I haven't read any of Shannon Hale's other work, but they are on my list. Still, when I saw the art for this book and read the premise of the story, I knew I really wanted to read it.
For those who haven't heard of the book, this is a graphic novel set in the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Rather than following the standard storyline where Rapunzel is trapped in a tower and rescued by some handsome prince, we're given the story of Rapunzel as a vengeful heroine who frees herself and sets out on a quest to overthrow the evil witch/queen and free her family and the other unfortunates in the land.
The artwork is whimsical and very well done. The story is quick paced and lots of fun with plenty of tongue in cheek elements. The general setting/tone of the book is a sort of fantasy wild-wild-west world. Rapunzel uses her long hair like lassos and bullwhips...knocking down, disarming, and otherwise tangling up the bad guys along the way. She meets up with Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame) and together they work their way towards the wicked witch. Jack is quite a cad (which is how I generally considered him from his fairy tale), but he is of some help to Rapunzel and they make a decent team.
The story was a lot of fun and the art was very engaging. I also really enjoyed the fact that there wasn't anything too racy, violent or controversial...I finally have a graphic novel that I would let my kids read by themselves. This in itself is a great selling point for the book...the comic & graphic novel world has become very mature lately and it's great to see a rich graphic novel that is appropriate for younger kids. The book itself is a fairly short read (took me about an hour), but it's probably just right for younger readers.
Supposedly there's another Hale graphic novel in the works, so I'll keep my eye out. If you have younger readers or you're a kid at heart, and you want to dip into graphic novels while avoiding mature themes, I can definitely recommend this book to you.
4 stars (out of 5)