Review of Toonopolis by Jeremy Rodden
It has the fantastical quirkiness of Alice in Wonderland, the uniqueness of Willy Wonka, the magic of Never Never Land, along with a sprinkle of the darkness/gothic wonder from Tim Burton and the other-worldness of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, and then some. But at the same time it is an unparalled
universe (or parallel universe) Tooniverse that is all its own.
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, (having to pull a name from the
air, the Mad Hatter’s hat, his scattered and lost memories) 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!)*Insert 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? Please comment by following the link in the parentheses, glad you found me!) END SIDENOTE (For New Game+ option click here – for real!) *
Back to the world of Toonoplis, 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. Stay tuned for updates (sign up for email updates at the top right) and for a fun interview with the creator of the Tooniverse! Click below to read the first chapter or buy the book on Amazon.