Wednesday, 10 September 2008

RIP III: Two in One

Two books read for the RIP challenge, one a graphic novel and one a kids book, I will get to a novel soon.

Three Shadows (Graphic Novel) ****

Back then, life was simple and sweet. The taste of cherries, the cool shade, the fresh smell of the river...That was how we lived, in a vale among the hills - sheltered from storms, ignorant of the world, as though on a island, peaceful and untroubled.
And then...
Then everything changed.
Three Shadows starts of with an idyllic family life, out marching in woods, picking fruit and warm nights by the fire. And, as we all know, idyllic family life never lasts. Upon the hill appears three shadows. Everyday the loom over the little family, some times a little closer some times a little further away, but still each day they are there, a threatening presence.
As it becomes clear that is is Jochaim's life they have come to take, the massive father decides to steal his son away, to escape the threat of death. But death is inescapable and will always follow.
The graphics are stunning, full of bright whites and deep blacks to reveal the ever present shadows in the distance. This is the first graphic novel I have read, where the text is fairly sparse, and at first I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but the pictures quickly grabbed my imagination.
Challenge: YA Challenge, RIP III, Olympic Challenge (France), Unread Authors Challenge
Other Reviews: Bart Shuffleboil

Varjak Paw (Kids book) ***
I was really looking forward to reading this novel, but it never quite grabbed me. I read a lot of YA fiction, and this book was aimed at children of 8-10 (I'd guess), which may have been the problem, it was just a little too young for my tastes. Having said that, I think it would be a great book to read to a child who relished scary tales.

The story is about Varjak Paw, a pedigree cat who has spent his whole life inside one house, as his family is believed too precious to risk letting outside. When their owner disappears (a trip to heaven) a man in black enters the house, with his two vicious black cats, Varjak warns the family of the trouble to come. Being the odd one out in the family, Varjak is ignored, so he goes on a hunt to find a dog to help him rescue his family.

Life outside has many lessons for Vajak to learn, some new things he is taught by his new friends and some as part of a dream sequence. The question really is, is outside more dangerous than the threat in the house. Outside you have to face gangs of cats and deal with the Vanishings. And Varjak also has to find and talk to a dog - with one big problem, he has no idea what a dog is.

The illustrations in the novel capture the story perfectly, and add to the scary tone.
Challenges: RIP III, YA Challenge, Olympic Challenge: Lebanon, Unread Authors Challenge


Ana S. said...

Three Shadows sounds like something I'd really love. This is the second review that makes me want to get it immediately.

I read Varjak Paw last year and I also didn't enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would. It was a fun read, though, and I just loved the illustrations.

Anonymous said...

Like Nymeth I think I would really enjoy Three Shadows. I am sorry you didn't get into Varjak Paw as much as you hoped. I read it last year as well plus the sequel and loved both of them including the illustrations.

tanabata said...

I haven't reviewed it yet but I read Three Shadows this month too for R.I.P. I agree with you that the graphics were stunning and really captured my imagination.