Her mother has vanished and her father has stopped going to work, but Rue Silver’s not worried. Really. Only it is bothering her that she’s apparently going crazy, seeing things that aren’t there, that can’t be there. Things like faeries. Two of the great creators of dark fantasy combine their prodigious talents to kick off a trilogy about a girl caught by the ties of family in the middle of what is about to be a showdown between faeries and humans.
Holly Black is best known for the children’s fantasy series The Spiderwick Chronicles (illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi and published by Simon and Schuster), but for my money her best work is her three urban fantasy novels, Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside (also published by Simon and Schuster). Those three novels make readers think back to the older faerie tales, with all of the horrors that were evident in them. Kin walks the same paths, though it stumbles a bit at the end.
Rue is a compelling character. Her snarky attitude and goth outlook are a perfect match with the dark story. She’s not too perfect, not too imperfect, which makes her nice to read about and easy to identify with. Many of the other characters are not as well developed, though several of them seem likely to be in the later volumes of the trilogy. Of particular interest is Tam, a boy who is compelled to speak the truth, for good or ill, and whose ties with the faeries may not be as strong as they might seem at first glance….
The Good Neighbors, book one: Kin
Written by Holly Black, art by Ted Naifeh
ISBN (Hdbk) 978-0-439-85562-4
GRAPHIX, September 2008