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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
It is quite possible to read The Dark Mister Snark by Lori R. Lopez in a single sitting. The book is certainly short enough. Being told entirely in engaging rhyme, the narrative all but reads itself. Mister Snark is the town eccentric, a morbidly minded and somewhat despised loner. When he befriends a rude trio of Corvidae - one raven and two crows, aptly named Poe, Edgar and Allen - his life changes and he finds joy and love in their company, despite their impertinent taunts and insults. Their sudden disappearance places him at odds with the community and on a path of conflict with the town delinquent, young Neeve, who is every bit as dark as Mister Snark, but not quite as harmless.
If you can imagine the unlikely fusion of Edgar Allen Poe and Dr. Seuss, you will probably have a good idea of what to expect from The Dark Mister Snark by Lori R. Lopez. As you progress, you may find yourself indulging in an irresistible little game of find the rhyme. I know I did. The rhyming patterns which vary and take unexpected twists and turns are masterfully executed. One can almost imagine the impact of a spoken word rendition, with the right narrator and a suitably gloomy soundscape of background music. The story does not unfold at a terribly rapid pace and Mister Snark does come across as somewhat passive sometimes, but in the end, he comes into his own. The artwork, which bookends the story, is fun and reminiscent of Lenore, the Cute Dead Girl, another work that draws from the dark wellspring of Poe. You will probably enjoy this if you are into Gothic fiction or are a particular fan of the spirit of Halloween.