I was cleaning out my old online reader links (once again…. this is going to take longer than I thought) and found Misfit Mansion by Kay Davault. I had thought I had lost this link, but I was excited to see that I had not. This book has been something I have wanted to read since I first saved the link, but never had the opportunity to read it.
And the wait was mostly worth it. This is a terribly cute story about family and fitting in, especially when you stand out. There is bouncy text and artwork. Things are colorful, simply detailed and sweet. Even when the “scary action” happens there are bright colors and a “roundness” to things. However, sometimes the characters were a bit cliched as Iris is the typical “tomboy” girl, Agnes is a bit prissy and wants to impress their father figure and tries to “boss” the others (she’s the big sister), Kel is afraid but has a good heart and is a loyal sidekick (and really likes working in his garden). We have the “monster orphan home” that gives off vibes of Annie meets The Loud Family. So, this part was the part of the “not worth it” for me, as I am a voracious reader, and that made things have a “been there, done that” feeling. But of course, ages eight to a younger 12 will be fine with this, especially since these characters are people they know or are themselves. There is fantasy action, a dream monster that is scary, one of the horrors or a “monster” (I must admit having them call themselves horrors was odd, but it is what they are called) is a sentient doll who has Goosebumps meets Five Nights of Freddy situations, and there is a “bad guy” who is not nice. Therefore, sensitive readers need to watch out for these parts of the graphic novel. A not so spoiler, of course, is that the “monsters” are not really bad, though they can be, after all there are good and bad people no matter where you are from. And then the idea of “blood family” and “chosen family” shows that there is “no one true wayism” when it comes to that. This makes the book totally worth reading, as I enjoyed the presentation regardless of the “I have read this theme” before.
As I said, I read via an online reader copy though it is currently available, but the next volume(s) is/are not on the radar. Which is a shame, as I was looking forward to finding out more about the dream monster, the human villain and why they took the turn they did, is there a reason why two of the male characters seem to present slightly on the feminine side (they have a manga/anime look to them that allows that “gender blur” to happen. Of course it could just be a style choice of the artist) and the background of the human boy that is responsible for another dream horror/creature. This is good for people who like realistic with a bit of fantasy, or those who like fantasy with a bit of realism!