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IN THE SMALL by Michael Hague


by Michael Hague & illustrated by Michael Hague

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-01323-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

Vibrant art is incongruously juxtaposed against a poorly executed story line. After a mysterious blue flash shrinks the human race to 1/12 its original size, siblings Mouse and Beat must learn to live in an increasingly perilous new world. While the human race has been affected, animals have not, so now everything from common garter snakes to housecats presents itself as a deadly enemy. A promising concept, this graphic novel quickly loses its stride with histrionic dialogue (as Beat sees a corpse being devoured by ants she melodramatically cries “I’m sorry…I need to be stronger. I need to get used to things like this...”). Furthermore, the oddly formed plot takes too many liberties and fails its reader by setting haphazard boundaries in the creation of its world. Speeding along with a sci-fi-tinged man-vs.-nature theme, the text veers way off-course in the conclusion with an abrupt introduction of supernatural elements. This extremely anomalous ending offers only the vaguest of hints toward further explanation, possibly in a sequel, and will leave readers scratching their heads, if not thoroughly disgusted. (Science fiction/graphic novel. YA)