Kith: Lacks emotional impact

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews YA, young adult, Holly Black The Good Neighbors 1. Kin 2. KithKith by Holly Black

Kith is the second installment in The Good Neighbors, Holly Black’s series of graphic novels about Rue, a young woman whose life is torn apart when her mother disappears. Kin, the first book in this series, traces Rue’s discovery that her mother is a fairy princess who returns to her own people when Rue’s father is unfaithful. Kith picks up the action as the fairy world fights for Rue to join her mother, and as Rue’s grandfather, Aubrey, sets into motion a plan to bring the town where Rue lives into the fairy realm forever.

Ted Naifeh’sartwork is as lovely as ever, with a dark and brooding presence that underscores the temptation that magic holds for Rue, even as she struggles to protect her friends from Aubrey and his minions. A scene where Rue tries to convince her mother to come back to the human world is particularly moving, and shows the inner conflict both through the artwork and the dialog.

However, the combination of Black’s failure to establish identifiable characters for all of Rue’s friends, and Naifeh’s artwork that leans towards a preponderance of short, angular hairstyles, meant that I was frequently confused about what was going on in the story. At several points throughout the story I would reread several pages, trying to figure out exactly which characters were involved in the action. The final scene in particular didn’t make much sense, and seemed to contradict the information we had been given in the story.

The disjointed story that followed has too many separate paths and keeps Kith from delivering the full emotional impact that is nascent in the tale Black is trying to tell. This second episode inThe Good Neighbors fails to deliver on the setup from the opening chapters. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Kith.

The Good Neighbors — (2008-2009) Young adult. Publisher: 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.

Holly Black The Good Neighbors 1. Kin 2. KithHolly Black The Good Neighbors 1. Kin 2. KithHolly Black The Good Neighbors 1. Kin 2. Kith 3. Kind


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RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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