Mike Carey & Peter Gross – The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man’s Knock
Length: 160 pages
Started / Finished: 17 June 2011
Where did it come from? The library.
Summary: With the upcoming publication of the fourteenth novel about Tommy Taylor, the boy wizard, speculation is running high that Wilson Taylor, the reclusive author, will finally make an appearance at the book launch. Everyone has different reasons for wanting him there, however. While his legions of fans are simply hoping for a picture or an autograph, there is a shadowy cabal of people who can control the world through stories that want him for much more sinister reasons. And his adult son, Tom Taylor, wants to finally confront his father with questions about who he really is and how he relates to the protagonist of the books… a question that’s also plaguing Tom’s ally, Lizzie Hexam.
Review: Oh my goodness, this story is great. And, as much as I loved the first volume, I think it’s actually getting better as it goes along. In this volume, we get more and more clues about what’s really going on in Tom Taylor’s world, and who he is, and what his father can do, and the powers of the cabal, etc. For the first time, I feel like I’ve got enough information to start piecing together my own theories about how the various aspects of this story fit together, but there’s also enough nebulous areas that I know my theories are probably wrong… and the story thus far is put together well enough that I trust Carey enough that the final answers (if and when we get them) are going to be cooler than anything that I’d cooked up.
Apart from the big story elements in this volume, there were a lot of little things that I loved as well. The Harry Potter parallels are obvious, but this volume had some touches of His Dark Materials and other well-loved fantasy novels that I grinned whenever I recognized. The points made in Steven Hall’s introduction about the power of stories were nicely phrased, and resonated throughout the rest of the volume. And, maybe best of all, one whole issue was written as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style book that was basically a character study of Lizzie, and wound up being not only completely fascinating, but also engaging in a way that I don’t normally get from graphic novels. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Don’t start anywhere but at the beginning, but this series should definitely appeal to Fables fans, and particularly to readers of Neil Gaiman, to whom the “power of stories” theme should be immediately familiar.
Other Reviews: Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
First Line: “It’s still two days to the official launch of the fourteenth Tommy Taylor novel, and despite heavy rains, the line at Foley’s in Charing Cross Road is three-quarters of a mile long… Sarah?”
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- “From a thousand childhood days, she knew its hiding places, and its ambuscades.” – ambushes.
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