Mercury by Hope Larson

Mercury by Hope LarsonMercury by Hope Larson
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2010), Hardcover, 240pg
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

August 31, 5:15 PM, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Tara is running. She runs through her nice neighborhood and up a road to the burned ruins of what was once a beautiful house--her family's house.

August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door of Josey's house. His name is Asa, and with his coming, Josey's life--and later in time, Tara's as well--is about to change forever.

Because there is treasure in the woods that belong to Josey's family. Gold--an untold fortune. Asa has a secret way of finding it, and his partnership with Josey's father could make them all rich. But there is darkness in the woods, and in Asa. And in the present day, Tara, Josey's descendent, is about to discover the truth about what really happened in the family's past.

Eisner award winner Hope Larson weaves together history, romance, and a touch of her trademark magical realism in this remarkable graphic novel of how the past haunts a teenage girl's present. (from Goodreads)

Okay, so, I like the art and everything and the story is fascinating in a spooky, almost time-travel kind of way. But it’s also super boring, and I don’t know if that’s because I rushed too quickly through it or if it’s a fault inherent in the book itself.

Here’s my problem: it’s a story about two different people in two different time periods, one in the past and one in the present. The present person is thinking about being homeless and mom-less and her maybe-boyfriend. The past person is thinking about her own maybe-boyfriend and View Spoiler » also gold, I guess. The narrative switches back and forth between their stories, until the very end when they kind of overlap, a little bit.

However, from the summary it made it seem more like the two people (and their stories) were connected in ways deeper than just being related, and like there was some huge mystery they had to solve. But it wasn’t really. It’s more about consequences of things that happened in the past reaching forward into the future. But NOT in a really magnificent way– it seems almost more like a coincidence, it was such a light touch.

So now we’ve got two stories, mostly unrelated to each other, and both of them on their own are kind of boring. The ending was fabulous! It brought all the spooky stuff together into one fantastic (in more ways that one) ending sequence, and I wish the rest of the book had been like that.

I did like the mix of reality/fantasy, and the mythological parts were cool. But it was an uneven mix of mundane and fantastic, and I didn’t enjoy it all that much.

Read: September 03, 2013

4 thoughts on “Mercury by Hope Larson”

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