Written by: Mark Andrew Smith
Art by: Matthew Weldon
Colors by: Rodrigo Aviles, Jacob Baake, Carlos Carrasco, Bill Crabtree, Jessie Lam and Ralph Niese
Published by: Image
Meet Benny and Becca and Cooper and Joss, two pairs of brother and sister whose parents were some of the greatest explorers of our time. Sadly, those parents are dead following an adventure to keep an evil dude named Galomar from getting closer to taking control of the Great Library. Now these four kids find themselves literally stumbling over their true heritage, not to mention, goblins, fairies, a monstrous cat, a magical slug and the mystical properties of proper etiquette. But all of that being said, can they pick up where their parents left off and save the day?
You know, the worst part of this is that I can’t tell you my favorite part of the book without spoiling something, but it’s a sequence involving ghosts. That’s all I’ll say. And after you reach that part of the book (it’s page 32 in my digital copy), if you’re not on board, then frankly then you’re better off on a much less fun train than this thing is.
Four kids running out on an adventure and finding out the world is a much more interesting place than they’ve been led to believe (and finding out some things they just simply haven’t been told) is sort of hard to screw up, frankly. And Smith and Weldon don’t do it. Smith has enough of a manic buffet of magical bits to keep kids and adults entertaining and Weldon’s art puts across perfectly the kinetic activities of kids dead set on action and/or mischief. Once you’ve established who’s a kid and who’s an adult (the adults are slightly taller…just slightly), then you’re set. And the things just sort of eeks out adorability, which is perfect. Smith also has given himself enough of a setup where you can quickly build upon the world in the other books that are to come. Which I hope there are some. I especially want to know how a slug finds a tailor.
The book is recommended for kids of all ages–the only trouble might be you could inspire your kids to run around playing adventurer instead of playing Xbox. Which isn’t trouble at all, really.