Before the current events started happening, I took out a few graphic novels from my local library. One of those books was The Stonekeeper’s Curse the second book in the Amulet series. I am still not OMG THIS IS THE BEST SERIES EVER, but this installment was stronger than the first.
Where The Stonekeeper (Book 1) was there to set up the story, give the background and introduce you to the main characters, The Stonekeeper’s Curse has more action. It has more of a story fleshed out. You are fighting the bad guys. You are seeing the main character fight herself. You learn how the amulet can be good and evil. The flow is quick. I sat and read it in an hour or so (and it only took that long because I stopped to watch a squirrel playing under a tree).
Classic fantasy elements come to light. We see the hero fighting themselves and the villain. We see a Han Solo-like little brother becoming a leader. There are magical robots and elves. Talking animals and mentors that are a little grumpy. You can see the influences (or at least the similarities) of: Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, and Redwall to name a few. Kazu Kibuishi wrote a book that is comfortable, if not a “fresh new idea.” And there is nothing wrong with it.
As an adult reading, I found it a nice distraction on a nice spring day. I would recommend (if you wish finding out what happens) to find a collection of all eight books and read them back-to-back. For the 10 to (young) 13-14 (possibly younger could read, but there is fantasy action/violence, so sensitive readers might not be the best audience) one at a time is good. But I can for sure seeing the reader that got into book one will want to finish the whole thing.
My favorite part of this series, so far, has been the illustrations. They are rich with the colors and boldly created. They are almost “solid” to look at. They tell their own story while complimenting the text. If there is one issue, it is the fact now you are not just reading about the action, you see it (the mother’s abduction; her coma; the monsters, the fire, the man turning into a slug). This helps the story but also, a couple of images I was thinking, “Well that’s a bit much.” Yet, today’s reader should be fine.
Overall, a cozy story that as soon as I can, I am curious enough to find the other six books and find out where this all ends up.