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Sweet Tooth Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods Paperback – May 18, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
The latest entry in the postapocalyptic survivalist fantasy stakes has a peculiar sentimental streak in it. Gus, an almost parodically naïve young boy with antlers sprouting from his forehead and a taste for chocolate, is one of the few children born after some kind of manmade catastrophe. Following the death of his Bible-thumping father, the only other person he's ever known, he's rescued from hunters by a hulking, rifle-toting man called Jepperd, who promises to take him to a sanctuary for kids like him (and slaughters the refugees from Clichéd Dialogue University who get in their way en route). But could Jepperd be more than he seems? (One guess.) Lemire's thick, crunching brush strokes can be rawly expressive; he's got a terrific sense of composition and narrative flow, and the crumbling settings he draws effectively evoke a blasted, forsaken world. Too often, though, his artwork simply comes off as crude. His characters' bodies and features are often distractingly inconsistent from one panel to the next. And Gus's dream vision of a cartoon deer (identified as Dandy) telling him to run away, which should be a dramatic peak of this volume, falls flat because Lemire can't pull off his attempted shift away from his baseline style. (May)
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up–Years ago during the Affliction, billions of people died and children were born as human/animal hybrids. Gus, a human/deer hybrid, was raised in isolation for years, but after his father dies hunters come to capture him. He is rescued by a mysterious man who tells him that he will take him to a preserve for hybrid children. While Gus is never sure if he should trust Jepperd, he goes with him because he is lonely. What follows is a voyage through what is left of the country, during which Jepperd gives Gus candy (and the nickname "Sweet Tooth") and fights through all of the obstacles that are in their way, usually with violent methods. While Gus is the protagonist, Jepperd continues to steal the spotlight. Readers know that he has sympathy for Gus and for other characters they meet along the way, and they know that he saves Gus's life multiple times. But they also know that he frequently lies. What isn't clear until the end of the book is just how much he has been lying. Sweet Tooth is often visually stunning and even cinematic. It primarily uses a muted palette that reflects the darkness of this postapocalyptic world, but bright colors burst from the page during moments of violence, and there are quite a few of those in this book. An outstanding choice for most collections.Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top customer reviews
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The story follows the journey of a sweet, deer animal-hybrid kid named Gus, aka Sweet Tooth, and his mountain-like savior Jeppard, after saving Gus from the aforementioned hunters. Along the journey to the safe haven for hybrid children like Gus called The Preserve, we don’t meet a copious group characters, but we do encounter a few: mock animal-hybrid prostitutes, hunters, and savage freaky-looking murderers.
This novel being so short didn’t leave much room for development of any kind. Since this is Volume one I kind of expected to learn a bit more about the characters or story line, however, I didn’t learn anything. The only storyish foreshadow is that animal-hybrid children exist because of a disease, which hasn’t been explained, killed most of the people. There’s a few fighting scenes that, I guess, shed light on both Gus and Jeppard’s characters. Mainly we got the emotional impact of a world without rules, morals and ethics, through the eyes of this boy who’s the foil of this whole world in a way. He’s sweet, innocent and compassionate in a world that’s done away with all those things. The end is also unsatisfying but that’s due to there being a Volume two.
Plus, if I'm being honest, it's bit too obvious for me - the disease is probably zombies or something and a bit overly post-apocalyptic.
I have to start this by saying I am a huge Jeff Lemire fan and this original series by him is amazing.
You really feel for and care for the protagonist Gus because of how Lemire writes him and his origin.
The story is really unique, its a post-apocalyptic world with animal human hybrids who are hunted (Gus is a deer-human) and the only person Gus has ever know has recently died after instilling in him a strong religious belief system. Going beyond that would ruin some of the story, which I think is something Mr. Lemire has written beautifully and deserves to be read, not explained by someone with an Amazon account.
I really hope you enjoy this book and the entire series as much as I did.
The comparison to Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is apt. Gus and his father live alone in the woods in what used to be Nebraska, several years after a catastrophe killed off most of the world's population and created a generation of mutated children who seem to be immune to the ensuing plague. Gus's father keeps his son close to protect him, with the result that when he dies, Gus is utterly unprepared for life in a harsh world. When a man named Jepperd arrives and offers to escort Gus to a safe place, the wary boy takes a chance, setting off on a journey.
This is an introductory volume, and it ends on a cliffhanger. Little about Gus's world beyond the cabin is examined, which makes sense since the protagonist is new to the broader world.
Most recent customer reviews
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