List Price: $ 19.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: SaltRiver (August 20, 2008)
Be sure to view the first chapter at the end of this post – it’s very cool!
Description: (From Amazon.com)
From the best-selling author of Shadowmancer comes an enthralling new series of illustra-novellas. The First Escape is the first book in the Dopple Ganger Chronicles, a six-book series following three children–Sadie and Saskia Dopple and Erik Morrissey Ganger. Sadie and Saskia are mischievous identical twins living at an orphanage, where Erik is their only friend. They are separated when Saskia is adopted by Muzz Elliott, a wealthy woman searching for her long-lost family treasure. While Saskia stumbles into the center of a crime only she can stop, Sadie and Erik embark on a quest to find her. This book is in an exciting new format called an “illustra-novella,” in which the story is told alternately in graphic novel format and plain text with occasional illustrations.
The First Escape has been compared to Harry Potter (“Hotter than Potter.” – London Times) and been called the new C.S. Lewis (Heaven and Earth Show, BBC). That’s quite a recommendation, don’t you think? Needless to say, I was very excited when Tyndale sent me a copy to review. And I wasn’t disappointed! Though I wouldn’t call it “hotter than Potter” (I don’t know if it would be fair to compare to such a beloved series of books), I found it to be wildly entertaining and completely unique. The descriptions of the characters reminded me of the inspired and often off-the-wall characters created by Charles Dickens (though less-winded thankfully) and Lemony Snicket. They were truly brought to life in a crazy and humorous way.
A large door swung open and a fat cook barged through.
In her stubby fingers she carried a massive pot of brown gruel that steamed and gurgled like the rumblings of a cow’s belly. She glanced up at the image of Isambard Dunstan, who scowled at her as she began ladling the food from the dirty tureen into 166 bowls.
I should mention that this is a young adult/teen novel – there are some aspects that struck me as rather dark and might not be entirely appropriate for children, such as mentions of seances (that are totally fake) and some surprisingly grisly violence that is meant to be funny (we are told the story of a man who bit the head off a chicken in a magic act and his head exploded, that kind of thing). I didn’t think they were entirely necessary myself. Despite this, the story keeps you on your toes with its numerous twists and turns and is very interesting. There is also a spiritual element to it, although it is never overt. A non-Christian could read it and not feel preached at, but there is talk of One who will never leave us alone:
“We are never alone, Saskia,” Madame Raphael said, putting her arm around the girl. “Even when we think we are. I know the name of someone you can call out to at any time. The Companion is never far away. We don’t need words to speak to him, just the thoughts of our hearts.”
The First Escape (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) by G.P. Taylor was my first graphic novel and I was really impressed! Maybe it’s because I’m an artist and dig the fact that art, fiction, and comics are melded together to tell the story. Maybe it’s because I’m a kid at heart. Either way, I found The First Escape to be a very cool experience.
Below borrowed from FIRST:
A motorcyclist and former rock band roadie turned Anglican minister, Graham Peter (G. P.) Taylor has been hailed as “hotter than Potter” and “the new C. S. Lewis” in the United Kingdom. His first novel, Shadowmancer, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004 and has been translated into 48 languages. His other novels include Wormwood (another New York Times bestseller which was nominated for a Quill book award), The Shadowmancer Returns: The Curse of Salamander Street, Tersias the Oracle, and Mariah Mundi. Taylor currently resides in North Yorkshire with his wife and three children.
Visit the author’s website.
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER: