Telling an emotional and fantastical story about love and loss, The Junction is a standout graphic novel.
Lucas is still eleven years old when he reappears in town over a decade after his disappearance. He has not aged at all. His missing father does not return with him. And Lucas cannot tell anyone what happened.
Through Lucas’s diary, dreams, and gradual recollections of events, the truth reveals itself, though it’s not easy to believe. The dogged investigations of a psychologist and a police detective also contribute to the truth. Torn between home and his memories of Kirby Junction, a town that doesn’t exist on any map, Lucas searches for his new place in the world.
The text and art mesh in this gripping tale about loss and acceptance. The pencil-drawn, computer-enhanced illustrations have a distinct, animation-influenced style that fits the familiar yet surreal tone. Memorable sequences, as with a three-panel transition from the eyes of a giant squid to the headlights of a car, result in haunting images.
The art also incorporates innovative features, as of official medical and police records, emails, and Polaroid photographs, all of which reveal pieces of the tantalizing mystery behind Lucas’s reemergence. Clues are distributed and explained in a way that generates anticipation throughout the book, as it works toward an exciting, heartfelt conclusion.
The Junction is a suspenseful, entertaining, and affecting graphic novel.
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