At a Glance
Middle grade paranormal mystery graphic novel
“…Twelve-year-old Dash and his best friend Lily are spending the summer at Back Sand Beach, where Dash’s family has a house. But nothing is as it seems from the beginning. The beach house is a shack, and Dash’s weird relatives are there. But more alarming is the zombie ram that crashes through the front yard. And the ghosts that call out to Dash from the lighthouse . . .” (source)
- Fun spooky premise
- bright, vibrant illustrations
- Quirky and weird
I always enjoy a good graphic novel and so I was excited to pick this one up. The premise sounded very promising. Haunted lighthouse? Sign me up! I enjoyed the ensemble cast of Dash, his friend Lily and Dash’s two cousins. Dash seems to be the main character, but there are moments where Lily definitely seems to take the lead. It will be interesting to see if Dash will continue as the main character in the sequels.
I found the illustrations to be fun and vibrant. The panels were easy to follow and kept the plot moving, but I found myself taking time to enjoy all the details in the illustrations. The overall aesthetic was great.
One of the things that I loved about this book, but that could be a turn off for some, is that it is definitely quirky and weird. The story takes a sharp turn into left field a little over halfway through–and this is where the story sort of starts focusing on Lily. I almost wish the book would have been broken into part 1 and part 2 to give the reader a moment to realize that things were shifting to what seems like a different story line. But I definitely have a feeling that these two stories within this one book aren’t as unrelated as they appear. Hence the weirdness of it.
I liked the ending, but there are still so many questions left unanswered. It looks like the sequel doesn’t come out until May 2021, so we’ll have to wait nearly a year to find out more about Dash and his strange connections to Black Sand Beach. I’m looking forward to it.
If you’re looking for a spooky and weird graphic novel with great art, I would recommend this book!
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Black Sand Beach: Are You Afraid of the Light? by Richard Fairgray