Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rapunzel's Revenge

Title: Rapunzel's Revenge
Authors: Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation)
Pages: 144
Bloomsbury, August 2008
Genre: Graphic novel
Recommended for: Girls and boys, 8-15
Rating: A+

Rapunzel's life is anything but ordinary. At age twelve, she lives in an enormous and beautiful villa with her mother, Gothel, a thousand chairs, plenty of trees for an adventurous little girl to climb, servants to teach her everything she needs to know, and...walls restricting her from escaping to the real, harsh world of the mine towns outside. Determined to find out what is beyond the stone walls that block her view of the rest of her mother's kingdom, Rapunzel soon discovers a dark secret: she was wrongly taken from her mother by Gothel as an infant, and her real mom, Kate, is imprisoned in the laborious mines, resulting in a wrongful imprisonment by Gothel. But little does Gothel know that Rapunzel has wit, will, and a sharp mind (not to mention ridiculously long hair that will help her with her escape), and Rapunzel frees herself into the world of the West, where she pairs up with a clumsy outlaw named Jack. Soon a strong team, the duo works together to save Kate, and dethrone Gothel of her evil growth powers...While encountering killer coyotes, vicious sea monsters, Gothel's angry henchmen, and rip roarin' adventures...Wild West style.
   Husband-and-wife team Shannon and Dean Hale's first graphic novel is an absolute masterpiece, from the extremely well-developed characters; rollicking, quickly-paced plot; high action, and witty, fun-filled storyline. Readers will love the oh-so-talented Nathan Hale's colorful illustrations that are as kick-butt as the story's heroine, and that put a totally rockin' Wild-West twist on the classic fairytale. While reading the book, I felt like I was one of the characters, galloping alongside the two protagonists in the well-described setting. I easily finished off Rapunzel's Revenge in an hour, but unlike other novels, I was thoroughly engrossed throughout the whole period of time, at the edge of my seat as Jack and Rapunzel faced off Gothel in the highly-anticipated conclusion. I found myself flipping pages without even knowing it, my eyes soaking up the unique action-packed story like my life depended on it, right up until the perfect happily-ever-after ending. Well-known author Shannon has found a calling in the graphic novel industry, and I hope to devour many more of this dynamic trio's fairytale-turned-Western adventure.
   To view artwork from Rapunzel's Revenge, click here and here.

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