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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Amulet: The Stonekeeper

Reviewed: August 28, 2008
By: Kazu Kibuishi
Publisher: Scholastic Graphix
187 pages, $9.99

While I am a long time comic book and cartoon fan I’ve never been able to warm to the anime/manga style. So I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, the first of a projected series. While it is clearly a tale with anime leanings, but t is also set firmly within the traditions of Young Adult fantasy.

It begins with a tragedy. A happy family is devastated by a car accident which kills the father, leaving the mother and two kids. Tow years pass and they are forced to relocate to an older home which has been in the family for years. It’s in an isolated rural area and the kids aren’t happy with the choice.

On their very fist night there things get worse. Emily finds a strange amulet which starts talking to her. There really is a monster in the basement and it sort of devours their mother. In a Wonderlandish moment they find themselves sucked into another world behind the basement walls, a place full of danger, but a place they have to go to, because Mom’s not actually dead inside that thing. She’s been collected and they have to rescue her.

They are followed by a couple of dark figures. ne turns out to be a friend, the other not, They find their great-grandfather and his strange creations. Emily and Narvin discover that they are his heirs, that their mother is alive and that they have to find an an antidote to the poison with which the creature sedated her.

The book ends with the some very surprising developments and with the quest for book two clearly outlined. The last few pages of this book fairly blew me away. I was not expecting what happened there, and Kibuishi carried it off beautifully.

This book has good artwork and effective story telling. I’m, looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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