Nnewts: Book 1
In a world of rrats and nnewts, weretoads, and vehemoths, Herk wants to be a great hero or a magician like his father, but his undersized legs keep him confined to the pool in his house. But when lizzards—monsters the townspeople believe are fairy tales—strike the town, Herk must flee everything that he knows and go on an adventure to realize his true potential. Dark things are lurking nearby, and Herk might be the world’s only hope.
TenNapel’s greatest strength as a storyteller is his ability to create a weird new world with its own rules, pop culture, and distinctive slang, one that’s as convincing as it is charming. Nnewts offers a nice twist on the usual heroic journey, with a protagonist both aided and crippled by destiny.
The art adds plenty to the storytelling, granting suitable menace to the lizzards and casting the nnewt world itself as an alien one quite different from our own. It is art confident enough to not be overdone or to overwhelm the story.
Although the story’s final twist isn’t very surprising, by that point TenNapel will have already snagged you with one or two unexpected twists and turns along the way.