Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack. By Shannon and Dean Hale. Illustrated by Nathan Hale. 2010. Bloomsbury USA. 144 pages.

Welcome to the second day of the Calamity Jack blog tour. Today I bring you my review of Calamity Jack, a companion book to Rapunzel's Revenge. Both graphic novels are twists on old-and-familiar stories. Rapunzel. Jack and the Beanstalk. Hale takes old characters, and breathes new life into them. Giving them oddly modern adventures. While I must admit that I loved Rapunzel's Revenge more than Calamity Jack, I did enjoy it for what it was.

I think of myself as a criminal mastermind...with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. I was born to scheme. See? You can tell just by looking at me. I wasted no time. My first true scheme was at age two.

In Rapunzel's Revenge, Jack was, well, so-clearly-the-good guy. In Calamity Jack, we see that Jack doesn't think of himself in quite that way. In fact, up until the moment he hooked up with Rapunzel, well, he always considered himself a bad boy. He was oh-so-good at being a bad boy. So he's having to redefine himself (in a way) as he's put to new tests and struggles through new adventures.

Calamity Jack tells Jack's back story. How he came to be Jack. Yes, we see how Jack came to grow that beanstalk. We get the real why of it. We also see how he came to be at Rapunzel's side. But it also continues the story. The second half of this graphic novel tells of new adventures shared with Rapunzel and Jack. So it is both a companion and sequel.

What does this one offer readers? Action. Adventure. Fun.

To see what others are saying about Calamity Jack...

Sally Apokedak, Reading is my Superpower, firesidemusings.blogspot.com, Through the Looking Glass Book Review , Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Becky’s Book Reviews, The Hungry Readers, , My Own Little Corner of the World, Book Blather, GreenBeanTeenQueen, Book Crumbs , Abby (the) Librarian, Dolce Bellezza, Homeschoolbuzz.com, The Book Cellar, Carrie’s YA Bookshelf, Bookshelf Monstrosity, Everyday Reading, Frenetic Reader, KidzBookBuzz.com

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Amy 7:59 AM  

I'm so happy to see more graphic novels getting attention. This one sounds like a lot of fun - both in the series do!

Alyssa 10:55 AM  

Hmmm... I think I need to promise myself it won't take as long for me to get to reading this one as it did Rapunzel's Revenge!

Julie J. 8:58 PM  

I really enjoyed this read. It's a little out of my comfort zone but I'm glad I took the chance.

BookMoot 11:52 PM  

I love that they are continuing this! The first one was great!

Suko 11:01 AM  

I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Becky!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
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Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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