Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday

Courtney and her Great-Uncle Aloysius take a European vacation together in this fourth volume of the Courtney Crumrin series. This one is a departure from earlier books in the series, which focus on Courtney coming to terms with her developing magical powers against the backdrop of her small town, school, and less-than-stellar parents.

In this volume Uncle Aloysius is constantly at a loss as to how to best take care of his independent and often angry little niece. At every turn it seems that Courtney encounters adults in situations, usually of their own making, that are spiraling out of control for what appears to Courtney to be ridiculous reasons. While Aloysius tries to keep her safe and discourages her involvement, Courtney just can't help herself. She has a fierce sense of justice and does all in her power to make things right, even when the consequences are ultimately disappointing - and occasionally devastating.

This book is divided into two separate parts, one set in Romania (that involves werewolves) and another in Germany (that involves her ancestral home and some nasty vampires). I love the artwork, first of all - it is evocative and perfectly conveys the dark atmosphere of Courtney's world. Who would have thought that a noseless face could be so wonderfully expressive? And I adore Courtney. She is a tough and insecure, angry and loving, impatient and impulsive, intelligent and often lonesome. She is wise but inexperienced, and she makes mistakes because of her inexperience, but she always makes them for the right reasons. The books are dark but also have moments of humor, which is one of the reasons I love them so much - and this one no exception.

It was interesting to see Courtney far from her usual setting, and to see her spending some "quality time" with her uncle. I am eagerly awaiting her further adventures.

Neifeh, Ted - Courtney Crumrin series:
2. Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
4. Courtney Crumin's Monstrous Holiday

And also:
Courtney Crumrin Tales: Portrait of the Warlock as a Young Man
Courtney Crumrin and the Fire Thief's Tale
Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere

Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday (#4 in the Courtney Crumin series) by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: "It was different from the other volumes, and although I still enjoyed Courtney and the writing, I found the flow of the story to be… odd. I like reading about Courtney’s life in her Uncle’s house and with the kids at school."


  1. We so need a Volume #5 and more! I love this and I just got someone at work hooked on it too.;)

  2. Cat - My library doesn't have those other ones that aren't part of the series, so I may have to cave and buy them. Yes, we need more more more! And good job on hooking a new reader! :-)

  3. Hey D! I just wanted to give you a blog award :)


  4. Love the cover of this but I'm not sure if I would really love it or not. I'm glad to see that you're enjoying it though!

  5. I know I say this all the time, but this series sounds seriously awesome. Also, Romania! I've always wanted to go there.

  6. Margo - Aw, shucks. Thanks! :-D

    Ladytink - I'm not sure if you'd like these or not. Do you read many graphic novels? These are super-quick reads - maybe a half hour, so it might be worth seeing if your library has them if you're interested in giving them a try. I think it took me longer to write the review than to read the book. :-)

    Nymeth - I do think you'd enjoy these, with their mixture of darkness and humor, and Courtney is a very compelling little girl.

  7. I don't think there ARE any more published volumes. I think we're stuck with what we have for now. *sniffle*

  8. Cat - I know, it's so sad. I want more!!!

  9. This series looks good, but the library doesn't have it. I am starting to think I might have to buy it.

  10. Kailana - I'm thinking about buying these just because I love them so much! :-)

  11. I know I really must get around to reading these. It's all your fault...

  12. Rhinoa - You really, really have to read these. You are going to LOVE them (and maybe even hug them at the end. Possibly. Let me know).


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