The Song of the Dark Crystal picks up where book 1 (Shadows of the Dark Crystal) leaves off: Naia and Kylan are traveling with Tavra and finally find Riann as they pursue a few goals, each in an effort to warn their kind of the Skeksis’ betrayal. As with the book before it, the reading level closely matches the audience of Henson’s original film placing the book somewhere on the upper MG and lower YA spectrum. Keeping that in mind, Lee writes masterfully and really drew me back into an earlier time when I was a young teen book enthusiast. His pacing, style, and the themes in the lives of the traveling companions threw me right into the grips of nostalgia. His story is on point—especially beginning about a third of the way through the book when I could no longer put it down, and I hadn’t read an honest-to-goodness page-turner in several months (I try to read a book a week, so that’s saying something.)
Compared to book 1, I actually liked this book even more. The themes and feelings Lee draws out through writing more from Kylan’s perspective hit home in a big way. JM Lee does a phenomenal job making you feel for the characters and connect to them emotionally; you might forget that this whole adventure takes place in a fictitious land and that the main characters aren’t even human. He also excels at the situational world-building—I was enthralled by the adventure in the cave of Grot and I’m sure you will be, too.
I was pretty happy to find The Song of the Dark Crystal at a launch event coordinated by a metro area comic book store and a comic convention so I got the book autographed which is super cool, especially since I was a fan of the first book in what promises to be a trilogy(you can read the other review and a funny story on how I stumbled onto the series via my blog, Inside the Inkwell.)
I would certainly recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of Henson’s unique world and I couldn’t help but imagine how the book will fit into the upcoming Netflix original series. Pick up both of these books—you won’t regret it!