Every year I get all freakin’ excited about RIP, thinking about how I’m going to read all the books and all the stories, how I’m just going to roll around and revel in everything spooky and creepy and mysterious. And then every year, reality bites me in the ass, and I have to face the fact that this time of year leaves me little time for reveling in much of anything beyond homeschooling. And well, reveling is not really the word I’d use for that.
So this week, all I managed to read, aside from a handful of chapters in an astronomy textbook and several essays on genocide, was Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet. Yes, oh yes, this book is RIP-worthy! I rather like the description on the back as an “unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale.” Most definitely unsettling, and yet most definitely gorgeous. The sweet, almost cutesy, style of art combined with the creepiness of the story gives the book a very disquieting feel.
And the story is certainly creepy. Sort of a Lord of the Flies vibe, though the story is quite unique and has a fantastical, fairy tale flair. There are so many disturbing little details that add to the brutality of the unfolding tale.
I said that the art helped create the unsettling feeling of the book as a whole, but at the same time, I think the art somehow helped me from finding it unbearably depressing. A contradiction, I know. There was a quirkiness to it that also helped. And overall, I pretty much loved it to pieces.
(Book one down for Peril the First.)