Saturday, March 12, 2016

REVIEW: Camp Midnight by Steven T Seagle, with illustrations by Jason Katzenstein

****(4) out of 5 stars

I was first attracted to this book on behalf of my son because he is very much into anything paranormal these days.  But I am very glad that I decided to read it because it ended up being so much more than just a monster story!

Really it was the coming of age tale of Skye, a snarky teenage girl with an awful lot of attitude.  Still, she is dealt a rather bad hand when she is forced to spend the summer, supposedly, with her dad and horrible step-mother (or “step-monster” as Skye calls her); only to discover that instead she’s actually being sent away to summer camp.  That she ends up at one full of real monsters is quite ironic.  And that many of those monsters end up being more human than the regular people in her life is also quite telling. 

It was a little unbelievable that Skye was so easily willing to accept that there were witches, monsters and other paranormal creatures all around her; when most humans would have been at least a little taken aback, if not outright scared to death.  It also seemed a bit unlikely that everyone at camp, as well as the reader, pretty much figure out what her best friend Mia really is except for Skye. 

However, the general messages of the graphic novel definitely made it a book worth reading.  Being true to yourself, standing up for your friends, overcoming obstacles – those were just a few of the lessons to be learned.  A great read for anyone looking for a positive, uplifting message, or needing help in finding their true self. 

The resolution of the story, especially in relation to Mia, did feel very rushed, and I wished it had been explored more.  But it was satisfying and totally fit with the overall premise of the situation. 

I did not care for the style of artwork, finding it very messy and annoying.  But it did seem to fit in well with the overall monster theme, especially the limited palette of dark spooky colors. 

There was a definite ending to the story, but also lots of room for future exploration in a possible sequel volume, not least of which was a mystery basilisk still on the loose in the woods around camp…

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a free eBook copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. 

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