Bad Island by Doug TenNapel

Published: 2011

Genre: science fiction YA graphic novel

Length: 224 pages

Setting: mostly on an uncharted island in the ocean, present day

Interest: I was looking through the graphic novels at the main downtown library this week for something interesting. I recognized the artwork on this title as being by the same artist who did Cardboard. Sounds like a good reason to check it out.

Summary: We follow a family as they go on an unexpected adventure. The father has planned a boat trip that no one else is excited about, especially the teenage son. When they finally get on the boat, a major storm blows in, wrecking the boat and stranding the family on a deserted island. The botanist mother is the first one to notice things aren’t quite right on the island. The family is chased by some aggressive creatures and the parents are captured. The son and daughter save them from death by immersion in an acid pool, and everyone runs to get away from the creatures. They find a hiding spot but evil alien follows them. Turns out, the island is actually the body of a giant alien prince and the evil alien has been hiding him from his parents. The family is able to use an artifact they found to activate the body of the alien prince.

Final thoughts: This graphic novel is very much in the same style as Cardboard, but in terms of plot and artwork (in fact, Mr. Curiosity thought the dad in both books looks exactly the same). There’s an exciting story arc (evil aliens trying to keep a secret and kill anyone who discovers the island) but also important character growth. You get a strong sense of the importance of family. The father wasn’t worried because the family was together. The son was thinking about running away, but is pulled back into the family by the events on the island. And, for comic relief, there’s a dead snake that starts to smell. It’s got all the parts you need for a good book.

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since I don’t count graphic novels

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