Review Blog

Jan 23 2017

Stone cold by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple

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Ill. by Orion Zangara. The Stoneman mysteries bk 1. Graphic Universe, 2016. ISBN 9781512411553
Graphic Novel. Murder mystery. Dark fantasy. Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s this very dark graphic tale begins with a murder and suicide rescue, and a talking Gargoyle on a local church, and some priests who seem to have issues with one another. The young lad whose life is saved goes on to join the investigative work of the gargoyle - a beast trapped in stone. With frightening progression, murder becomes common and involves evil influences in the oppressive and gloomy streets. The young lad's work is to collect information in order to solve the mystery of who is responsible for the loss of life. But is he being dragged into the evil net of the dark forces?
This is no light-hearted comic book! Rather it is a dark and ominous fantasy that involves evil spiritual influences, but tangles this with traditional faith contexts. Not something to recommend to a young vulnerable reader. The black and white illustrations in graphic novel panels are atmospheric, but it isn't always easy to recognise or identify the characters speaking. Although the graphic novel genre does cater for the dark story-lines of Noir fantasy, this didn't appeal to me.
Carolyn Hull

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