cityoflight.jpgCity of Light, City of Dark - Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca

To begin with—there were Kurbs.

I'd read several books by Avi as a kid, and a couple more since I've gotten older, but this is the first comic-book novel I've seen of his. It starts off with a strange history of the City, which is clearly Manhattan. It's owned by shadowy creatures called the Kurbs, who make a deal with the people who show up: the Kurbs will provide power and warmth to the people, but in exchange the people must follow a particular ritual every year to acknowledge that the Kurbs still own the island. The way the ritual is laid out, it's a mythological explanation for the seasons, in particular the reason it gets colder and the days get shorter in winter.

But all that is preface: then we get to the story, which involves a woman named Asterel who is the Searcher, her husband who has been in hiding with her daughter for the past eleven years, and a greedy old man named Underton who is after the Kurbs' power for himself. It's odd and a bit hard to articulate without telling the whole story. The drawings by Floca are pretty good, except for the fact that Asterel and the daughter Sarah look pretty similar to each other, and at some points it's hard to tell which is which.

I thought it was an okay book, but a little befuddling. I think I prefer Avi's prose to his comic-book writing, but it's an interesting concept.

Fed to jonathan's brain | November 18, 2009 | Comments (0)


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