Review: The Marvels


Author: Brian Selznick

Pages: 665

Format: Hardcover

Started: January 21, 2017

Finished: February 18, 2017

Rating: 3/5






GoodReads Summary: Two seemingly unrelated stories–one in words, the other in pictures–come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.


Review: Okay, I’m going to try something different than what I normally do with writing reviews. First post of 2017, let’s do this.


I love the cover, I normally don’t like hardcover books because of sleeves. But this book was an exception. I love the gold designs against the blue background, they blend so well with each other and eye grabbing, I had intentionally of returning the book but now I don’t want to because I love the cover so much (fyi, I don’t think this book shouldn’t cost 30.00 USD).


The illustration is the book is beautiful. Being an Art Major in college, I have a love of art and the illustrations in this was just amazing that I found myself staring at the pictures for long periods of time. The pictures tell a story of a young boy in the 1700s and another set of pictures tells the story of what happened after the events in 1990.


Now the plot is interesting. The Book starts in the 1700s about a boy named Billy Marvel, who survived a shipwreck and how he ended up at a theater in London. The story jumps forward a century later to a boy named Joseph, who came from a rich family and ran away from his boarding school to find his uncle. During his stay at his uncle’s, he learns about the history of his uncle’s house and how it’s connected to Billy Marvel. The story conclude to a few years later to Joseph inheriting his uncle’s house and it seems like Joseph is keeping the tradition alive.

Full Review:

Okay, so some of you wondering why I gave this book three stars instead of a higher rating. The reason I gave it a three star is because the book is 665 pages long and only about 200 pages are in written text.This mean, that almost the entire book is in nothing but pictures. I didn’t like that nearly entire book is in pictures, regardless they told the story or not. The pictures needed text to actually give in depth of what’s going on in the story. I made a huge rant about it in the beginning when I first bought the book but I have long since calmed down and just went with the flow of things.

The other reason is that I don’t think this book deserved to be 30.00 USD . Granted, the book is hardback so it’s going to be a little more expensive than paperback. It didn’t deserve to be this expensive when, again, majority of the book was nothing but pictures. I felt like it was a rip off and wasted a 20.00+ USD gift card and 10.00 USD of my own money to pay for this book and finding out the content later on.

There were also some grammar mistakes and it was bugging me. Some mistakes doesn’t bug me but when I started nitpicking through it due to my rage of the cost and the picture filled content, I had to find out other flaws in the book. Sadly, the grammar became my victim and I had to correct some of the mistakes. Normally, they would go unnoticed because of how small they are but I just couldn’t help it.


About Tranquil Pages

Aspiring Artist and avid book reader
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