05 July 2012

Review: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

The Book: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, the first in The Unwritten series, introduces us to a world in which the boundary between fiction and reality is fuzzy.

Wilson Taylor wrote thirteen blockbuster fantasy books starring Tommy Taylor and his friends before mysteriously disappearing one night from his chateau in Switzerland, leaving his young son behind. The real-life boy, named Tom Taylor, grows up trying both to live up to the expectations of his fictional counterpart's fans and to establish the fact that he is not a wizard with special powers.

Now an adult who's getting tired his secondhand fame, Tom nonetheless counts on his father's literary legacy to help him earn a living. After a series of incidents involving a doctoral student who's studying his father's work and a crazy fan, Tom decides to return the Swiss chateau to seek some answers about his origins.

Meanwhile, a secret society that has vague similarities to the Freemasons is keeping tabs on Tom. For centuries, their job has been to control politics and the course of human history by promoting novels that glorify their ideals.

And so begins the Unwritten series, in which Tom must outwit a secret enemy while discovering what happened to his father, learning about his dead mother, and uncovering the great literary conspiracy.

Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity is a complex graphic novel that slips between the Wilson Taylor novels, Tom Taylor's present-day reality, and the life and times of famous authors of the last couple of centuries. The transitions among these realms are signaled by the artwork, through changes in style and/or color palette. The drawings are detailed, expressive, and consistent, making it easy for readers to sense the characters' moods and to get a feel for the action. The story is part fantasy and part mystery and promises good things to come.

The Tea: It's hot, hot, hot here in central Pennsylvania and iced tea is the only way to go. This week I was drinking Adagio Tea's Strawberry Tea, which the company describes this way: "Combining the succulent taste of sweet strawberries with bright Ceylon black tea. Fresh sweet-floral and berry flavor, smooth and sugary texture." Although I didn't love this tea hot, it makes a tasty, refreshing iced tea that's not too sweet. I didn't notice any "sugary texture," which doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

The Assessment: Tom Taylor lives in London, and thus it's likely that he drinks tea. On the other hand, I doubt he's the type of person who'd like fruit-flavored tea--hot or cold. Despite the fact that strawberry is a miss for Tom, I think it's a nice drink for summertime reading.

What About You? Are you drinking anything interesting these days? And what are you reading this week?

Buy The Unwritten at an Indie, Powell's, Book Depository, or a bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs.
Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.
Published by DC Comics / Vertigo, 2010
ISBN-13: 9781401225650
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.


Anonymous,  7/5/12, 7:13 AM  

Strawberry Iced tea! Why did not I think of that! Sounds like an interesting book and a unique tea :)

It is raining here and I think a tea will wake me up :)

Daryl 7/5/12, 8:11 AM  

I still like a hot cup of PG tips after dinner ... it sort of tells my tummy that's it for the day, at least I hope it does ... this sounds a good read again for my friend's daughter who was hooked on Potter ..

It reminds me a bit of Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton ... not a graphic novel but the main character also deals with having been the basis for a series of successful YA novels

Tanya / dog eared copy 7/5/12, 10:41 AM  

Oooh! I got this on on the stacks! I had this idea that it would be a good title to recommend along with Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne,) The Path Through the Trees and The Enchanted Places (both by Christopher Milne; narrated by Peter Dennis) and Mr Toppit (by Charles Elton; narrated by Simon Vance) :-)

SuziQoregon 7/5/12, 11:40 AM  

Yay - glad you liked it ;-)

bermudaonion 7/5/12, 12:22 PM  

I generally don't read fantasy, but this sounds intriguing!

Andi 7/5/12, 2:33 PM  

This looks AWESOME!!! I love books that blur lines and get all meta. Definitely adding to my want list.

Zibilee 7/5/12, 3:26 PM  

This is a book that I have heard a little about, but I loved reading your indepth discussion and thoughts on it. I have been drinking milky English Breakfast tea over at the home of one of my British friends, and I am reading Game of Secrets which is surprisingly more nuanced than I thought it would be! I am so glad to have read this review, as this is something that I really want to read at some point. Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

Unknown 7/5/12, 4:08 PM  

This is the first I have heard of the book, but not the first I have heard of Strawberry tea. I love my cold tea flavored, but not sweetened with sugar (or sugar substitute) so this sounds delightful!

Unknown 7/5/12, 4:55 PM  

I keep meaning to get around to starting with the series, I've heard such good things about it.

Robin M 7/5/12, 8:24 PM  

Sounds intriguing. Will have to check it out. My favorite cold tea right now is Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey.

Anonymous,  7/5/12, 9:39 PM  

I love the cover.

I've been addicted to mango lemonade this past week. I had that post-cold unquenchable thirst, and lemonade was just about the only thing that got rid of it.

Julie P. 7/6/12, 5:07 PM  

Going through posts and drinking mint iced tea with mint from our garden.

Also, this is an aside, but The Creamery has a wonderful selection of Harney & Sons teas. Seriously! I had a Vanilla/grapefruit white tea the other morning!

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