Title: The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart
Author: Kory Merritt
Genres: Children | Fantasy | Graphics
Length: 128 pages
Jonathan York was enjoying himself taking a stroll through a swamp, but when he gets lost while night is quickly approaching he is suddenly not having much fun anymore.
Rightly so, because the night will bring lots of frightening oddities!
When I first started reading this book, I remember thinking it was interesting that the main character was an adult instead of a kid. I wondered whether children would relate to him, but the fact is you just cannot help but root for Jonathan, and hope that he gets to someplace safe after all his dangerous adventures.
His reactions are utterly believable. Instead of a main character who is the epitome of bravery, Mr York is rightly frightened all the time, and even has anxiety attacks. Just how I might react had I experienced even half of what he did.
In addition to some really scary stuff, there were a couple of things which confused me as to what the age-group audience of this book might be, like the Sean Connery reference, and stuff like Footsteps. Like the footsteps in a dinosaur movie. Like the footsteps you hear just before an expendable character gets chomped.
The monsters in this book were crazy creepy! Each was scarier than the previous, and both their looks and their names conquered my inner child.
The illustrations, in general, were daunting, though I did find all the dark colours a bit tiresome after a while. I noticed and appreciated the rare details of colour, like the eyes of certain monsters, and the treasure in the chest.
Most of all, I admire the author’s imagination and ability to weave a gripping tale featuring a main character to whom anyone can relate.
I did think Jonathan found his confidence much too quickly in his encounter with the Terraqueenpin; considering what I saw up to the point, it seemed a bit abrupt, and I would have liked to see more evolution.
But overall this was a great quick read with quite a few foods for thought, amongst which the importance of brains over brawn, of standing up to bullies, and of having stories to tell, instead of limiting yourself to a reassuring routine.
Very impressive for a debut piece!
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read on Jun 29, 2015
Note: At the time this review was written, this book was available to ‘Read Now’ at Negalley.