Spiral-Bound: Top Secret Summer by Aaron Renier
I received a preview copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
With an ensemble cast straight from a box of Animal Crackers, this is a delightful tale of ambition, morality, and self-discovery drawn in a decidedly beautiful fashion reminiscent of Richard Scary and Lewis Trondheim, yet utterly unique. Renier’s fully-realized and compellingly adventurous narrative is at once both achingly naive and profoundly worldly. A remarkable debut, this tightly crafted novella is the real deal, and will charm your socks off.
For a start I’d like to mention that the publisher did not provide me with the full book, I received about a half of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t mentioned in the description on Netgalley since I tend to avoid partial reads. You can’t really get a full image from simply glancing at it. But, on the other hand, I wasn’t really much into the story anyway. It only just started to be interesting when the sample ended and I was left hanging.
This story is designed for kids and yet I have a feeling a kid would get lost here and quickly get bored. Characters are fun, but a bit chaotic. You don’t really know what’s going on most of the time. Until, finally, you’re getting some explanation, some hint of a character’s destination, what they need to do and who will be actually doing it.
The book does look like fun, it certainly has potential. I did like the variety of characters portrayed as animals. All of them walking, flying and driving in big aquariums around the town. I liked that part.
With a story like this, the book could really use some colors. Especially with the audience in mind, it was intended for. The simple black and white drawings were nicely done, but I still wished for some colors at least in some places. Or maybe some textures here and there.
To sum it up, the novel seems fine and a good ending might add a point or two, but, for now, I can only tell you I did not enjoy it much.