First, my small poem, “Bird Collides with Window,” is up at a handful of stones. Yay!
In other news… It just so happened that my local Los Gatos Library was having a grand opening today. I had no idea until I stopped in upon the suggestion of a friend. The new building is rather fantastic, very retro and clean and full of large windows and bright comforting colors. It’s a wonderful design and they had several different performers, including a couple of guitarists and an author presentation to celebrate.
Upstairs, I found a presentation going on in which Kasu Kibuishi created sketches of his fantastic world and talked about how he made his work. Technology is rather awesome. We got to see the sketches go up on the big screen as he drafted them out on his computer tablet. Made me wish I was a better artist and that I could just throw stuff out like that. Anyway, I bought Book One of Amulet and got it signed. He included a cute little sketch of one of the characters, too (see below).
Of course, I had to read it right when I got home. I was hooked right away and breezed straight through. After facing a tragedy in which their father dies, Emily and Navin and their mom move to the families old home in a small town to build a new life for themselves. But there is something mysterious about the basement, and a tentacled creature appears, grabbing their mother and dragging her away into a strange world. Emily and Navin set chase to rescue her.
Book One is the set up for the series, so there isn’t room for complete character development yet. Hints are there, though, and the three family members are sweet and loving and rather likable.
There’s some really great ambiguity going on, too. It’s not entirely clear. The potential ally my be a dangerous threat, and the supposed enemy may not be all that evil. I really like that depth, which will allow a larger more complex story to potentially unfold.
Kibuishi has created a wonderfully creative fantastical world. The art is gorgeous — bright and colorful sometimes and shadowy and mysterious, all depending on the mood. The only frustrating thing is that I now have to go out and buy the other four or five books in the series. I’m that hooked.