks).
I will try and aim for books 100,000 or larger.
I will review recent books or books of great merit (preferably both).
Published: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Current Amazon Rank: #1,522,965
Author's Website: Jo Rioux
Want it? Find it here.
The First Line:
"Alright Igor, out you go."
Looking at that line up there, it really does not give justice to the story, which once again shows how integral both art and words are to a graphic novel. And as you can see from the amazon ranking (we may have a new record for lowest ranked book here yet), I am bringing you a very buried gem.
Cat's Cradle tells of a young girl, Suri, who wants nothing more in all the world to be a monster tamer, but has more to overcome than her small stature to get there. In the meantime she is also having to run from their travelling camp's leader, where she has become a semi-permanent stowaway (with the help of just about everyone in the camp except said leader). And then there are of course the monsters, some who have already invaded unbeknownst in their midst...
This is a delightful opening to a very promising series. The illustrations are absorbing and the color palette Jo Rioux has chosen is gorgeous and sink-into worthy. I love the character's expressions, which are so evocative and complement the visual action and written dialogue so well. She is great at illustrating atmosphere, as well as action (both of which can be difficult to achieve). And can I say I love to death that she started this series because she was a fan of graphic novels herself? Double awesome points there. This love translates well onto the page, where the frames flow naturally from one sequence to another and the subtle stretchings of the artform play well at the back of your mind without ever calling attention to themselves.
This really is a fun read. I read it straight through in one sitting. However, one character at the end did not feel like he was 500 years old, but since it is geared toward a younger audience I'm willing to overlook his attitude since it is easier to relate to in that age group. It also ended on something of a cliffhanger, or perhaps a hook I should say, which is more of a hrumph for me than an actual complaint. Gotta love when you have to wait for more of a good story. :)
The Final Word:
Squeaky clean and great fun, I highly recommend this unknown gem. And here's hoping more installments are swift in coming.