starlady: (firebolt)
Joyce, William and Laura Geringer. Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King. New York: Atheneum Books, 2011.

One of the first books I remember being read in Library in kindergarten was A Day with Wilbur Robinson, and I have been a William Joyce fan ever since (though I suspect that Santa Calls is actually his best book). I read the first book in his new multimedia juggernaut, The Guardians of Childhood, earlier this year - it's a picture book, The Man in the Moon, and though I didn't think it was as well balanced as some of his earlier work, I liked it. So I bought this book at my local bookstore in Northfield, MN last week with high hopes. After all, how can you go wrong with a book where Santa Claus's secret past as a thief, swordsman, and ne'er do well is revealed?

Sadly, the book is not all that it could be. There's a lot of really rich stuff in this book, some really cool concepts and interesting characters, but Joyce tells way much more than he shows and in the end it feels more like the prologue it is than anything else. I suspect you could read the picture books and the novels separately - the second in both sequences have been published this year, and the movie is apparently slated for a Thanksgiving release. So I will probably read the next book, which is about E. Aster Bunnymund and warrior eggs at the Earth's core, because come on, how can you not? But I hope the magic of Joyce's writing can grow to match that of his art.

I embed the movie trailer below:

YouTube link

My roommate, overhearing: "Is that Antonia Banderas?"
Me: "No, that's Alec Baldwin doing a Russian accent." 


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