Thursday, March 30, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, Bright Family Vacation by Gabe Soria

This one, actually, hit the shelves on the 28th, but it's still a reason to celebrate. I didn't read the first one in the series, but when has that stopped me from diving right in? This one promises science fiction adventure with family goodness...I'm think Swiss Family Robinson with Lost in Space and multi-universe hopping? Well let's take a peek and find out!

by Gabe Soria 
Illustrated by Rafa Ribs
Andrews McMeel
Middle Grade Science Fiction / Graphic Novel
160 pages
ages 7 to 10

The Brights are back in their second out-of-this-world graphic novel! From Epic Originals, The Bright Family series teaches heartfelt lessons about conflict resolution, cooperation, and the importance of family in all its forms. 

After searching for each other throughout the multiverse and repairing their interdimensional portals together, the Bright family is ready for a vacation! But relaxing days riding water slides and eating space ramen are put on hold when the portal drops them deep in the jungle on an unknown planet rather than at the door of the luxury resort. Told through multigenerational storytelling, the Brights are about to figure out that space travel is a lot like space ramen: It always leaves adventurers wanting more.

Includes "One Birthday in Time," a bonus Bright Family tale outside the main plot line that's a true moment of delight for readers.



Note: This is the second book in this series. I did not read the first one, but it was no problem to dive into this 2nd tale, anyway. So, it can be read as a stand-alone.

Aliens and portals to other worlds are just a natural part of life in this fun family's adventures.

The Bright family finally gets the last interdimensional portal repaired, when they receive the invitation to spend some time at an amazing resort. After heading home to pack and pick-up their grandfather, they head back to the planet, but the resort is no where in sight. Luckily, Grandpa has come prepared, and they are soon enjoying their time camping in the strange jungle...well, until Grandpa and the father get into a disagreement. Then, things get a little bit complicated.

Vibrant graphics make this book a joy to flip through and read, and add a sense of positivity to each scene. But then, this is a book all about wholesome adventure and sheer fun. The Bright family works as a family. Always. It's the wonderful and realistic (excluding the science fiction end, of course) interaction, which gives this family and tale it's special touch. They might have to deal with surprises and alien oddities, but it's the interaction with each other, which drive this one forward. They are tight-knit, but that doesn't mean they always agree. There are sibling issues as well as ones between the adults, and these get worked out in the most meaningful of ways, which brings along a life message with it.

Among this wholesome goodness, there is simple adventure. The high-tech and interdimensional aspects mix with imaginative aliens and a few, tenser situations (these aren't overly tense, though, making it also perfect for more sensitive readers). Not only do the Brights come up against gigantic robots, but a second story holds escalating inter-galactic tensions and the silliness of a food war. While not always fast-paced in the usual sense, there is something always going on to drive this one forward and make it a family, not only to enjoy but to wish to be a part of.

And here they are...

Gabe Soria is the creator of the Midnight Arcade series and the co-creator of the comic book MegaGhost. His other works include DC Comics' Batman ’66Fakespeare in the Park, a tie-in novel for Cartoon Network’s Regular Show, and the best-selling Audible Original Foreverywhere, created with Steve Burns of Blue’s Clues and Steven Drozd of the band the Flaming Lips. He lives in New Orleans, where he’s currently writing an original fantasy adventure trilogy for Penguin Workshop.

Rafa Ribs is a Brazilian artist currently living in São Paulo. He has worked as a character designer and visual development artist for animation and games for the last six years. He loves drawing imaginary universes and filling them with otherworldly characters and stories.

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