Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rust: A Visitor in the Field

Royden Lepp's debut graphic novel will entice all ages.                                                          

Ever since his father left to fight in the war, Roman Taylor has had to work hard to keep the family farm going.  But things change when Jet Jones, a boy with a jet pack, crashes into their barn.  Where did he come from?   And why is there a giant machine chasing him?  Roman grabs his motorcycle and rescues Jet, but mostly it’s because he wants to harness the machine’s power.  If he can find the source of that power, he’ll be able to take care of the farm, without relying on his little brother (who needs to be in school), or Jet.  But the reason the machine exists in the first place, is a much more serious matter. 

When this book arrived, I was drawn to its beautiful binding and sepia-toned illustration plate on the front cover.  The rust coloured cover and even the weight of the book in my hand just felt so perfect.  And the gorgeous illustrations on the end pages are the kind of details book-lovers appreciate. 

The story starts out on a battlefield 48 years ago, where human soldiers face a giant clanky walking machine and mechanical soldiers.  After this prologue, the story takes us to the present, where we meet Roman Taylor and his family.  I loved so much about this graphic novel.  Besides the gorgeous cover and book design, the story itself raised a lot of questions about the machines, Jet’s purpose, where Roman’s dad is now, and the secret war fought with technology.  But hopefully I won’t have to wait long for the sequel.  This first book ends with a preview of the next volume Rust : Secrets of the Cell, which is due in May 2012.   The illustrations are stunning and I can’t believe this is Royden Lepp’s first graphic novel.  And hurray, he’s Canadian!  This is a great book for grades 7-9.

Reviewed by Maria Martella.

Order this book from Tinlids today 

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