Kin (The Good Neighbors)

by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

Kin is the first in a new graphic novel series written by Holly and illustrated by Ted.  Here is the series description, which I found on both Amazon and Holly Black’s website:

Rue Silver’s mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it’s not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn’t kill her mother — instead, he broke a promise to Rue’s faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue’s mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her — and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

Book one is about Rue finding out about her parents’ past and her own future.  Her mother has already disappeared and her father spends most of his time loafing around the house in a trance.  She tries to pretend like nothing is wrong; she still hangs out with her friends and her boyfriend at the local coffee shop and goes to her boyfriend’s concerts and breaks into abandoned buildings for the fun of it, but soon she will not be able to ignore the changes happening in her life.  First of all, she is beginning to see creatures that no one else can see.  She’s not sure but she believes these creatures are fairies.  But why does she have the ability to see them?  Then her father is arrested for the murder of a female co-ed who was last seen talking to him, her professor, after class.  The student’s murder and Rue’s mother’s disappearance makes Rue’s father look very guilty.  Rue’s not sure that her father is innocent, especially considering the fight he and her mother had the night of her mother’s disappearance, but she’s determined to find the answer to his innocence or guilt to matter what.  Rue begins to find out some very scary and puzzling things about her mother and father, their relationship, and what all of it means for Rue who is paying the price for her parents’ actions.

Reaction: While I have not read the Spiderwick Chronicles, I have read Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside and loved them, so it is not surprising that I really enjoyed the storyline for The Good Neighbors.  I found Rue very sympathetic and likeable.  She’s tough and independent, no doubt about that, but she really does need the support of her good friends.  I feel for her because her upbringing was not exactly easy with her mother being so different from everyone else.

One of my favorite characters is Tam and I am excited to hear more about him in the upcoming volumes.  Tam is a fairy who is under the control of an evil master.  He really wants to help Rue and I think he admires her but there is little he can do to help her.  What I like about Tam is that he takes risks to do what he can to warn and protect Rue.  The ending is definitely a cliffhanger and I’m sad because I can’t seem to find any info on when the next volume will be coming out.

My only (very slight) negative would be with the artwork.  Some of the frames were brilliant while others I didn’t like so much.  I’m not exaclty sure what it was.  I think it had to do with the facial features and the facial structures.  The images weren’t as consistant as I would have liked between frames.  I was also surprised that the illustrations weren’t in color.  I don’t mind black and white but most of the American graphic novels I’ve read have been in color and the cover art was very lush I guess I just had hopes for beautifully colored illustrations.  These are definitely not deal-breakers and I would still hightly recommend this title.

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About Casey

I am a librarian who loves all things reading, especially teen literature.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Reviews - Teen and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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