The Stonekeeper’s Curse, by Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper’s Curse, by Kazu Kibuishi

Reason for Reading: My nephew loved this series 🙂

Genre: Children’s Fantasy Graphic Novel

Review
In this second book of the widely popular children’s graphic novel series Amulet (see the review for the first book here), Emily and Navin’s mother is still in a poison-induced coma, and the kids must journey to a dangerous forest to find the cure. They are led by a fox-man Leon Redbeard, who says that it is his job to bring them safely to a lost city of guardians. They are chased by the Elf King’s son Trellis, whose loyalties are questionable. This was a cute second book in the series – though the plot is still very childish and light. The kids (especially boys!) love it. 🙂



John Dies at the End, by David Wong

 John Dies at the End

Written by David Wong, Narrated by Stephen R. Thorne

Reason for Reading: Real Life bookclub

Genre: Quirky adult horror


Review
This book is the king of unreliable narration. Presumably, this book is about David and John, two friends in a Midwestern town who need to fight off evil forces when a new drug (soy sauce)  opens a door to a parallel universe. Although it’s clear that David exaggerates a good deal for the sake of story-telling, it is up to interpretation whether David and John are really kicking the EF from PU butt, or if they’re hallucinating. Either way, it’s a wild, crazy, and very humorous ride. The humor is very dark, dry, and sometimes witty. It was my favorite part of the book. The plot was fairly non-existent, though. The book was more about action and weirdness – the story was just too wild to actually have a coherent plot. During the middle of the book, I was starting to regret that it was so long because I’m more of a plot-driven than situational-driven reader. But I’m glad I hung in there, because I got some great laughs and may view the world a tiny bit differently after listening to this book. 

You wouldn’t think this book would lend itself well to audio format, but Stephen R. Thorne did an amazing job. His delivery of the dry humor and action was spot on. I’m happy that I took the risk on audio. 🙂

The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper (Amulet Book 1), by Kazu Kibuishi

Reason for Reading: Helping my nephew with his book report.

Review
When their father dies, Emily and Navin must move with their mother to a run-down house in the middle of nowhere – an inheritance from a great uncle they’ve never met. On their first night in the disturbing old house, their mother is  kidnapped by a gigantic squid-thing and the kids must rescue her with the help of a talking amulet that they’ve found in a dusty room. 

I read this because my nephew really loved it, and he’s a very reluctant reader. I can see why he liked it – there’s lots of pretty pictures and very few words. It’s a book appropriate for middle-graders both in vocabulary and in plot. It was a cute, fast read, and I’m sure I’ll read the rest in the series. However, it’s not a book that would appeal to me for any other reason than bonding with my nephew. The premise and plot are simply too unsophisticated to be of much interest to most older kids or adults. On the other hand, the book seems to be VERY popular with the younger crowd, and I highly recommend The Stonekeeper for reluctant readers.