Saturday, April 30, 2011

"DG Chronicles: The First Escape" by G. P. Taylor

The First Escape (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles)
Snack of Choice:
We were SURE that we missed Girl Scout Cookie season – and without a doubt, we had. Then on a journey past Woodbury Commons between the Gucci and the Prada sat the Promised Land of those who seek the cookie! So, here I sit, with a box of Tagalongs – but not for long...

Story behind the story:
This book is courtesy of the Tyndale Publishers. They have provided me with a free copy of this title in return for a review – whether positive or negative – or both.

Story Line:
Two twin orphan girls (the Dopples) and an orphan boy (Ganger) team up for detective adventures, but like any good comic book, the first one is foundational “how they get there” story. It’s really the story of their adoption out of the Isambard Dunstan’s School for Wayward Children. But the story telling is incredibly unique. It’s classified as juvenile fiction and uses an amazing mixture of text, illustrations, and graphic novel (comic strip) narrative.

The Real Story:
The creativity and streams of communication are amazing. It really took a team of talented artists and writers to produce this book. Artists from the former employees of Disney and Dream Works fill the pages with color and excitement. They help tell the story text can’t tell and the text tells the story that the pictures cannot illustrate.

Here’s the deal, though. It’s dark. Everything is. Maybe it’s just an English thing (but I just saw the wedding and that wasn’t dark, soo...). The pages are edged with black and on the non graphic novel pages with more than text, the predominate theme is black. That sets the stage for the story. From a mistreating “principle” of the IDSWC to a séance (spoiler alert: it’s a fake one, but still...). It’s less like the claims of the BBC who declared the author, “The new C.S. Lewis” and more like Lemoney Snicket (“Series of Unfortuate Events”).

Also, as a future foster parent, I am not a fan of the perception that orphaned children will be mistreated by the system. Obviously that system is not perfect, but I can’t imagine placing these thoughts purposefully into the minds of those who would come into my house through this literature.

Check out:
The Chronicles of Narnia” 7 book set; 1 & 2 Chronicles

3 out of 5 adventurous, but dark comic panels

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