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In fantasy stories, weird old houses always have something secret hidden in them.

And while "The Stonekeeper" starts with the heroine's family arriving at their new home, it doesn't take long for Kazu Kibiushi to bring us into the alternate world of Alledia -- I find the pink bunnies to be a bit distracting, but the grotesque monsters, menacing elves and eerie houses make up for it.

After her father's death, Emily accompanies her mother and brother Navin to a run-down family house -- but as they clean up and try to make it habitable, Emily finds a glowing stone amulet. And that night, Emily's mother is attacked and eaten alive by a tentacled monster, and when Navin and Emily chase it to get her back, they end up in a strange new world.

Even worse, a glowy-eyed elf is following the two children, until they are rescued by a representative of their great-grandfather, who lives in the forest with a gang of little robots. It turns out that Emily's stone amulet has the power to save the entire world of Alledia... and possibly to save her mother as well.

"The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1)" reminds me a lot of Jeff Smith's Bone -- a dramatic, imaginative fantasy graphic novel that is slightly softened by some goofy-looking characters (one of the robots looks like a pink bunny). And it doesn't take long for Kazu Kibuishi to leap headfirst into fast-paced action and little touches of horror.

Actually, his entire approach is very original -- his elves aren't pretty Tolkienesque creatures, but sharp-toothed, glowy-eyed and pallid, and the forests and tunnels are full of tentacled horrors. Kibuishi paints the story in misty blue and gray tones, and adds in some whimsical touches (the floating mushrooms) to remind us that we're in another world. I was a little distracted by the mother's very long head, though.

Emily and Navin are pretty realistic young kids, both before and after their trip to Alledia; they whine and mope occasionally, but try to be strong for their mother's sake. They haven't yet shown what they're presumably capable of, but Emily thwarting the amulet's cruelty means that there may be even more growing up to do.

Be sure to have the second volume of the Amulet series on hand, because "The Stonekeeper" leaves you desperately wanting to know what happens next.
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on 10 April 2008
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and her brother, Navin, move with their mother to a new town to start a brand new life. Their new house is very old and has been in their family for years. Emily is very interested by this old house, particularly one room upstairs in which she finds a beautiful necklace with a very pretty stone in it.

Emily's cool find is soon overshadowed by a very strange first night in the house. After hearing noises in the basement, their mother is kidnapped by a strange creature.

Emily and Navin, with the help of Emily's stone necklace, now have to find their mother and figure out what is going on in this strange new town.

THE STONEKEEPER, the first in the AMULET series, is a quick yet enjoyable read, set up in graphic novel form. The main characters are easy to relate to, and the supporting characters are serious but amusing at the same time. The storyline is interesting and leaves you wanting to know more.

Kids will love seeing people their own age as strong and independent main characters. Emily and Navin are definitely role model material.

Reviewed by: Michaela Pallante aka "Mickey"
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on 24 July 2015
Bought as a gift for my nine-year-old niece. I skimmed through it before wrapping it, and it seems both fun and meaningful, dealing with fantasy and grief. First in a series, i'll be getting the rest for my niece.
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on 3 November 2016
Love the story and artwork is beautiful as well! :)))
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Navin and Emily are back with all their old friends, and some new ones, for another adventure in the AMULET series.

Picking up where we last left our heroes, we find them inside their great-grandfather's traveling house searching for an antidote for their poisoned mother. When they reach the city of Kanal is when things start to look hopeful. That is until the elf prince and his army show up.

The elf prince is determined to steal Emily's amulet and use its power. Now, Emily must learn to accept her role as a stonekeeper and save the day.

This graphic novel is a very exciting sequel. Emily really comes out of her shell in this book and becomes a strong character.

Boys and girls alike will love seeing Emily and Navin stand up for themselves and watching Emily take charge of the amulet's powers. I can't wait to see what's next for Emily and her family. Hopefully, we'll see the next volume in the series soon!

Reviewed by: Michaela Pallante, aka "Mickey"
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on 21 February 2008
Abandoning the moribund superhero trappings (wrongly) associated with the medium, Kazu Kibuishi delivers a classic fantasy tale in comics form. While it has all the superficial trappings of a children's story, there's much for all ages to enjoy here; the youngsters will love the imaginative world and its colourful inhabitants, while grown-ups of all ages will respond to the complex emotions at the heart of the story, and the interesting moral questions raised by the Amulet itself.

Kibuishi's storytelling is strong, although there are a couple of minor slip-ups here and there (page fifteen's clumsy panel layout, for example), and the visuals are wonderful; the seemingly simplistic figures show a wealth of personality and emotion, and the fantasy world is vivid and beautifully realised.

