I would like to thank Netgalley, Andrews McMeel Publishing and the author – Kory Merritt for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart
is going to be the first published illustrated novel by Kory Merritt. It is expected to come out on 6th of October 2015 and has really great and detailed artwork.

Mr. York is an adult who has lived an empty life with no adventures, it strikes me how actually important nowadays this topic is, as many people never get out of the work-home cycle and never have an adventure. Unfortunately Jonathan meets a situation where his life depends on the adventures he never had and he is forced to have one at last. Without real hope to get out of the story alive, we follow him through bad and good.

The story is illustrated with really detailed pictures, like really, the author doesn’t leave anything for imagination and surprisingly it is not a bad thing. I mean, I think that if I would read about those monsters I would get tired of the descriptions and tired of imagining and remembering them all, but now, it was so easy and visual. It was wonderful.

The only little hiccups in my opinion was that Blyme looked really similar to Sauron’s Mouth (from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) – I kept imagining Mouth instead of the pictured Blyme… And that the scene with Terraqueenpin reminded me a bit of Smaug from the Hobbit, but at the same time was pretty clever, so I give the author that. Yeah, that reminded me of… Tolkien.

Overall I don’t think that it is fair to talk about my favourite character, as there were so many (and none at the same time), so my favourite scene was at the beginning – the story of the hooded woman. That was also the moment I understood that this shouldn’t be a children book. I mean, even in University I got sick while watching scene with the meat grinder in “Another brick in the wall”. And although this was a lot nicer and less visible, it still left an impression and made me think that it is not a children book. Nevertheless it is my favourite scene, it was so unpredictable, so true and so… just showing the human weakness, that it really did touch me.

Unfortunately all the other stories I didn’t really fancy and was slightly bored during the third one. After that the adventures unraveled and seemed a slightly bit too slow for me (although it was almost never predictable, God, what can you predict in such place as this?), I started to get bored of the gang and I actually stopped liking the fact that I trusted everyone to keep their word, then they would break it, but call upon their own morals, so I would start to trust them again and they would break it again… and it would go like this in circles until the book ends. It just left me sad that you can trust no one.

The ending of the story was predictable, though, but still I loved the moral of the book, it is so important to not get caught in the roll where nothing happens in your life. And not to forget to say ‘yes’ to the adventures… to actually live. Of course, it’s sometimes hard to remember, but this book tries to keep it alive in the reader and reminds that if there’s no story, there’s no person. And, could the meaning of life is really be to live it without ever experiencing something new, something forbidden, something?

I would recommend this book to young adults who are not into cheesy love romance stuff only and like a bit weird novels. Some adults might enjoy it also, if they wouldn’t feel personally offended by the moral or wouldn’t be repelled by pictures (monsters tend to do that to people).

I myself wanted to read this book because of the cover, I thought that it looked pretty and now, after reading the story, it also makes sense. A minor complaint would be the font of the book, it was sometimes hard to read, because it is too artful.

This book received three stars out of five on my goodreads page and I am really happy that I ran into it. One more reason to remember to say ‘yes’ to new experiences.