Published: January 28th, 2014
Will O' The Wisp
By: Tom Hammock (Author), Megan Hutchison (Illustrator)
After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.
When Aurora Grimeon's parents die from eating poisonous mushrooms, she is sent to live with the Grandfather she has never met (the only living relative she has), deep in the swamps of the South, on an isolated track of islands. Aurora feels lonely, with her Grandfather immersed in his research and only a pet raccoon named Missy for company, other than the suspicious and superstitious natives. She begins to take comfort in the hoodoo rituals of the locals, striking up a relationship with the local Priestess, Mama Noonie, and becomes friends with a local boy as well (possibly more). However, Aurora's sense of belonging is interrupted by violent, unexplained deaths taking place. With a connection to the past and surprisingly to her Grandfather's own tragic history, its up to Aurora and Mama Noonie to solve the mystery of who the killer is and how to get rid of him - once and for all. But can they do it before its too late?
This whole graphic novel has a very Southern Gothic-style to its artwork, story and overall feel. I very much enjoyed it and it kept me reading straight from the beginning to the end! I think what I really enjoyed was how dark and creepy this one was. The style definitively matched to tone and the plot completely. The story wasn't the most original of the bunch, with a ghost of a killer being the culprit of the present day murders, but it made sense for this particular book. Also, I enjoyed the journey to put a stop to his spirit walking the earth and the scenes that showed him talking with the Devil himself. Probably my biggest regret is that we never do find out if Aurora's young friend (verging on boyfriend), and his family, survive the burning of their home by the spirit. We see everyone wondering, but then the story skips on to the next point of interest. Other than that, and an unfinished feeling I had at the end of the book, I really enjoyed myself. It's one that I think teenagers and people with a slightly morbid streak will appreciate.
VERDICT: 3.5/5 Stars
*I received this book from Diamond Book Distributors, on NetGalley. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book was published on January 28th, 2014.*