Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli

James Parks and Ben Costa. Knopf, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-399-55613-5
Rickety Stitch is a skeleton bard who can’t keep a job; his dreams hint at who he was in a previous life, but he remembers little upon awakening. After getting fired from a dungeon, Stitch sets out for answers in Epoli, a place that surfaces in his dreams. His blob of a sidekick, Gelatinous Goo, accompanies him, and their adventures throw them into contact with imps, gnomes, trolls, and other creatures; some befriend and help him, while others have less benevolent plans in mind. The kaleidoscope of characters is complemented by the full-color artwork, which establishes a rich fantasy landscape and contrast starkly with the barren b&w eeriness of Stitch’s dreams. Amid many slapstick moments, gross-out gags, and edgy jokes—“You’re lucky you didn’t rip my blouse,” wails the skeleton after getting stabbed during a bar fight, “this thing’s vintage!”—Parks and Costa impressively evolve their tale into a compelling epic quest with deeper themes than the initial chapters hint. This trilogy opener is ideal for Nimona fans looking to see tried-and-true fantasy tropes get hilariously upended. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/06/2017
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-399-55614-2
Prebound-Glued - 208 pages - 978-0-606-40238-5
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