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Kin (Good Neighbors 1): 08/27/09

Kin (The Good Neighbors Book 1) by Holly Black was a Cybils finalist in the graphic novel category. It's an urban fantasy similar in tone to the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but done with faeries instead of vampires.

At the start of the book Rue Silver's mother is missing and her father has been accused of killing her and hiding the body. Rue doesn't believe the official version and feels the answer to her disappearance is out there if she if she just looks hard enough.

In the process of hunting for the truth Rue discovers her mother was a faerie and she is therefore one as well. This new knowledge opens her eyes to a new way of seeing the world which both frightens and amazes Rue.

For such a potentially colorful and magical world the illustrations were a let down for me. They are done with dark thick lines creating an overwhelming gloom in all scenes.

Of course there are dark themes. The fae are dangerous and mistrusting of humans. There is animosity on both sides but it's more a mystery with fantasy elements than it is a Gothic horror. The style of the illustrations though try to buttonhole into Gothic horror when it's not.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Saturday, August, 29, 2009 at 13:17:58


Well that sounds disappointing. Just looking at the cover, the drawing style and font used led me to believe it was a dark tale, which really caught my eye. To know that it's misleading is discouraging. Still though, I probably will end up trying to read it regardless.

Comment #2: Monday, September 7, 2009 at 19:59:36


The series might get darker but this first book reminded me most of the sillier episodes of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Comment #3: Wednesday, September, 9, 2009 at 05:28:30


I'm really sorry you didn't like the artwork in this. I have read a few graphic novels Ted has illustrated and really like his style so maybe I am biased. The second in the series is out soon I think which I am relaly looking forward to.

Comment #4: Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 19:56:14


I didn't dislike Ted's artwork. I just didn't think it fit Holly's text. I love the cover art. It's warm and inviting and more in the spirit of the story. The inside black and white pannels though just didn't work for me in conjunction with the story.

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