Thursday, July 28, 2016

‘Malice in Ovenland, Vol. 1’

Cover art, 'Malice in Ovenland' by Micheline Hess. Image shows a young girl, holding a burning torch aloft. A lizard-like creature holding a red, two-tined fork, cowers behind her. The pair are in a setting reminiscent of a cavern with small shadowy figures behind them. One giant shadow looms directly behind them and shadowy flying creatures flit against the cavern walls.
Lilly Brown, stuck at home for the summer while her friends are away on vacation, is left alone by her mother with a list of chores to get done over the weekend.

While trying to recover her earring from inside the oven, Lilly falls through a tunnel and arrives in an underground kingdom whose sentient beings, the “Oven Frites,” revere grease as a life-giving substance.

At the time of Lilly’s arrival, the kingdom is in crisis; its essential grease supply has ceased. (Above-ground, Lilly’s mother had replaced their fried-food diet with healthier fruits and vegetables.)

From start to finish, I had a lot of fun reading Malice in Ovenland, first volume in a graphic-novel series created by Micheline Hess (Rosarium Publishing, August 2016). It combines a fast-paced storyline, humorous details and entertaining characters.

I think young readers will be able to relate to Lilly as a strong and resourceful protagonist, and the icky, goopy details of a grease-revering kingdom seem sure to captivate their interest.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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