Monday, December 01, 2014

A new student review of Lies in the Dust by Jakob Crane

alison_S posted a new student review of Lies in the Dust by Jakob Crane. See the full review.

By presenting Ann’s story as a graphic novel, Crane and Decker reinvent the familiar topic of the Salem Witch Trials. Though this creative format imbues a dreary subject with much-needed accessibility, a conventional novel may have better conveyed Ann’s psychological anguish; because graphic novels rely almost entirely on illustrations and speech bubbles, Ann’s internal strugglethe book’s supposed focusnever emerged as the central plot point. While Lies in the Dust does capture Ann’s experience of the trials with impressive richness and depth, the book lacks a well-defined plot arc. Decker’s artwork, however, brilliantly echo's the book’s themes: the character’s pupiless eyes reflect Salem’s blindness to the trials’ dubious morality, while the homogenous nature of the town's residents symbolizes the mass hysteria and mob mentality that blinded so many to the witch trials’ horrors. Though Lies in the Dust lacks a centralized story arc, the book’s eloquent dialogue and stark illustrations immerse readers in the Salem Witch Trials, and this graphic novel invigorates an infamous topic with an intriguing new perspective.