The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth Book Review

The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
Publisher: Graphix
Release Date:August 27, 2013

When Nate's family moves to a new house, he isn't too happy about it. After all, no one even asked him his opinion on the matter. Then, when Nate discovers an old tape recorder beneath the floor boards of his bedroom, strange things begin to happen. Weird creatures begin to follow Nate and his friend Tabitha. Talking crickets riding dogs, tree people, living baby dolls. Soon, the children are caught up in a terrifying adventure that will lead them to the truth of the Lost Boy.

Graphic novels, by definition, is a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book. A very simple explanation. Here's the thing about some graphic novels though, they must, by the previous definition have a story. The Lost Boy relied fully on its beautiful illustrations to carry the story through to completion and it simply did not work for me.

Firstly, story aside, the hand lettering within the speech bubbles was terrible. Sometimes I found myself having to stop and reread something because I couldn't read what was written. This is not good, especially in a format where the reader's eye is supposed to be flying from image to image with the words acting like sub-titles where you read almost subconsciously. Not to mention the constantly bolded text that made me think something was important, only to discover that it was not.

The story itself was supposed to be some kind of fantasy ghost story in which the characters, through means of a magical gate, eventually travel to a world that reminded me of Oz. The problem was that this world of talking crickets and giant talking baby dolls was never really explained. There was just no world building whatsoever. Ruth hinted at this world at every turn, but I found myself confused and repulsed by it. Everything felt convoluted and the frustrating part was that I could see the potential that the story had. All the pieces were there, but it was missing the links in between, which made the entire story unravel for me.