Monday, February 17, 2014
Courtney Crumrin, Volume Five: The Witch Next Door
After a brief flashback story about Courtney's Uncle Aloysius, the bulk of Volume Five finds Courtney, against her better judgment, befriending the new kid in the neighborhood, Holly, and eventually, in a roundabout way, teaching her magic. Courtney's suspicions prove to be correct, as Holly begins to abuse the access that she has been given to Courtney's world, using spells to make herself popular. As Courtney and Holly grow further apart, Holly suggests what turns out to be a disastrous trip into Goblin Town, a place that Courtney is no stranger to, having been lucky to escape after her last few visits.
Naifeh's storytelling reminds me of Roald Dahl's, and I can't think of a better compliment than that. Courtney's story would certainly be appropriate all-ages reading, but there's a delicious core of darkness and menace to the narrative...For all of the speculation that J.K. Rowling might have turned Harry Potter evil by the end of his series, I doubt that anyone really believed that could be a possibility. I can believe that could happen to Courtney, especially seeing where this volume leaves her.