Return to Labyrinth, Volume 2. By Jake T. Forbes. Illustrated by Chris Lie. Cover by Kouyu Shurei. Los Angeles, CA. Tokyopop, 2007. ISBN: 9781598167269 and 159816726X.

Plot Summary

Jareth, The Goblin King, is slowly losing his powers. He makes a deal with his nemesis, who begins teaching Toby how to use magic. Instead of wondering about her motives, Toby gobbles up the magic lessons. Slowly, he begins to ignore the promises he has made to his friends, in order to prepare to be the heir of the Goblin Kingdom, but it can be a sick and twisted place, and Toby must keep his friends close if he is to make it through unscathed.

Critical Evaluation

The story is woven well as it switches between Toby’s magical training, goblin life, and the adventures of Toby’s new friends. Sarah and Jareth appear in the novel as well, with another cliffhanger that will have you clambering for the 3rd and 4th installments.

This volume, however, is special because it includes a 13 page guest art gallery featuring favorite characters from the Labyrinth. Sadly, there is still no artwork by Brian Froud to
be found.

The plot at this point remains unknown, but more sophisticated readers will begin to make guesses as to when characters holding secrets will reveal them, and what those secrets are.

Reader’s Annotation

As Toby is drawn further into the life of the goblins, other characters start to remember their ties to the human world. Will Toby realize the danger he is in before it is too late? Or will he continue on in the Labyrinth’s masquerade?

Author Information

Jake T. Forbes has written for other manga series, such as Chobits, Fruits Basket, and Fullmetal Alchemist. He has also worked as a “quest writer” for online MMORPGs. (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games!)

Chris Lee was a well known comic artist in Asia before attending Savannah College of Art and Design here in the states. He has worked on G.I. Joe, Sigma 6, ArashikageShowdown, and Josie and the Pussycats.

Genre
-Manga fantasy

Curriculum Ties

-Shakespeare and drama.

-Art and design. Drawing from Nature

-Fairy Tales

Booktalking Ideas

-What do you think about companies adapting Hollywood film ideas into Manga? Does it work, in your opinion?

-What do you think will happen to Toby in the next two volumes?

Reading Level/Interest Age

Rated “T” for “TeenAge 13+.” Grades 7-10.

Challenge Issues

Just like graphic novels, manga is primarily a visual mode of storytelling, so something which may seem innocuous in print form may be slightly more offending visually.
However, parents can rest assured that if they follow the ratings provided on most manga, the materials should be appropriate for the age groups specified. Manga also allows teens to become familiar with the storytelling style and culture of another country. Materials which support diversity are extremely valuable to our youth, especially in the global society in which we live.

Why did you include this book?

Great cover art, familiar characters, and a recognizable brand makes this series a great introduction to Manga.

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About thesuperlibrarian

High School Librarian and obsessive reader! On a mission to read as many SUPER YA books as possible!
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