Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bone, Vol 1: Out From Boneville - Jeff Smith (Bone #1)

Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville (Bone, #1)This was the final book for my 2016 reading challenge!  To fulfill the category of a graphic novel, I was originally planning to read a Sandman volume, but my boyfriend said it wouldn't be worth it if I wasn't going to read the entire series (I wasn't planning on it, graphic novels not being my thing) and directed me to the Bone series instead.  He's the graphic novel expert in our house, so I took his advice.

Out from Boneville is the first installment in a series about some creatures called Bone.  Fone Bone, the main character, is fleeing Boneville with his cousins Smiley Bone and Phoney Bone--the latter of whom is the crook who got them run out of town.  They're lost, wandering in the desert, when they find a strange piece of a map, and then are promptly separated by a swarm of locusts.  Eventually the three, through different routes, end up in a valley where they're stuck for the winter.  Fone Bone is being followed around by a red dragon who's keeping an eye out for him, defending him against rat-creatures who are looking for Phoney Bone and aren't opposed to eating anyone who gets in the way.  And he's helped throughout the winter by the animals that live in the valley, and is eventually connected with the human girl Thorn.

This is a charming story--the dragon is awesome--with a lot of comedic elements.  One rat-monster refuses to start a fire to cook Fone Bone because another rat-monster called it fat.  Fone Bone questions a bug's threats against him until the bug's giant older brother shows up.  And then of course there's Fone Bone's silly crush on Thorn.  The art is detailed without being overly complex; you don't need to spend a lot of time examining each page or panel to see what you need to see.  And the story is one that can apply to a lot of different age groups; this is just as appropriate for middle-grade readers as it is for adults looking for something light.  I don't feel any great need to continue this series--that's something that is missing here, a sense of urgency--but I also don't feel like I wasted my time on it.  Overall it was a good quick read to round out my final challenge category.

4 stars out of 5.

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