A Graphic Novel Double Dose

Title: The Good Neighbors: Kin and Kith
Author: Holly Black, illus. Ted Naifeh
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: 2008 and 2009

Beware: The fairie world is about to crash into our own.

Strange things are happening around Rue Silver. Her mother has disappeared, and her father has been arrested for the murder of one of his students. And Rue is starting to see…things.

Once these “things” could only be seen from the corner of her eye: a mismatched shadow, a flash of wing or a set of unnaturally long ears. It used to be that by the time she took a closer look, these things were gone, like she’d imagined them.

But Rue is not imagining what she’s seeing now: fairies, both fair and foul, are everywhere, and the young woman herself is more than she appears. With her world falling apart around her, Rue must discover the secret of her mother’s disappearance, keep her friends from falling into malicious hands, and save the mortal world from a spell that will destroy them all.

Some more details

In the first installment, Kin, we are introduced to Rue, a young semi-delinquent with a missing mother and a father accused of murder. Rue had always known that her mother was different, but her world is turned upside down when she discovers that the woman is a faerie — and her second sight has been passed down to her daughter. Rue’s grandfather Aubrey (also a faerie) is more than a little insane, convinced that he can take control of Rue’s hometown and make the mortal world fear his kind once again.

Kith picks up where the first novel left off, with Rue and her friends working together to thwart Aubrey’s plans for world domination. Rue discovers her mother’s whereabouts, and tries to save her. But the further she is drawn into the faerie world, the farther the gap between her, her new boyfriend, and her friends becomes.

My thoughts

I’ve never been the biggest fan of graphic novels, but I’ll definitely make an exception for this series. Written by Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, and gorgeously drawn and inked by Ted Naifeh, The Good Neighbors is full of dark malevolence that threatens to spill off the pages. It’s an especially refreshing change from the fluffy stuff I’ve been reading recently.

While I don’t know much about the folklore behind these stories, I’m pleased to see that the little I do know has been included in the series. People must indeed have a “second sight” in order to see faeries; watch out for changelings; and beware a faerie who offers you a deal.

I love the world that Black and Naifeh have created. The only down side is that the final part of the trilogy, Kind, won’t be published until October of this year. Curses!

Kick-ass Quotes:

“Long ago, the mortals called us the Fair Folk, the People of Peace, the Good Neighbors. They called us these things not because we were fair, or peaceful, or good, but because they feared us. As they should. As they will again.” (Kin, p. 77)

“What makes us betray the people we love? Now I know. Nothing makes us. We just do.” (Kith, p. 96)

What do you think about graphic novels?

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2 thoughts on “A Graphic Novel Double Dose

  1. I LOVE graphic novels. My favorite of all time is one I’ve told you about before: Secret Identity. It takes place in a world where superheroes only exist in comic books and this kid hates them. He hates them because his family lives in a small farm town in Kansas, they’re last name is Kent, and they decided to name their youngest son… Clark.

    As a result, he gets Superman stuff from his family all the time and he’s sick of it. The name gives kids at his high school an easy reason to make fun of him and beat him up.

    One day on a solo camping trip, one he often takes to get away from it all, he discovers that he can fly… and has other powers similar to (but not exactly like) Superman that he can’t explain. And his life changes.

    I wish they could make THAT a multi-part movie.

    1. I remember you telling me about that series. I like that all the Marvel and DC comics are getting made into movies — it puts these great stories in front of people who, for whatever reason, shy away from reading comic books. Sure they’re not always perfect adaptations, but I’ve enjoyed most of them.

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