Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Size: 128 pages
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: September 8, 2003
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Courtney Crumrin series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book through NetGalley.com. It was a really excellent graphic novel filled with mystery, some creepy things, and magic. After reading it I want to go out and read all of the other books in the series.
Courtney Crumrin is forced to move into her great-uncle’s old creepy house with her parents (who are broke and need a place to live). To say that Courtney doesn’t fit in in this prestigious town and preppy school is an understatement. Then one night Courtney sees something in her room and she finds that her uncle’s house holds more mysteries and more magic than she had ever imagined. Now if COurtney could just stay out of trouble for a while and not cause any magical mischief that would be great…
Courtney is tough, sassy, and very much her own girl. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and doesn’t try to blend in. She reminded me a lot of the girl, Mandy, from the cartoon Grim and Evil. I loved her. She tries so hard to make her own path but still finds herself feeling a bit lonely and scared at times. The camaraderie she develops with her great-uncle is sweet, especially since her parents are so absent (both mentally and physically throughout the story). There are a lot of great characters in this story but Courtney and her great-uncle are the highlights.
This graphic novel contains three sub-stories. One is about what happens when Courtney tries out a spell to make everyone like her. The second is about what happens when Courtney goes to babysit for some neighbors and finds out their baby has been replaced with a goblin of sorts. The third tells about when something mimics Courtney and tries to take over her place in everyone’s life.
The illustrations are wonderful. It is always easy to follow and easy to tell what is going on. Only the first part was in full color (probably because it is an advanced copy) but the part that was in color was excellent! The colors are lush and dark and perfectly match the tone of the story.
This is a great graphic novel for all ages. Some parts might be a bit scary for younger kids, most of it is just kind of creepy and not really scary.
Overall I absolutely loved this book! Now I want to go out and read all of the COurtney Crumrin books 🙂 Courtney is a fun character and the combination of magic/magical creatures/creepy house is creative and fun. This is a graphic novel that is beautifully drawn and I think people of all ages will really enjoy it. I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more of these books in the future. If you like the Locke and Key series, but want something that is kid-friendly this would be a great series to read.