Friday, January 8, 2010

The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean (4/5 stars)

I have previously read "The Skellig" by David Almond and really liked it. So, I was eager to read another book by Almond. When I saw that Dave McKean (illustrator for many of Gaimen's kid's books and graphic novels) had illustrated this I had to read it. The story was interesting but not what I expected.

The story is written in two alternating parts. It starts as a normal printed book with a kid, Blue, talking about how he wrote a story as a younger kid about a Savage in a notebook. He started the story about the Savage right after his dad suddenly died from a heart attack. Then there is a section from the notebook, the story is hand-written with bad spelling (as a little kid would write it) and drawings of the Savage's adventures. These sections alternate back and forth as Blue describes his life as it was then and then shows another story about the Savage. The twist to the whole story is this, it seems that the Savage is not just a story and he may really exist.

When I started the book I wasn't sure I would like it. The Savage is pretty violent and there is some starred out swearing. I started reading it to my young son, and then opted to stop because it was a bit too violent for him. Lots of cutting things apart and thinking about cutting mean people to pieces. Okay for a young adult or pre-teen but not for a young child. Also the mis-spelling in the hand-written portions of the story bugged me...but I understand that we were supposed to be reading the writing of a young child.

As the story continued I really started to like it. Especially towards the end. By the time I finished the book I was thinking, wow, this is a really cool book. It is very creative and has a very deep story and I really liked it!

This book is a quick read; took me maybe 40 minutes to read it or so. I really ended up enjoying it but I would recommend as a read for the pre-teen or older crowd. I got the book from the library and they did have it in the young adult section. I didn't like this book as much as "The Skellig" but it was still a good read. I will definitely be checking out more of David Almond's works in the future.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
- 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge

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