Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review - G.P. Taylor's The First Escape

The First Escape, Dopple Ganger Chronicles Book 1 by G.P. Taylor
Published by: Tyndale
Publication Date: 2008
Format: Paperback, 282 Pages
Challenge: Typically British, 1st in Series
Rating: ★★★
To Buy
Sadie and Saskia Dopple are the queens of the Isambard Dunstan School for Wayward Children. They rule all the girls in the orphanage with cunning and ruthlessness. Until one day the headmistress is a little more crafty then they. Saskia gets adopted by one Muzz Elliott, who will have one or none. Being a prestigious donor to the home, she gets her wish and the twins are separated, much to the headmistresses delight. So Sadie stays behind while Saskia goes to live in the mysterious home of Muzz Elliott out on Hampstead Heath, were she is given her own room in the tower where she mustn't ever answer the phone. Meanwhile, back at the orphanage, one of Sadie's pranks badly backfires and she's locked up for the night without food or water. But the school's only boy, and odd job man, overhears the mistress saying that Sadie will be off to prison for her stunt, so Erik Ganger risks his neck and releases Sadie so that they can flee across the Heath to Saskia. Of course a rescue can never be as easy as that when you flee across Hampstead Heath at night with bloodhounds baying at your heels and a psychotic magician named The Great Potemkin offering concealment, if you'll only help with one little experimental magic trick, that may or may not kill you. But things aren't going well for Saskia either. There's a mysterious painting she may not look at, a seance to recover a lost fortune and a Muzz Elliott Doppelganger out to kill them all. How will these three kids reunite and save the day?

I was hesitant to pick up this book due to my hatred of G.P. Taylor's Shadowmancer. But I was finally worn down by the pretty cover and the graphic, comic book style combined with chapter writing, in the vein of Hugo Cabret. I am very glad that I did. It was a fun, visual feast with a witty, almost Dickensian story of lost inheritances, mistaken identities, evil twins and ever so polite ghosts. It was an amazingly fast read and I find it amazing that with three separate artists, there is a very nice cohesiveness to the whole book, as if only one person had drawn it. Like Hugo Cabret, I was a bit thrown my the "real" image thrown in in the middle of the book. Why throw in this reality in a world of ink and linework? I don't know, it was off in that book and this one, so please, if someone who is planning on doing this in a book, just don't. I also applaud this new medium that is coming to the forefront. As a bridge between comics and chapter books I think it will encourage hesitant readers to risk moving on from just comics. But more importantly, it's just so beautiful and gorgeous, it's wonderful to see what can be done in this medium if you're willing to push the boundaries. More please! I guess that means I should go out and grab the sequel right?


I <3ed that book! I actually passed it buy at Half Priced Books and thought about buying it I enjoyed it so much. Glad you enjoyed it!

I really want to read book two now! Hmmm, perhaps this SECOND readathon is telling me to get the SECOND book?

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