Book review: Into the Outlands, by Robert Christie, illustrated by Deborah Lang

Christie, Robert. Quirk’s Quest: Into the Outlands. Ill. Deborah Lang. First Second, 2016. $16.99. 127p. ISBN 978-1-62672-233-0. Ages 7-11. P8Q7

christie-into-the-outlandsChristie created his land of Crutonia three decades ago with friend Lang after they met during a food fight in school, and the large variety of character types shows the fun that they have had to put together this fantasy graphic novel. The HMS Gwaniimander, sent by King Hoonkl to chart his northern areas and captained by the inept Quenterindy Quirk, is destroyed by four-eyed giant monsters, Hooklm, who eat not only the ship but also some of his crew. The cave where the survivors hide, thanks to the leadership of the ship’s cook, presents another danger in the person of sorceress Hukka who menaces one of the scouts. Cartographer Nersel Bukubay tries to escape and finds another island species, the supposedly friendly Yoon who survive because they are poisonous to the generally carnivorous Hooklm. The furry and feathered creatures, some of them with as many as six legs, are visually reminiscent Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock in a prehistoric setting.

Verdict: The story is easily understood through dialog and the captain’s log, and the inviting bright colors draw in readers who will look forward to the next volume of the series indicated by an open ending.

January 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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