Amulet, Volume 1: The Stonekeeper
author : kazu kibuishi
pages : [hardcover] 192
Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.
Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.
Amulet: The Stonekeeper is a really interesting graphic novel that sets up an intriguing world, but doesn’t stand well on its own.
This graphic novel is filled with gorgeous illustrations that really stand out more than the text, mostly because the fantastical creatures and world that Emily and Navin accidentally fall into comes into play very quickly in the novel. Besides, it felt like half of the panels had no text to them at all, so you need the illustrations to keep the story moving onward.
Most of the creatures in this other world are terrifying–I’m not sure of the age range to recommend this book to because of how frightening these things are to look at. Plus, they’re intent on either kidnapping or killing these kids–I’m not certain which is truer–and mange to take away their mother in a very gross and horrific way.
Still, one of their closest allies is an adorable robot bunny, so I’m not sure of what angle the author is going for here. So many characters are introduced, and all set up to do . . Something. The plot remains a little mysterious even when this book concludes. I know that there are several more books, and here was enough to interest me just from this first installment, but I feel like the series could have been condensed if we’d just been offered more information here. I have no idea of why the amulet is important or does what it does. Why Emily and Navin are involved. What this world is. What these creatures are that are working against them. There are so many questions that, despite the gorgeous visual world-building, I needed more physical answers to keep me rooted in the story.
While I’d recommend this book, I’d say try to hunt down the first few of the series at the library, so you can read them all at once and see if the story really is for you.