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Toonopolis: Gemini (Toonopolis Files, #1) Kindle Edition
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|Age Level: 8 - 18|
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Well, allow me to introduce Jeremy Rodden's "Toonopolis: Gemini" - the Scream of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
Our main character is a young man known only as Gemini and identified as an animated character who was once a real boy. He seeks to go through the various towns of Toonopolis to locate a Nothing-like villain named Shadowy Figure and also try to figure out who he really is.
Toonopolis: Gemini is a very Tolkien-esque journey as we see our hero and a trusty mentor / comedic relief sidekick going from town to town, encountering various animated heroes and villains and putting the spotlight on what Gemini can do in this world now that he is living by the cartoon rules. There's a particularly wonderful scene early in the book that features a character breaking down the rules, very much like Randy from Scream. That scene had me cracking up and fondly thinking back to the days when Wile E. Coyote was running past the edge of a cliff completely unaware that gravity was going to strike if he even dared to look down just once.
The book is tailor made to fit my style of humor, and the randomness of the characters brilliantly evokes Douglas Adams if he were force-fed Saturday morning cartoon culture. Make sure you pick this up ASAP, especially if you remember the days of sitting in front of the television with a bowl of cereal and throwing yourself into various magical lands.
The characters are interesting. I liked how Gemini developed along the way in the story. I also really liked the reasoning behind why he did what he did. (I won't explain more it will spoil the story) The interactions between the characters were also fun. Quite a few of their dialogues had me laughing out loud.
I also liked the story. It was full of adventure and laughs. Yes there were some serious parts but overall the book never seemed to take itself too seriously. But is does take place in a land created for cartoons. Some of the puns were groan worthy in their corniness, but they still drew a smile. The way the author worked the cartoon aspect was fun to see too. All the different cartoon areas and how they exist etc.
The book ends with a few strings left untied. But nothing annoying, more in a "ooo maybe that will be answered in the next book sort of way". Overall the book was solid and funny. Definitely recommend it for mid-grade and up. Even for adults and young adults who don't take themselves too seriously.
You want to know what is going on with this character as he wakes up and finds himself in this new alternate reality, feeling quite disoriented and a bit like he fell down the strangest rabbit hole known to man (or cartoon, for this matter). The main character, who christens himself Gemini, really pulls you in as you discover this new world he is thrown into. It is a fantasy type world where everyday is Saturday morning, the popular time for nonstop cartoons. He becomes a cartoon version of himself, so to speak, although he is actually dubbed an Outsider. Lucky for him, this means he has even more power than the toons around him do.
You won't find Bugs Bunny here or The Famous Mouse (as Gemini sadly discovers), but you will find many loveable characters as you embark with Gemini on this adventure. He at first views it as a fun experiment type virtual world (which is partly true) but then he starts to see the bigger picture. He realizes that they are real, just like him and they do feel courage, fear, pain, love, loss and other emotions.
Science fiction and fantasy fans are not the only ones who will love the world of Toonopolis, as it will pull in anyone who loves an adventure (read:epic) and it works really well to remind you of that childhood joy you found in a really good story. Toonopolis has it all: Great references to some of your favorite cartoons, childhood stories and movies that you loved as well as amusing jokes about the current trends in books and what people like to read about (Bloodthirsty vamps? Anime? Superheroes and annoying sidekicks? It's all here!)
[Sidenote: There is even some (hidden) love for fans of a certain video game (which is my all time favorite one now that you mention it) that involves a talking frog, time travel, a silent type as the leading character and a tomboy princess, as well as a couple magical worlds of its own- are you a fan? Visit my blog for a special 'New Game plus' option ;) ]
Back to the world of Toonopolis, you will find yourself smiling and laughing along with the characters. In the cartoon world, there is a fun mix of tongue in cheek humor, puns, parodies, and plays on words.
The back story is also very enthralling to follow, as you get an inside look at this "experiment"- i.e, how and why Gemini was thrown into this world and what he does/doesn't remember. This could be very dangerous for him and adds a serious undertone to his adventures that shows there is more at stake than meets the eye and makes the read even more into one of those books that you just can't put down.
This is a great place to visit and you will find yourself wanting to return to this world to hear more about the character's adventures and this very unique creation that is the Tooniverse! Luckily for you too, as there will be more to come in the Toonopolis Files.
Visit my blog at bookwormcastle at wordpress for the full version and updates! Follow me on twitter at Bookwormcastle.
I actually decided to create a page on TVTropes for the series, and there are so many that I spent a lot of reading downtime looking them up and listing them all (and was scolded by the author to just finish the darn book, haha!). But don't think that means the book itself is cliche. Even though elements of it are familiar, the way they are combined creates a unique and new experience.
Lastly, don't pass up this book because of lack of vampires. This book technically has more vampires than any other book in the fantasy genre. More vampires than you can shake a stick at. Seriously.
Most recent customer reviews
Well done,actually, well done indeed.
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