Review: The Unwritten Series by Mike Carey

Title: The Unwritten Series

Author: Mike Carey

Publishing Information: Volume 1 published January 12th 2010 by Vertigo

Genre: Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Mystery, Horror

Series Information: 10 Volumes

Format: Paperback, 144 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Readers who enjoy the Fables series by Bill Willingham, or those of you looking to foray into reading graphic novels without being overwhelmed by back issues and superheroes.

Related Reviews: Fables by Bill Willingham

Tom Taylor’s life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom’s real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it’s even implied that the fictional Tommy will crossover into the real world, giving delusional fans more excuses to harass Tom.

When an enormous scandal reveals that Tom might really be a boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a very mysterious, very deadly group that’s secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his own life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, eventually finding himself at locations all featured on a very special map — one kept by the deadly group that charts places throughout world history where fictions have impacted and tangibly shaped reality, those stories ranging from famous literary works to folktales to pop culture. And in the process of figuring out what it all means, Tom will find himself having to figure out a huge conspiracy mystery that spans the entirety of the history of fiction.

The series starts off great, upon finishing volume one I immediately wanted to continue on in order to find out where the story was going. I loved Tommy as a character, he is incredibly flawed but perseveres through the continuous trials he is put through. Richie and Lizzie are secondary characters in the series but they are both given thorough story arcs that I loved. Lizzie is given a great backstory and Richie is provided an excellent story arc that really makes his character change and grow. Basically, no one is safe, which I love!

The best part about this series is that while telling a new story (that maybe has underlying aspects found in Harry Potter, just a little), Carey also brings in fantastic aspects from “classic” literature such as Moby Dick, Aesop’s Fables, and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Obviously, as an English major, this was right up my alley!

If I am being completely honest, it was volume 9, The Unwritten: Fables showing up on Netgalley that originally got me to start the entire Unwritten series. I had never heard of The Unwritten, but I am a lover of the Fables universe by Bill Willingham, so naturally when I saw that they were doing a crossover I had to jump on the chance to read it. I quickly ran to my library and checked out The Unwritten volumes 1-8 and read them in very short time. I am happy to say that I am now a lover of the series and I anticipate when volume 10 will be available.

For those of you who are debating trying out graphic novels, or for those of you looking for a unique and creative twist on some classic literature, you should definitely pick these up as soon as possible! Although they didn’t take the cake for my favorite graphic novel series, they’re certainly coming in at a close second.

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Unwritten Series by Mike Carey

  1. Pingback: Book Hoarder’s Anonymous: Best of 2014 | Books Take You Places

  2. Pingback: Beyond Books: 2015 Mid Year Check-In OR “The One With All the Recaps” | Books Take You Places

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