For my birthday I got Joe Golem and the Drowning City, an illustrated novel by Mike Mignola (the Hellboy creator) and Christopher Golden, NY Times bestselling author of The Myth Hunters, The Boys are Back in Town, etc.
The setting: Lower Manhattan, submerged under more than thirty feet of water. The streets are now canals and people must live in the upper stories of buildings. It's a gritty, dangerous existence for the inhabitants.
Okay, they've got a cool concept, but what about a story? Prepare to be pleased. You've got a dark, weird, sort of dystopian fantasy detective story with emotional impact. Sounds like some strange mashup, but it really makes sense in the story. I couldn't put the book down, it was so compelling.
A fourteen-year-old girl, Molly, working for a magician/psychic medium is our heroine. When her boss/father figure, is abducted by men in gas masks and rubber suits, she is determined to rescue him. One of those helping her is a very Hellboyish character, Joe Golem, with a mysterious past. He's a hulking private detective with strong fists and a big heart who is unsure about who/what he really is. This is my kind of hero.
Maybe you're asking yourself, "What is an illustrated novel?"
Well, it's a novel--you know a fiction book with chapters--with illustrations. I didn't count up the pictures, but this book has one on almost every double page. This is Mike Mignola we're talking about, so that's quite a bit of black ink. ;)
You can get Joe Golem and the Drowning City at Amazon. Or if you want just a taste of the character, Joe Golem, check out the ebook for Kindle of the short story Joe Golem and the Copper Girl.
Oh golly, I didn't even see the short story until I looked up the novel link for you. I must order it now!!! :)