Jim Henson’s Return to Labyrinth – Book Review

Being as I am a self-proclaimed “bookophile,” I have decided that the first step to recovery is to admit I have a problem. I will stay up late at night, no matter what time I have to get up in the morning, just to get to that elusive next page. I have so far never found the “next” page, even when I run out of them in a given book. It is always apparently one page ahead of whichever page I am on, and I can never catch up to it. Rather than going through one of those awkward 12-step programs for addicts (LOL) I have decided to embrace my love of books (much as MAC has decided to embrace this $#%* forum board) and I will be posting a book review here at least once a month. The rest of you – feel free to contribute your own reviews anytime!

This month’s book – Jim Henson’s Return to Labyrinth
Published by TokyoPop, written by Jake t. Forbes, illustrated by Chris Lie

I actually bought this book due to the string posted here which was started by Torina. This was my first foray into the world of Manga, and I’ll probably go there again. As a huge fan of the original Labyrinth movie, of course I was immediately intrigued by the thought of finding out what happened to the characters we all knew and loved from the film. Most of them are here in the book, just as we remember.
As it turns out, Sarah was a lucky girl indeed. She won back her baby brother, Toby, from the clutches of the Goblin King. Just as she wished, he never bothered her again. But as for Toby, well, that’s a different story altogether.
For reasons unknown to the boy, he has always had what he deemed “bad luck.” No matter what silly whim entered his head, it would always happen, though not in the way he had planned. For example, the book opens on a play in which he is bombing out, and he hopes it will just come to an end! So it does. In flames. With much screaming and running away from the poor audience. He never knew of the Labyrinth, or of Jareth’s claim on him. For it seems that Jareth actually had a reason for snatching the babe – he needed an heir.
The book follows Toby’s entrance into the Labyrinth, where he meets many of Sarah’s old friends, and a few new ones. He is determined to find out once and for all just what is behind all of the mysterious (and mischievious) events that seem to follow him everywhere he goes. Of course he is utterly surprised when he chases a goblin into the crawl space of his house and it leads him to the Labyrinth. Toby is so angry with Jareth for messing around with his life that he decides to face the challenge of the maze and put an end to it one way or another. Of course he makes it through, after much peril, to demand an explanation from The Goblin King. Eventually he does get a sort of answer from him, but the ending of the book is really just a jumping-off place for the next one.
If you’re looking for all the answers, you won’t find them here because the set-up of this book makes it very clear that this will be a series. But, it is a VERY entertaining way to spend a couple of lazy afternoons without overworking your brain too much. And if you loved the movie, you’ll be glad to know that the book stays true to the original without being a boring copy of it. I’ll give this book 3 stars out of 5, and a recommendation to buy it and enjoy yourself. C’mon, you deserve it!!

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