Luke Pearson’s Hilda series has become one of the books I look forward to the most. The biggest reason being that Pearson has created a magical world that doesn’t feel like a repeat or homage to other familiar fantasy worlds. Instead, it feels fresh, new, and utterly unique. Up front, I’ll tell you that I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a volume of Hilda between The Stone Forest and my last review. Hilda and her mom have moved to the city, but the city has this Attack on Titan feel to it, in that Trolls are kept at bay by a stone wall. We quickly learn that Hilda has stopped telling her mom of her adventures which continue to happen at a breakneck pace. To the point that she finds herself grounded after sneaking out.
Which doesn’t last long because she tries to break out using Tontu’s portal, which is at the exact moment that her mother was going to let her see the fireworks that she was sneaking out to see. Some pulling happens, and Hilda, her mom, and Fig end up in a stone looking forest. After a lot of wandering, they discover they’re inside the mountain of the trolls. Speaking of the trolls, they’re having problems of their own since a two-headed troll is being a bully to everyone and hogging all the food.
While the story is one of Pearson’s best, the ending is a jaw dropper. Mostly because it doesn’t have a clear-cut ending, but rather a continuation. Not having read all of the Hilda’s I don’t know if this has happened before, but I’m going to guess not. I will not spoil the ending, but in flipping back through I can see where Pearson masterfully wrote in hints about the outcome.
The art continues to be impressive as Pearson also grows as an artist with each volume. He maintains the look of the series, but you can see that more and more detail has been added. That and the visual storytelling is deeper. This is by far the most emotion that has made it into this series as Hilda grows up some and becomes more defiant, while her mother just wants her safe and to be included in her life. Much of this comes from the artwork alone.
While I don’t know if this next bit is a spoiler, not for the book, but for the readership in general, there’s an announcement that Hilda will be coming to Netflix next year. Yay! I cannot wait to see what they do with it and hopefully Pearson is heavily involved, so it maintains the tone and spirit of his books.
In the meantime, though, if you’re a fan of this series you should absolutely be looking forward to this volume. It instantly became my favorite of the series and is a true testament to Pearson’s development of this world and his craft. And if you haven’t checked out Hilda, then you are missing out.
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Hilda and the Stone Forest Creator: Luke Pearson Publisher: Nobrow/Flying Eye Books Price: $19.99 Format: Hardcover; Print/Digital