Reviews for Amulet 1 : Stonekeeper
Booklist Reviews 2007 December #1
Kibuishi, the creator of the action-packed Daisy Kutter series, sets his sights on a slightly younger crowd here. This first volume in the new Amulet graphic novel series introduces Emily, who has relocated to a strange house in the woods, where she finds a magical amulet left behind by her great grandfather. Soon after, she and her brother engage in a wild adventure to learn the secrets of the amulet and save their mother. Emily is as high-spirited a heroine as you are likely to find, and, propelled by uncluttered visuals, her action-packed adventure sequences move at an exciting clip. However, there are also dark elements in the tale--the gut-wrenching opening in which Emily loses her father in a car accident. the autumnal tones of the animation-like art, and the ambiguous agenda of the amulet itself. Part fantasy (anthropomorphized animals, elves) and part manga (transforming robots, tentacled monsters), this volume has much to appeal to readers, though they may be in for a more emotionally complex read than expected. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 November #2
With many a SZZT! SZRAK! FWOOM! and SKREE!, young Emily learns to use an energy-bolt-shooting amulet against an array of menaces to rescue her captured Mom in this graphic-novel series opener. When a scuttling "arachnopod" sucks down their widowed parent, Emily and younger sib Navin pursue through a door in the basement and into the alternate-Earth land of Alledia. Finding unexpected allies in rabbit-like Miskit, grumpy Cogsley and other robots created by their mysterious great-grandfather, the children weather attacks from huge, tentacled Rakers, a pointy eared elf prince with shark-like teeth and other adversaries to get her back--only to discover that she's in a coma, poisoned. Off to Episode Two, and the distant city of Kanalis, for a cure. The mid-sized, squared-off panels are sometimes a little small to portray action sequences clearly, but the quickly paced plot is easy enough to follow, and Kibuishi is a dab hand at portraying freaky monsters. Fans of Jeff Smith's Bone will happily fret with the good guys and hiss at the baddies. (Graphic fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #4
Almost too clever and poignant, Amulet is, on the surface, about navigating the murky waters of adolescence and, beneath that, an exploration of abandonment and survival. Emily and Navin are lost children, literally lost in a dark, new world and struggling to save their mother, who has been kidnapped by a drooling, tentacled beast. With stellar artwork, imaginative character design, moody color and consistent pacing, this first volume's weakness lies in its largely disjointed storytelling. There is the strong, young, heroine; cute, furry, sidekicks; scary monsters--all extraordinary components, but pieced together in a patchwork manner. There is little hope in his dark world as Kibuishi removes Emily and Navin's frame of safety. Their hopes rest in a magic amulet that seems to be working in the interest of the children--until it suddenly isn't. The most frightening element of Amulet is the sense of insecurity we feel for Emily, fighting her way through uncharted terrain with no guide and no support system. This first volume of Amulet isn't a disappointment, but it does feel like a warmup to the main event. If anything, it's a clear indication that Kibuishi has just begun skimming the surface of his own talent. (Jan.) [Page 48]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 January
Gr 4 Up-- Hurrying to pick up her brother, Emily and her parents have a tragic accident, and her father dies. After this dark beginning, the story skips forward two years to when the remaining family members are forced to move to an ancestral house in a small town. Rumored to be haunted, it is unkempt and forbidding. The first night there, Emily's mother goes down to the basement to investigate a noise and doesn't return. The kids search for her and discover a doorway into another world, where their mother has been swallowed by a monster and is being taken away. An amulet that Emily found in the house tells her that together they can save her, but her brother isn't so sure that this voice can be trusted. Still, what other choice do they have in this strange place? Gorgeous illustrations with great color bring light to this gloomy tale. Filled with excitement, monsters, robots, and mysteries, this fantasy adventure will appeal to many readers, but it does have some truly nightmarish elements.--Dawn Rutherford, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA [Page 152]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2007 December
Tragedy leads to high adventure in Kibuishi's latest creation, which is guaranteed to follow in the footsteps of his previous award-winning title, Daisy Kutter (Viper, 2005). The artist's use of color, moving from the poignant warm blues and whites of comfort and family to the smoky browns and blacks of tragedy and mystery, is subtle but highly effective. This artwork, coupled with Kibuishi's distinctive onomatopoeia and tight frames, help to lock the reader into the action and keep pages rapidly turning toward protagonist Emily's fate. Initially when Emily is forced to move with her mother and brother, Navin, to a dilapidated home in the "middle of nowhere," she fears a future filled with mind-numbing tedium, yet she quickly discovers the legacy of her forefather, Silas Charnon, hidden in an upstairs room-a mesmerizing amulet that opens the gates to a perilous alternate world. Readers will identify with Emily, who struggles to make good choices as all people do. Emily's bravery-her choice to confront evil at the risk of her own life-helps to reveal her intense love of family, but her refusal to relinquish the amulet reveals her more vulnerable, selfish side. Fans of Happy Bunny will love family-friendly and incredibly skilled bunny-bot, Miskit, companion in the fight against evil. Transformer fans will love the surprise development mid-novel. This classic quest begs for the next installment-one can only hope that book two of Amulet is not long in coming.-Erin Kilby $9.99 Trade pb. ISBN 978-0-439-84681-3. 5Q 4P M G Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.