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Saturday, June 12, 2010

"New Brighton Acheological Society: Book One The Castle of Galomar" by Mark Andrew Smith & Matthew Weldon (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)


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Overview: After their parents have been killed in an archaeological adventure trip, four children are sent to go live in the house that their parents used to live in. While living in that house they begin to discover the secret lives that their parents lead and start to follow in their footsteps.

Their parents were part of a secret world that included magic, artifacts, and archaeological events. The children are lead into a conflict that involves a library and two countries that have been at war with each other for many years. The events lead them into the woods that is the source of magic itself.

Format: New Brighton Archaeological Society: Book One The Castle of Galomar is a Children's/YA graphic novel that stands at 140 pages.

Analysis: Anyone that follows any type of children's graphic novels knows that there is a fine balance between great artwork, an appealing storyline and some action. This is required to keeping all children and readers entertained. New Brighton Archaeological Society: Book One is a combination of all three of these elements.

The artwork involved with this graphic novel isn't overly detailed but it's just amazing. The colors almost pop out of the pages and really attract the attention when flipping through the pages. It really keeps the attention of the readers and will definitely be appealing to YA readers of all kinds.

The plot line of this novel, while nothing that is overly different in terms of fantasy graphic novels, is fast moving, age appropriate, and filled with humorous moments. The second half of the novel is filled with many many action scenes that really will keep the readers at the edge of their seats.

One of the most intriguing parts of the graphic novel is that of the characters. The four children really will be appealing to YA readers. While reading this I knew instantly that these characters are something that at the age of 12-13 I would have easily related to. There are plenty of other mysterious and magical creatures that fill the pages of this graphic novel, and it seems as if there was always someone or something new popping up.

While I enjoyed this graphic novel, there were a few elements that as an adult bothered me. First, the children at times talked above the age I imagined them. They would speak lengthy times or use fairly involved words. While I appreciate this type of language it just didn't work for me. There were only a few instances that this popped up in and really it's something that most readers would probably overlook. The second area was that this graphic novel moved quickly, in that the children jumped into everything and there didn't seem to be one character that questioned any of the actions. For the age group that this novel was intended for I really don't think children would give this a second thought, but as an adult these were nagging me.

Overall I enjoyed reading The New Brighton Archaeological Society. The artwork is amazing and eye catching and there are plenty of funny and action packed moments that kept me wanting to read more. This is a great graphic novel for those that are looking for a light, fun read or for those that are looking to introduce younger readers to the graphic novel set up and reading. This is definitely an example of a great combination of artwork and storyline that makes for a great children's graphic novel.


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