The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York rating

(No Series)

Discover the horrible fate of Jonathan York as he sets out on his journey through a spooky forest with an alarming party of travelmates!

Jonathan York has led a boring life — a pointless degree from the community college, a lackluster job at the General Store, and never any desire for something more exciting. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land, he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. Along the way he encounters ghoulish thieves, ravenous swamp monsters, a dastardly ice cream conspiracy, and a necromancer bent on human sacrifice.

In this beautifully illustrated, four-color novel, Jonathan York's life takes a decidedly spooky turn!

A fun, quirky, imaginative story that is spruced up with creative artwork. One without the other wouldn't work nearly as well, but together they leave a lasting impression. The book packs a larger whallop than I expected before opening it. Picture Poe, Dr Seuss, and Tim Burton sitting together around a table co-writing a children's story.

Humor is present in many forms - some ironic, some at the expense of the main character, some adult nudges buried in a middle-age book. There's some tension for the younger crowd, bizarre creatures that may as well have come out of the most imaginative of the imaginative, and plenty of adventures to arrive at for this book, which is over 100 pages in length.

The prose is poetic and enjoyable, with lines such as this: "And then the ground shook. Footsteps. Like the footsteps in a dinosaur movie. Like the footsteps you hear just before an expendable character gets chomped."

Sometimes the book seems indecisive on what age level it's aiming at - I doubt many middle schoolers today would get references to Sean Connery's appearance and being an expendable "red shirt" in a movie. But these tucked in make it enjoyable for all ages - the adult/child in me loved the colorful illustrations, the playful prose in dangerous (funny) situations, while a child would enjoy the outlandish stories, fun but stylishly sophisticated artwork, and different 'other' appeal.

The subtitle is "A Yarn for the strange at heart." No matter what age, that certainly fits me.