Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack 
Dean and Shannon Hale, authors
Nathan Hale, illustrator
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books; First Edition edition (January 5, 2010)
3/5 stars

Calamity Jack  picks up the adventures of Rapunzel and Jack where Rapunzel's Revenge left off, but this time the story is told from Jack's point of view.

Jack had bungled his last job in his hometown, Shyport, with disastrous results for his mother. He returns with Rapunzel with the intention of setting things right, but finds Shyport under the control of an evil giant and much more at stake than he realized.

Calamity Jack takes place in a town and has none of the Wild West charm of Rapunzel's Revenge. While it's an amusing story, especially if reading it as a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, it's sadly lacking anything particularly special.

I found it disconcerting that while Rapunzel's Revenge had only a Wild West tall tale type of fantasy, all the sudden in Calamity Jack  there are pixies and giants and talking animals. . . If the two books didn't contain the same principle characters, it would be hard to see how they belonged together.

The art, as with Rapunzel's Revenge, is serviceable but there are no "Wow!" moments revealed through it. The art illustrates the story, rather than advancing and enhancing the storyline.

On the whole, if I hadn't enjoyed Rapunzel's Revenge and been interested in those characters, I probably wouldn't have found Calamity Jack to be worth three stars. As a furtherance of characters looked on with fondness, I enjoyed it; as a graphic novel, it was merely okay.

~~Read for the Graphic Novels Challenge.~~

Note: This is my opinion; on Amazon, it received 5 star reviews 67% of the time.

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