Thursday, May 15, 2014

Amulet: The Stonekeeper's Curse (book 2) by Kazu Kibuishi

Summary (from Goodreads):
In this thrilling sequel to AMULET #1: THE STONEKEEPER, Emily and her brother Navin head for Kanalis, a beautiful and mysterious city of waterfalls, where they hope to find the antidote for the poison that felled their mother. That cure lies in the eggs of a giant serpent atop Demon's Head Mountain, but the kids' archenemy, Trellis, is headed for the peak, too. A battle that will engulf all of Kanalis is looming. It's up to Em to triumph over evil while controlling the amulet's power . . . without losing herself!
These books really make me wish I had some inkling of artistic talent (besides mad writing skills of course). The plotline of book 2 wasn’t as enticing for me as the first one. However, the artwork is even better. There are whole new cities, mountains, and evil elf kingdoms to look forward to. Sometimes it would take me a long time to turn the page because I had to just stare longingly at this beautiful world Kibuishi has created.
On a weird side note, the summary talks about the cure being in the eggs of a giant serpent, and that actually wasn’t the case. In the book, Emily has to get the cure for her mom from the fruit of the ancient Gadoba trees…Maybe the book originally had giant serpents? This is weird, right?
This book definitely focused more on what it actually means to be a stonekeeper. Emily’s new necklace is beginning to look more and more like one of Harry’s horcruxes: the one that made everyone slightly evil when wearing it. We also learn that Emily, unlike the wizard trio, cannot actually take the stone off. The stone wants control over Emily. But thanks to a new friend named Leon, we know that Emily absolutely must not let the stone gain control.
On top of the mission to save her mom, the stone trying to gain control, learning about the history of the stonekeepers, and making new friends, there’s the constant threat of the evil elves. The elf king wants Emily dead at all costs, and the poor girl never has it easy. Each step of her adventure is followed by elves out for her life. And these elves have wicked scary teeth.
I like that this series starts with the kids rescuing their mother. I liked that Emily has to work to control her magic. Cause frankly if she didn’t, things would be too easy. I like that there is a strong emphasis on family. I love the moving house, the mechanical friendships, the animal people, and the prophecies of the trees.
Book 2’s plot was a little too much like other middle grade fantasy books for me. What made this stand out though was it’s illustrations and its strong emphasis on family. Seriously, the artwork gives new meaning to world building. And I loved the dynamic of the brother/sister relationship. I give this one an 8/10, and I’m excited to start reading book 3. I’m so ready for a kid/elf showdown.

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