Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Good Neighbors

I recently stumbled upon the podcast Geek's Guide to the Galaxy and have been devouring the past episodes. I find the hosts interesting (although a little too true to the geek stereotype, and I often find myself shouting at the radio that they're wrong about things they know nothing about, like the entire horror genre, but I digress) and informative. For a podcast hosted by an author and an editor, you would assume that all their guests would be in the book world, but that pleasantly isn't the case.

Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, amongst other things, was a guest about a year ago. I enjoyed her episode very much, and although I wasn't left with a strong desire to read her most famous works, I was intrigued by her description of a graphic novel series she had written called Good Neighbors. She hooked me with the premise - a woman goes missing, and her husband is blamed, but their daughter believes that there are more supernatural things at work - and when I saw all three books in the series sitting next to each other at the library, I pounced.

I am glad that I took out all three books at once, because I'm not sure I would have made the effort to go back for them otherwise. I was simply not wowed by this series. The concept itself is very cool and the writing was good enough, but the art is just as important as the story in a graphic novel, and that's where I felt this one fell short. I had a hard time telling characters apart at times, and some characters seemed to change specific characteristics (the things you need to tell people apart!) from scene to scene.

Although, to be truthful, part of the problem may just be that I don't care that much for fairies (or faeries, or however you want to spell it). There are just so many supernatural creatures out there to read about, and fairies have always been pretty far down on my list. I don't care much for the fairy plotlines in the Sookie Stackhouse books either. I will say, though, that Holly Black has clearly made a spot for herself in a world filled with supernatural stories. I have had her book Tithe highly recommended to me, so I think that will be my next try at her work.

2/5 stars

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