Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review: Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Toonopolis: Gemini
   *Series: Toonopolis Files #1
Author: Jeremy Rodden
Publisher: Portmanteau Press LLC
Pages: Paperback; 314
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Source: Author
Genre: Humor / Adventure

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy humorous stories with larger than life characters, and a ton of cartoon references!

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations. Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father's scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant. After an altercation with a mysterious Shadowy Figure, Gemini's mission is changed, and he begins a new quest to defeat Shadowy Figure and protect Toonopolis from his nefarious destruction. Along the way, he meets new friends, discovers just how diverse and strange Toonopolis is, and learns lessons about compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and being true to oneself.

In my recent mood of reading ravenously, but failing to write reviews, I completely forgot that I'd read and enjoyed Toonopolis: Gemini. My apologies to Jeremy Rodden for that! Truth be told, this book was a lot of fun to read! It made me laugh, and feel nostalgic, during a time when I needed it most. So, here's my attempt at a review that will do this book justice!

First off, kudos to Rodden for pouring his evident love of the cartoon universe into this book. There are so many references to the physics and unspoken rules of the cartoon worlds that just made me smile from ear to ear. I think the "Gravity Displacement Theory" was my absolute favorite. Ever wonder how cartoon characters manage to walk across open air, with no apparent problems, until they look down? Well now, Rodden has your back. It was little gems like this that had me giggling, and feeling nostalgic for lazy Saturday mornings spent watching my favorite shows.

More than that, I appreciated the fact that the characters in this book never take themselves too seriously. Gemini was well fleshed out, but also appropriately confused about his new situation. Jimbob the Talking Eggplant (yes, it's just what you're picturing) stole the show with his hilarious one-liners and complete disregard for anything serious. In fact, every character in this book had their own quirks and genuine personality that delighted me. The banter between them is fabulous.

My biggest issue, truth be told, was the underlying plot to this story. Gemini's background is uncovered through alternating flashes of the "real" world and the cartoon world that he has found himself a part of. There are also journal like entries interspersed that are meant to shed some light on the shady dealings going on. That portion of it, as well as the twist at the ending, were what kind of threw me off. I loved following Gemini and his motley crew through on their adventures. I laughed out loud as they were caught up in side quests, and met all sorts of random NPCs. It was really the hidden plot that had me confused.

So, for making me crack up and remember the days of amazing cartoons, I'll happily award Toonopolis: Gemini a solid 3-star rating. It's a lot of fun to read, and something I think most everyone would benefit from adding to their reading list! Just be prepared for some amazing silliness.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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