Monday, March 18, 2013

the elsewhere chronicles

the elsewhere chronicles
the shadow door
the shadow spies
the master of shadows
the calling
the parting
bannister & nykko
graphic novels/ya/horror/fantasy
graphic universe
published 2009-2011

It's bad enough when Max, Rebecca, Noah, and Theo just think Grandpa Gabe's house is haunted.  But then the old movie projector in the library opens a passageway to a world of monsters and creatures made of shadows - a place of secrets and dangers set loose when the sun sets.  The only weapons to fight them lie in the land on the other side of the Shadow Door . . .

Creepy, funny, sad and hopeful are the words I would use to describe this series of books.  I picked them up at the library when I was waiting for Emma the other day thinking she would like them, but the cover for The Parting was slightly creepy so I decided to read them first.  Good thing I did!

I've seen the books recommended for ages 7+ and also 9+ and I think the 9+ is more accurate.  The books deal with some heavy issues, like death, child abuse and terminal illness.  Nothing too graphic, but heavy nonetheless.  While I'm sure Emma could 'handle' it, I think we can wait a couple of years first.

But I did enjoy them!  The art is reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes, especially Max.  The full color books lend to the richness of the Elsewhere world that the kids find themselves in.  Despite their issues the kids are bonded and only want to look out for each other and help keep everyone safe.  While they are certainly brave and courageous, there are always moments of showing their age so that it's clear that these are still, despite their adventures, children.

There are still many questions left unanswered and things begin to get a little confusing near the end of The Parting, ending with a 'To be continued' cliffhanger.  And yet, I can't find anything about another volume coming out anytime soon.  Hopefully, that's change soon!

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