Twins Alec and Walker spend their last summer before college at their cousin’s home in the Southern United States. But, Alec was in the middle of some really in-depth experiments on plants and memory, so he’s brought them with him. When the dogs get into the boxes, they slowly start to change into the plants Alec has been experimenting on. Walker is a socialite and tries to get introverted Alec to join the party scene, but Alec isn’t interested in being with people. Alec makes one friend, another student using the school science lab over summer, and she shares her research on an extremely old oak tree that has been in the town since its founding. A boneheaded prank destroys a prized plant, and Alec uses puts his experimental formula into action to save what he can.
Alec's experiments are interesting, and the way they affect other living things gives this story its uniqueness. I could have used several more pages dedicated specifically to the botanical aspects of this story. As it is, Stiefvater spends a lot of time on the relationships between Alec and Walker, and a decent amount of time between Alec and his new friend, but the experiments and plant world could use some more love. The ending was really quick and over extremely fast without much resolution. I'm not sure if there's supposed to be another volume after this, but the abruptness leaves me wishing there was more to the ending. There was a lot of build up and the conflict was set up nicely, but then it was over within two pages.
Artist Morgan Beem made some interesting choices in illustrating this title. The scenes with plants are lush and invoke the feeling of being in a rainforest, but the characters are drawn a little rougher. In some of the action sequences, Beem employs long, skinny panels to simulate a fast-paced sequence, but these panels made it difficult to see what was happening since you're only given a tiny sliver of the scene.
There is quite a bit of swearing and some violent moments, so this title is best suited for teens.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Literature, Superheroes, Family
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