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Amulet: A Review
Article by Scott Tingley, March 29, 2008

I'm not sure how to play this whole review: serious or goofy. On one hand, big bad stuff happens in the first handful of pages - Dad dies in a car crash with a heartbreaking rescue attempt by the daughter and mother; but on the other hand, later on the two main characters in the story use mushrooms as parachutes to escape a giant crab-octopus- spider creature...make that: giant crab-octopus- spider creature that swallowed their mom. - - - Think I'll go with a bit of a more serious tone over goofy. Not really my style, but lets see how it goes.

The first thing I....Nope, can't do it.

You have to take the things I said above with a grain of salt. The book has steam-punk robots BIG and small (keep your eyes pealed for the big one), a talking bunny (that one is not nearly as cutesy as it sounds), and lots and lots of adventure. Not real goofy, but certainly not somber. This is a really fun, action and mystery packed book. The death of the father is handled the same way that the death of a parent in a Disney movie is handled. It is tragic, but it serves to mould the main character into a worthy lead and the swallowing/kidnapping of the mother provides the push needed to get the kids on their adventure I want to say MacGuffin here, but I'm not sure it applies) . I hope that how I have described the father's death in no way comes across as dismissive. The whole sequence is very powerful and really sets the bar high for the whole book / series.

Amulet is written / drawn by Kazu Kibishi, the brains behind the Flight series of anthologies, and if you aren't familiar with him now, you soon will be. Amulet and his recently announced Copper collection are both being published by powerhouse Scholastic. My experience with Scholastic, so far, is that it only publishes the best comic material it can find. Not a lot of filler coming out of their imprint, Graphix , which is in charge of the comics division.

The kind of Fantasy story presented in Amulet is not necessarily the kind of material I am drawn to, but there is no denying the attraction for kids: robots, monsters, Giant robots, kid heroes, bunny robots and magic. It is certainly one to look for. It is in stores and Scholastic Book Clubs now.



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