Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Length: 288 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars
I had previously read Ghostopolis by TenNapel and really loved it. So I was very excited when I saw this TenNapel book at my library and decided to pick it up. This is a wonderful fantasy adventure type story set in modern day.
Cam’s birthday is coming up but his dad is out of work and struggling to find a present for him. Finally Cam’s dad buys a piece of “magical” cardboard for his son for a small amount of change. His dad know the gift sucks, but Cam is determined to make the best out of it. So Cam and his dad build a boxer out of the cardboard. Surprisingly the cardboard boxer comes to life! Things are wonderful until Cam’s slightly-evil neighbor, Marcus, steals some of the cardboard and builds his own evil cardboard empire.
I pretty much loved this book, it was creative, very out-there, and an overall fun read.
The full color illustrations were very well done, added a lot to the story, and were easy to follow. I loved them and they were just a delight to look at.
The story is pretty awesome. Basically Cam and his dad disobey the laws given to them by the seller of the magic cardboard and build a cardboard-maker out of the cardboard. When this gets stolen mayhem results. Cam, his dad, and the cardboard boxer find themselves in a battle with a gigantic evil cardboard empire that is threatening to take over the city. The story is crazy, a bit over the top, and has plenty of strangeness…but it was so fun and different from anything I have read before that I just loved it.
There are a lot of elements to the story that made it very engaging to me. Cam’s dad is struggling to provide for his son and his desperation and despair really make him engaging. There is a subplot involving Cam’s dad and the sweet single woman next door who really likes him. Cam’s dad is still pining after his deceased wife and watching Cam’s dad grow enough to start to move on with his life is a nice part to the story and gives a very hopeful feel to it.
There is also a lot about friendship in here. Cam builds a boxer friend and there is a lot of discussion about whether the boxer is a thing or a person. Then there is the relationship between the slightly evil Marcus and Cam. As the story goes on and Cam and Marcus get to know and understand each other they begin to build a friendship as well.
I found the characters very engaging, loved the crazy story, and absolutely adored the evil cardboard world (especially the illustrations of this world). I liked the twist at the end of the story and really enjoyed how hopeful the ending was.
Overall a spectacular read, I really enjoyed this one a lot. The illustration is beautiful, the characters are likable and engaging, and the plot is creative and very fun and different. This is a crazy story, but one I really enjoyed! Recommended to those who like fantasy graphic novels that are a bit quirky and weird.