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The Motherless Oven Paperback – October 21, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In a bizarre, topsy-turvy world where children make parents, and knives rain from the sky, Scarper Lee's deathday looms before him like a ticking time bomb. The teen has resolved himself to his fate—even if his hairdryer mother and makeshift wind-powered brass sculpture father haven't quite yet—when new girl Vera Pike arrives and throws a wrench into the status quo. When his father disappears (though he's usually chained in the shed), Scarper, Vera, and new friend Castro Smith (a boy who speaks in lucid riddles and has a knack for repairing kitchen gods) escape their daily routine to find him. During their journey, they face a field of abandoned mother creatures, a gaggle of elderly police officers, and their own mortality. In an Odyssey-like quest, the trio searches for the fabled Motherless Oven, where humans were supposedly first fashioned, and hopefully the answer to all of their prayers. Heady topics such as existentialism, destiny, religion, and love make this a quirky title rife for discussion. Davis's dark and shadow-filled art appropriately mindbends and illuminates the text. The variation in panels quickens and pulls back the pace in this enigmatic tale, with the right amount of imagery left open for interpretation. For fans of Farel Dalrymple's The Wrenchies (First Second), David Almond's novels, and teens who enjoy graphic novels that are disturbing and beautiful all at once.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
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Top customer reviews
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This book tells the story of Scarper Lee a boy with three weeks left to live who is just living life as normal and basically waiting to die. Until one day Vera Pike shows up at his school.Vera a mischievous little she devil full of attitude and rebellion who takes over Scarper's life and takes him along with a new friend castro smith who has medicated inference syndrome(which means he is too smart and can perceive too much so he has an implant to dial him down and dumb him down to every one else's level). Together they runaway from school and home in search of answers and a way to save scarper.
This is a Graphic Novel that needs to be read it deserves greatness. I put this on par with the best of the best I have read. It's along side the amazing works of paul pope, enki bilal and brian wood. I hope to see a lot more from it's writer/artist Rob Davis his is a talent brimming with potential and incredible imagination.Please Read this book
There is moment to moment meaning, which I enjoyed, but at this stage I'm not sure I see the big picture behind the theme and everything. The book ends on a major cliffhanger, so I guess it's on to the sequel for (hopefully) more answers.
Title: The Motherless Oven
Author: Rob Davis
Genre: Graphic Novel
Review: Having never read many graphic novels before I was really excited to receive the Motherless Oven. The first thing I noticed was the art style it is very gothic in nature with thick lines and grey wash giving it a very ominous and dark feel. We learn that in this universe parents don’t make children, the children makes the parents. The parents range from robotic to painting that are alive. Also in this world there are no birthdays only death days and our main character Scarper has only three weeks left until his death day when a new girl arrive at his school called Vera Pike. Vera kind of reminded me of Yuno Gasai from Future Diary as she looks like a nice girl but does some really strange things and she seems to have a alternative personality.
This universe is quite strange with the gods, the wheels and the strange aliments some of the children have. The strange weather was also something very cool with laughing gales and knife rain. As Scarper’s death day gets closer he becomes quite detached from his life but Vera is constantly hanging around and following him. While we see a lot of Scarper’s mother his father lives in the shed and Scarper is often seen repairing him and then one night his father disappears after someone cuts his chains. This graphic novel was off very dark vibes so much so it gave me chills.
Scarper learns that his father might have run away in order to find the motherless oven which is sort of a myth in this society. With some help a small group of the kids run away to look for Scarper’s father which results in stealing and sleeping rough. Scarper is very confused by Vera, he likes her but also gets very jealous when she kisses another boy but I wasn’t really totally understanding what was going on. This graphic novel is also diverse with one of the characters; Castro being a person of colour and has problems and I really like him. Castro despite having problems is one of my favourite characters in this novel as he is really unique.
As the group gets closer and closer to the Black Wood or the end of the civilization they begin to unravel the mystery around the children and their parents. They even find the graveyard with disused mothers. The ending was very action packed and tense as it is the day before Scarper’s death day when the final reach the fence but as they are crossing over it something happens. This leave two of the group outside the fence and one in police custody.
Overall, I really like the Motherless Oven as it was dark, tense and gritty. I liked the characters especially Castro, they are all very different and unique. The world was dark and unique with a lot of mysteries. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel The Can Opener’s Daughter as soon as I can. Highly recommend for those wanting to get into graphic novel.
I really don't know what more to say without spoiling. The art is dark and brooding, like Scarper's own personality, and it doesn't change, because this is not a happy book. If you're down already, don't read it. But it's a unique, amazing little world with a trio of fascinating characters - Scarper, Vera, and their new friend Castro Smith (a POC character with a disability.)