Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Length: 88 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Bird Boy series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Bali is lost deep within the forbidden forest, hunted by the terrifying Rook Men, and must fight his way across a dangerous land of gods, men, and beasts to keep the sword of Mali Mani, the savior of the sun, from fallinging into the wrong hands. Finding his way out of the forest is Bali’s only chance to prevent the beasts from roaming the land of people and feasting upon them, and to prove he is worthy of the smoke walk.”
I loved the first volume in the Bird Boy series and was excited to read the second book in the series. This is a fantasy middle grade series that has a Native American feel to it and reminds me a bit of the Princess Mononoke movie. This book was just as wonderful as the first one and I enjoyed it a lot.
I love the illustration throughout this graphic novel. The drawings are detailed and full of rich color. The landscapes pictured are amazing and magical. I enjoyed the mask theme throughout; many of the characters and animals wear totem-like masks that are both beautiful and at times eerie.
I can’t help but be drawn to Bali and engage with him; he is a little boy trying so hard to make his family proud of him. He is small for his age but has a large heart and too much courage for his own good sometimes.
In this installment we venture into the Liminal Wood, a place that is forbidden to Bali’s people. We meet a number of interesting creatures and learn a lot more about the Rook men. I thought the relationship between the Rook men and the forest creatures was interesting and am curious to see where future installments lead us.
My 10 year son reads these as well and absolutely loves them. He started bugging me about when the second book was going to be released as soon as he finished the first book. So he would also highly recommend them!
Overall this was a fantastic graphic novel that I think all ages will enjoy. There is action and adventure, beautiful illustration, fun and engaging characters, and a wonderful storyline. I am excited to see what future books hold.