Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rapunzel's Revenge by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, Nathan Hale (Illustrator)

Rapunzel's Revenge spins western adventure, epic rescue, long lost family, despotic injustice and friendship redeemed into a fractured fairy tale in graphic novel form. The map in the middle of the story allows the reader to track the journey of Rapunzel and Jack through the desert, ghost towns, Devil's Armpit and treacherous territory of outlaws and Mother Gothel's henchmen.

The illustrations add to the depth of action as well as appreciated gags such as Rapunzel's reading material in the tower "Girls who get saved and the princes who saved them". There are a few tools in the illustrations that seem to be a nod to the influence of manga - distance shots with little detail and emotions expressed with eyes changing shape (not quite as dramatic as stars). I like the variations in the styles and perspectives in the illustration as well as the flashback washout.

The ending is good, especially with Rapunzel's refocusing her strength and motivation despite the upper hand of her opponent. Jack's presence weaves in another fairy tale, and he adds humor. Mother Gothel's reason for such oppression isn't explored at all which renders her as a flat character. Near the end, I thought we would have insight as to why Rapunzel was locked in the tower to better understand Gothel's motivation. Rapunzel's Revenge is worthy of being in library collections for upper elementary/middle school, but not TU exemplary. NAY.

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