Book Description 13 Elements you will find in the first Emily the Strange novel: 1. Mystery 2. A beautiful golem 3. Souped-up slingshots 4. Four black cats 5. Amnesia 6. Calamity Poker 7. Angry ponies 8. A shady truant officer 9. Top-13 lists 10. A sandstorm generator 11. DoppelgÄngers 12. A secret mission 13. Earwigs Emily the Strange: 13 years old. Able to leap tall buildings, probably, if she felt like it. More likely to be napping with her four black cats; or cobbling together a particle accelerator out of lint, lentils, and safety pins; or rocking out on drums/ guitar/saxophone/zither; or painting a swirling feral sewer mural; or forcing someone to say "swirling feral sewer mural" 13 times fast . . . and pointing and laughing. Amazon Exclusive: Questions for Emily the Strange How does it feel to have amnesia? I can imagine there are some situations in life where amnesia would be pretty useful, right?
Well, when you have it and don’t know what’s going on, it’s pretty grabbling frustrating. Once you know why you have it, and IF you are lucky enough to have given it to yourself, and IF you have a failproof way to get your memory back, it’s Pretty Exciting
. Still frustrating, but good to know that it’s all for a reason. Did I mention you Feel Pretty Stupid
, too? I mean--you don’t even know who you are! I bet golems are pretty handy, too--can you tell us how you made yours?
Hmmm. Let’s see. I won’t give you the full recipe, but I can tell you that my latest golem, Raven, was made from several parts bird (the Chihuahuan Raven species, to be exact--for its booming voice, navigational abilities, and superior lingual skills), circuitry from a discarded cash register (for simple math skills), extra-strength parabolic synth tubes (for muscle mass), super-long lasting chewing gum (we don’t want her getting tendonitis, do we?), various devices I “borrowed” from my mom (her garage door opener, curling iron, and blender), and finally a thermo-reducer distilling apparatus that cools volatile material (this golem needs to keep her cool in heated situations!). All that got blended with some real bad luck--and a golem is born! (Again!) You’re known for your skills with a slingshot. Can you give us any slingshot-maintenance tips?
Replace the elastic regularly (or better yet, use surgical tubing). This will keep proper torque and prevent backfire, misfire, or breakdown when you need it the most. Depending on the size of your rig, adding a tasteful bicycle grip to the shaft can improve handling, and thus your aim (and confidence).
I find that a few basic modifications (time-reverse, teleport, x-ray vision) can really add value to a simple slingshot.
Keep your gear out of the sun. It dries out the elastic, makes the wood brittle, and shrivels your soul. If Nee-Chee, Mystery, Sabbath, and Miles wrote a book about your Lost Days, what would they say?
NEECHEE: You’ve gone through a lot of trouble just to make more trouble for yourself.
MYSTERY: Blackrock is such a magical essence, any effort to protect it would be worthy.
MILES: It was a nice return to the alley. Been a while since I camped out there.
SABBATH: Dude, Cabbage was close…but no cigar.
Reger’s gothy cult heroine, who began life as a sticker for skaters and other underground types before moving into comics, now makes the leap into full-fledged YA noveldom. But not to worry: this is anything but a sellout. The book (structured as the girl’s diary) opens with Emily coming to with a fresh case of plot-device-grade amnesia. As she tries to figure out who she is, where she is, and just about everything else (aside from remembering an affinity for cats and the number 13), Emily gets involved in a power struggle among a cast of shady characters in the town of Blackrock. Although the lurching plot perambulations are increasingly difficult to follow, there’s no doubting the lighthearted but Darkly Hued Creativity
on display, nearly always sacrificing sense for strangeness. A bevy of lists (all 13 items long) and black-and-red drawings work to break up the narrative. The central mystery of who Emily is eventually gets (sort of) resolved; any number of other unexplained peculiarities will have to wait for further installments. Pure black gold for the right readers. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman