Saturday, November 26, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi
Series: Third in the Amulet series
Genre: Middle grade action fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Graphix
From: Local library

Story: Emily, her brother Navin, and their crew board an airship to find the lost city of Cielis. They have to find it fast, before the evil Elf King finds them.

Thoughts: I picked up the first Amulet book on a whim from the library. I liked the drawings but found the story a little thin. It is meant for middle schoolers. Since it was an easy read, when the second book was returned, I checked it out, too. This one had a more surprising and detailed story and random Star Wars references. Fun! Now to the third book which has the most intricate plot yet with one Star Wars reference after another. From searching for a pilot in a dive bar to refueling at an outpost run by an ex-friend, The Could Searchers is an ode to Star Wars intermingled with its own unique plot, and it's done well.

Emily is a great character as she slowly learns to control the Amulet's power. Navin, the younger brother, is routinely pushed to the side, though is engineering skills come in handy once in awhile. Old friends and new help the siblings out as they travel from one location to another on their fast-paced quest to find the lost city, fighting the Elf King's minions along the way. The Could Searchers has quite a bit of back story jammed in with it's non-stop action and revelations.

The drawings in Amulet are crisp and clean. There's a lot going on in each panel, but the details never detract from the main action. I particularly like the silent panels where the mood of the world really comes through. The book is in color, and the tones are well blended with each location having its distinct palate. Kazu Kibuishi is the founder and editor of the Flight Anthologies, which I've heard a lot about and must read soon.

Final thoughts: The Amulet books are great for middle-grade readers and up who like some fantasy in their action, and a fun treat for Star Wars fans who can re-live the story in graphic form. I'm looking forward to reading the fourth book, The Last Council, which is already out.

Grade: 5 out of 5

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