Book Review: The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Greg Ruth
Illustrated by Greg Ruth
Cover by Greg Ruth
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Cover Price: $12.99

When young Nate moves to a new town with his family he is quickly dragged into a decades-old mystery upon finding an old tape recorder. He soon befriends Tabitha, a local girl who believes the tape might contain information about the disappearance of boy who went missing years ago. But as they investigate, the two find they are being watched by the animals, pursued by dog-riding grasshoppers and pulled toward a mystical kingdom that exists in the nearby forest.

The Lost Boy is a middle school-aged graphic novel written and drawn by Greg Ruth.

The art is entirely in black and white, and it is beautiful. Greg Ruth’s art is absolutely stunning. His facial expressions are emotive. His visual imagination is superb. He creates doorways through the forests, benevolent and malevolent everyday animals. Landscapes that inspire awe, and barren wastelands that are fearful to look at. Ruth uses natural, everyday images – like trees, leaves, dogs, bugs, toys, and sticks – and crafts them into a type of natural fantasy.

His art is utterly breathtaking.

The story, unfortunately, is not as strong as the art. The world of The Lost Boy feels very grounded in reality. Nate, our young protagonist, feels like a normal kid who discovers a hidden magic and hidden kingdom in his own backyard and all around his new town. The rules of how this magical universe work, though is never entirely fleshed out. The reader doesn’t need all the details, but some of the details given are rather confusing.

Furthermore, the mystery of the lost boy from the first half of the book builds up to something that is very expected and underwhelming when the “mystery” is finally revealed. The characters also have very little growth and service the story more than the story reveals who they are.

Finally, the tension of the story is all over the place. The conflict within the story is only clear toward the end (and shifts throughout the story). At the end of the book, the conflict is resolved, but only in a way that seems like it almost wants to, kind of, sort of, perhaps set-up another book… maybe.

Ultimately, The Lost Boy is an enjoyable story with some flaws that has beautiful and amazing artwork. It’s great art with a story.

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