Shara's Reviews > Down the Mysterly River

Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham
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Aug 13, 12

bookshelves: borrowed
Read from July 30 to 31, 2012

The premise: ganked from BN.com: Down the Mysterly River is the children’s book debut of Bill Willingham, the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Fables. Complete with illustrations by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, it is a spirited, highly original tale of adventure, suspense, and everlasting friendship.

Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat) -- all of whom talk -- and who are as clueless as Max.

Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…


My Rating: Good Read

Down the Mysterly River was utterly enjoyable, but I should note: this is clearly a book for younger readers. Not even YA, but rather middle grade. There's nothing wrong with that, but the mystery of the book is quite easy to solve, and there's something to be said if one is adult reading it as an adult rather than reading it with a child. I saw one Amazon review where the reviewer admitted the book didn't do much for him, but his son absolutely loved it. And indeed, what makes the mystery so easy for adult readers to guess is something that younger readers have probably never come across before, and while I was happily charmed as a jaded reader, coming to something like this for the first time, I imagine, would be an amazing experience. The book does have some savage moments, but they work well in context, especially since it involves talking animals still acting like animals. I don't have kids, so I can't make any recommendations as to whether or not I would recommend this to children, but it is fun and enjoyable, and as I've said, charming. However, I do hope this is a stand-alone. While there's certainly more story that could be told, I don't think it needs to be, and would rather see something new and original (or mostly original, depending on how one interprets appendices) from the author next. But this is cute and fun, easy to recommend to adults provided they are well aware they are NOT the target audience.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Nay. While it's pretty obvious where the book is going from the start, I won't spoil anything major, simply because it's a short fast read and you'll guess it on your own, and I don't want to rob you from guessing it on your own. The full, spoiler-free review may be found at my blog, and the link below takes you directly to said review. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome!

REVIEW: Bill Willingham's DOWN THE MYSTERLY RIVER

Happy Reading!
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Reading Progress

07/30/2012 page 62
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