This first chapter of the story is self-enclosed enough that it can be read in isolation, but Kibuishi weaves in plenty of interesting ongoing threads, and I for one will be there to pick up volume two and see how the story continues. A good, strong start.
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on 6 October 2009
It almost feels like this is where manga and western comics meet up in the middle.

The art in this book is sublime, attention to detail astounding and the lines crisp and clear. The print quality is very good and shows off the work nicely.

In terms of the story, it's a continuation from the first book, of course, and so if you're looking to get into the story I'd recommend starting there. For those Who have read the first one, this sequel does not disappoint! It's equally fast-paced and as engaging as it is delightful.

Be warned, however! It is expected to go on for around 10 volumes, so be prepared to sink some serious capital into this!
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on 17 November 2014
After Navin and Emily's father passes away, they move to their grandfathers abandoned house, since he went missing years before. A sinister tentacled monster draws the mother into a hidden underground world and of course, with the help of the Amulet, Navin and Emily have to follow. They quickly discover a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot and a house with legs.

This book was really fun to read and the illustrations were, at times, incredible. I breezed through this quick graphic novel in less than an hour and immediately wanted to start from the beginning again (since I don't have Volume Two yet). The conflict in the story is resolved pretty quickly and doesn't hurt the brain when you're reading - making it the perfect graphic novel for younger readers. Despite the spooky content and monsters, the story is light-hearted and the illustrations make it child-friendly. I would have preferred the book to be slightly longer, since I felt the fast-paced drama made it appear a lot shorter than it was and I would have loved to have seen more of the world and gotten to know the characters a little better, so I'm invested enough to buy Volume two. Overall, I'd recommend reading this graphic novel, particularly if you're new to graphic novels and want something easy to get you into them.
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on 15 March 2010
now maybe I should be too old for "comics" but this book was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say it is totally ace, the artwork on each page is superb and the storyline is fun.

this would suit any age I believe, I am in my 30's yet can see that this book would appeal to my young cousins right up to my parents.

great 'read' and I cannot wait for more from this artist.
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on 23 February 2016
Basically: This book is a fantasy graphic novel that follows a family who move to an old family home after a relatively recent tragedy and find that everything is not what it seems.

In detail: I saw a couple of people reading this on my tumblr dash and on youtube who I have the greatest respect for in terms of many of their books that they recommend I enjoy. So I thought I'd see if my local library had any of this series in, and it did. And I totally enjoyed and loved this book, it was beautiful and fun and amazing and just what I fancied reading one afternoon after a short day at work.

The Plot: This graphic novel has a fantastic and well-paced story line that was totally enjoyable if a little predictable.

I loved the way the fantasy was woven in, it's not a theme I've seen that often in urban fantasy and I really enjoyed it. I liked the whole house element as well, the house as a theme is really well done and makes you want to explore your own home all over again (I'm thinking the next time I move I could be enforcing a sleepover with my poor much maltreated own family) and just double check everything is where it should be.

The story itself is a tad predictable but it is so beautifully told and so sweet and cute that you don't mind, and there is enough different to make it stand out and make it just the greatest. Gosh, the way it unfolds is great and I love it. All the themes running through it of family, loyalty, betrayal, and all that are great and handled so well.

The Characters: The main character in this book is the adorable Emily who is a young girl who is going through a difficult time all of which is totally explained right at the beginning of the book, and she really likes wearing hoodies (she's identifiable in that she seems kind of normalish for a fantasy novel) and she loves her family. After moving to her Great-Uncles home and having a major cleaning session, and some great family bonding moments, Emily finds a necklace of some kind that helps her discover a few things about her family's history and gives her the power to protect her family hey she loves them okay. And the rather cool fantasy element is then introduced.

Emily's little brother Navin is a total cutie too, and such a sweetheart in this story. One of my favourite parts of this book was the relationship between Emily and Navin, I love books with beautifully written family relationships that are not just assumed or brushed aside. I also loved how real Navin felt, his personality just jumped at me and he really reminded me of my own little brother.

Also Emily and Navin's Mum who was totally great, I loved her and how much she loved her children (and also their Dad was pretty cool you know and stuff). Yeah, great parenting love in this book. I loved it. A lot.

And the others. If you've read this then you know who I mean, like literally the greatest characters and great development and I totally want volume two like yesterday (but I don't think my library has them).

My Thoughts: This book, graphic novel, is fantastic and one of the best things I have read in years and is not diminished at all by the fact that it is aimed at a younger audience. Their is a certain childishness to it but the way it's told makes it relatable to everyone, at any age.

The images are beautiful and take show not tell as the most brilliant advice. The whole thing is amazing and yes, definitely read it!
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