Title – The Marvels
Author – Brian Selznick
Pages – 665 pages
Source – Publisher
Publication Date – September 15th 2015 by Scholastic Press
ISBN – 9780545448680
My Rating – ★★★★/5
The Marvels has two stories, the first is told in illustrations and the second in prose. Together, they create an amazing and beautiful puzzle.
The story begins on a ship in 1766. A boy, Billy Marvel, survives a shipwreck and finds work in a London theatre. It’s there that his family flourishes for generations as amazing actors until 1900, when Leo Marvel is banished from the stage.
Almost a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school to his uncle’s house in London. Albert Nightingale’s mysterious house captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family and the past.
I received a copy of The Marvels from Scholastic New Zealand to review.
The first story, nearly 400 pages, is told in beautiful illustrations. I’ve never read a book where a story is told only in pictured before but I loved it. I thought the illustrations were amazing and even though there weren’t many words, a newspaper or birth announcement, it wasn’t hard to figure out what was happening.
The second story is around 200 pages I think. I was a little confused at first and kept trying to figure out how the two stories were connected. After about 50 pages I decided to stop trying to guess how it all connects and just let the story unfold. I was a little surprised when it all came out, the connections, but I loved the story. Joseph and his uncle Albert had a great relationship, especially considering they’d never met before.
The Marvels has so many characters that stand out, especially in the second story, that I don’t even know where to start. By running away, Joseph finally finds the family he’s always wanted in Albert and the people he meets there. I enjoyed seeing Joseph and Albert connecting and Albert eventually trusting him.
The idea behind The Marvels was really interesting. I think the best part of the book were the illustrations, they were just so good. And the book was so heavy!!
I’ve never read a book by Brian Selznick before but I hope to read his other books one day.
*Thank you Scholastic New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*
Have you read The Marvels? What did you think of it?