The Good Neighbors Book One: Kin - Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

"What are you?" "I'm bored, that's what I am. But the word you are looking for is faerie."

This was another graphic novel I found in the library's rotating collection. I knew Holly Black as the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles (which I never really got into) but this one looked like it was targeting older readers. I think also from skimming the dust-jacket that maybe I thought this was something else I'd read about, but in any case I did enjoy the book.

Rue ("like kangaroo or 'You'll rue the day we met, mwa-ha-ha!") Silver is a high-schooler whose mom has left recently after an argument with her father. Since then, her father has shut down and hasn't gone anywhere, and Rue has started to see really weird things. She'd known for some time that her mom was crazy, but now she fears she's starting to go crazy too.

What she's really seeing, though, are fairies. Their world and ours are crashing together, and Rue (for reasons that will later be revealed) can see them. When her father is arrested for the murder of one of his students (and the disappearance of his wife), Rue starts digging into the questions and discovers a lot more about fairies, her family, and herself.

The book actually reminded me a bit of some of Neil Gaiman's work (particularly the bits of the Sandman series that involved Faerie). It helps that the drawing style (done in black and white) is a little reminiscent of Dave McKean's illustrations (though a little less stylized). The way that strange beings populate the background, showing us the world as Rue sees it, is unsettling, particularly because nobody is acting out of the ordinary.

It's a good modern-day fairy tale, drawing on old legends of the "good neighbors" and keeping the frightening bits instead of just the Tinkerbell aspects. This book was originally from 2008, so I'm going to keep my eyes open for a followup.

Fed to jonathan's brain | March 09, 2010 | Comments (0)


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