Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
Blurb for the back cover:
“This is a kids book and it is painfully cliché ridden”
Another graphic novel, this time Amulet is aimed at the younger set of kids. Well, not super young, but maybe age 10 or somewhere along those lines. I dunno. I don’t have kids so it is kind of hard to gage what age group would enjoy this book. It reminded me of The Spiderwick Chronicles in the sense that one of the parents dies at the very start of the book and Emily, Navin and their mom go off it to the forest to live in a mysterious old house in an attempt to start over. As with all kids books nowadays, this house hides secrets and Emily soon finds herself in possession of a mysterious stone that grants her magical abilities. Naturally, the mother is soon kidnapped and it’s up to the kids to rescue her. Since their new house is mysterious, a portal of some sorts that takes them to an equally mysterious land where they meet their grandfather who has been missing for quite a while.
When push comes to shove, this is a kids book and it is painfully cliché ridden. We have magical passage ways, magical powers, relatives long thought dead, kids without parents, robots, and a talking pink bunny. Wait, sorry. That last one isn’t so much cliché as it is slightly odd. The only thing that sets this apart from other books of the similar genre is the fact that this one is illustrated. For the most part I like the drawings. They are colorful and sometimes neat to look at. Unfortunately, I find the character design of the humans to be a little too cartoonish for my tastes. I think it has to do with their heads being a little too tall. Everyone else though, from the pink bunny to the sinister villain, look fine.
I would recommend this book for the young adult crowd, but any serious graphic novel junkie will probably overlook this easily. Amulet is set up to be a series from what I can tell and this is only book one. There are some interesting plot points that I think can and will be taken further to add more depth to the series and take it in a much darker direction which is what I think this book series needs to stand out. But until then I’m going to have to mention the pink bunny for the third time and say that as is this book doesn’t add anything to the genre other than borrow from other successful works.