Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Review: Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

The Story: After a terminally ill boy is accidentally zapped into the world of ghosts by a ghost wrangler, he is quickly befriended by a skeletal horse, and it isn’t long before he’s encountered the ghost of his grandfather. As the ghost wrangler tries to get into the ghost world to save him, the boy soon finds himself a target of the dictator of this strange world, and must use the mystical power of being a living person in a world of ghosts to fight back.

My Thoughts: This wild and weird graphic novel was quite fun to read. The author’s storytelling and art are filled with amusing and original touches. The colorful art adds a lot to the story, with monsters and creepy settings and spectacular battles all brought to life on the pages. Without the pictures, I wonder if it would have been just a slightly above average dark fantasy story, but with the pictures, the tale has what it needed to be something special. Those who like horror or dark fantasy that isn’t too grim will enjoy this whimsical journey through a dark but hopeful world.

Content Overview: Violence is mild and often goofy. Scary scenes likewise are more on the light-hearted side, though some children might still be frightened by them. The bizarre world of ghosts is obviously far outside of Christian theology, but it’s not meant to be believed in.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: Fair Blows the Wind by Louis L’Amour

The Story: A boy of the Irish nobility is the only survivor of the conquest of his family and their property, which forces him to flee to England. He searches for a way to make a living, hoping in time to become wealthy and be able to take back his family’s land. As his adventures carry him from England to the European mainland, and then to America, he will meet a colorful variety of friends and foes, including one foe who is determined, no matter how many years it takes, to kill him.

My Thoughts: While this book is written in an unusual way, with much of the book being a flashback after some early action scenes, it works for the story. The episodic way the story is written also works pretty well. I was amazed at how many interesting characters are woven into this book, which is less than three hundred pages long. There is, unfortunately, not a lot of depth, and the story weakens a bit towards the end, but since it’s so entertaining and well-written overall, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical adventure novels.

Content Overview: There is frequent mild violence as well as infrequent mild swear words and vague references to adult subjects such as sexual immorality. The hero seems to believe that all remotely civilized roads lead to heaven, but this at least makes him seek to live a moral life.