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Mike Carey & Peter Gross – The Unwritten, Vol. 11: Apocalypse

September 4, 2015

51. The Unwritten, Vol. 11: Apocalypse by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (2015)
The Unwritten, Volume 11

Read my review of volume:

1. Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
2. Inside Man
3. Dead Man’s Knock
4. Leviathan
5. On to Genesis
6. Tommy Taylor and the War of Words
7. The Wound
8. Orpheus in the Underworlds
9. The Unwritten Fables
10. War Stories

Length: 176 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Started/Finished: 13 August 2015

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Finishing up the series.

Tom’s only chance of
saving the world might be to
destroy it for good.

Summary: Tom Taylor is on a quest for Maanim, the mythical object (horn / drum / grail) with the power to save the world… or to destroy it. But the old enemy Pullman is after it too, and while Tom wants the cup to heal Leviathan and save the world, Pullman is after the opposite – the death of Leviathan and his release from the endless stories of humankind. The easiest way to the grail is through Arthurian legend, but is Tom’s quest noble enough, and is he of pure enough heart, to succeed? And if someone else lays hands on Maanim first, the results could be apocalyptic.

Review: It’s hard to talk about this book without only talking about the ending… but a lot of stuff that came before the ending was really interesting. I liked the Arthurian flavor of the first part of this volume, and the swapping back and forth between them being “real” and part of the fiction (or as Richie puts it, them all suddenly becoming “bilingual in medieval bullshit”) was funny, and well done. We also get some more of Wilson’s and Pullman’s back story, which was interesting (and featured the Inklings!) but probably would have had more of an impact if I’d re-read the rest of the series more recently. But as for that ending… I don’t know, you guys, I like meta-fiction if it’s done correctly, but this got to a level of meta-meta fiction, and it lost me. There’s a big reset button that gets hit, and while I think that much of the stuff leading up to, and coming after, that big reset button is in keeping with the ideas put forth thus far in the series about stories having power, the logic of how the reset button works and what comes after is where I really got lost. (For instance, if everything’s been reset, why does Lizzie have no memory of anything and is leading a completely different life but Richie is still a vampire?? Makes no sense.) I don’t think this was a case where the story spun out of control – it still feels like Carey knew what his story was and where it was going all along. The issue was that I didn’t entirely follow where that was, or why, so I ultimately wound up a little frustrated. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Don’t start at the end, obviously. The series as a whole, though, is a lot of fun for bibliophiles, since it pulls characters and stories from across genres, cultures, and history, and fans of Neil Gaiman, who also has a lot to say on the “stories are power” theme. The series is complex enough that I would benefit from being read of a piece and relatively close together, which you can do now that it’s ended, you lucky ducks.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Couldn’t find any (yet?) at the Book Blogs Search Engine. Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

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