David and I have discovered a new graphic novel called Amulet. We actually heard about it because the author / artist Kazu Kibuishi is actually coming to town for a state library conference. Hearing about this we decided to check out the graphic novel that he wrote and discovered Amulet.
I have only read book one of the series, but am very interested with where the story is going. The beginning of the story starts out innocuous enough – just a family dealing with a family tragedy and a move to an old family mansion. When they move into the mansion though things are set into motion that unlock a whole new world of horrors and possibilities. One of the comparisons that we have made is that it is kind of Locke and Key, but for a younger audience. Unlike Locke and Key, Amulet definitely has a lighter side to it that makes it a bit friendlier.
Beginning in Tragedy
One of the big similarities between Locke and Key and Amulet is the story starts with tragedy. I will not explain what the tragedy is because the emotional resonance of reading it is very powerful. It is just really interesting that they both start with a tragedy. I guess it is because tragedy often spurs change and has a powerful affect on the protagonists. In Amulet it is partly explaining why they end up at an old family mansion. It is a place that has remained in the family even though no one has lived there for a good long while. The mansion was owned by an eccentric grandfather and great-grandfather that was dealing with forces beyond the realm of the real world.
Door to Another World
Now of course this is not just a simple story because in the mansion formerly owned by an eccentric great-grandfather there are mysteries that soon begin to reveal themselves and they are big. The big one being that there is a door to another realm in the basement and things are not staying put. Of course this leads the protagonists to end up going into the other realm and finding out that there is a lot going on and a lot more questions to be asked. Part of what happens is that the great-granddaughter Emily discovers an amulet and starts to wear it around – where this amulet is more than it seems.
The titular amulet is found in the family mansion and it is still a mystery, as it should be, by the end of the first book. It seems to have power in the other realm that is open in the basement, but it also seems to have its own voice. Some of the question is what are the motives of the Amulet? We know that it has granted power to Emily, but what is the cost of that power and what will have the power really do? Of course with any sort of object of power there are people who would want to have it for themselves, which is of course what we begin to see happening.
So, I do not know where the story is going, but I am curious to see the journey. There is more going on than we know or understand after the first book, but it definitely makes you want to read more. Even during the prologue of book one you are hooked on the story that is being told and then it just becomes so much more than where it began.
David is going to be seeing the creator present in a little over a month, so he’ll talk about that experience as well later!