"An ordinary boy, chosen for an amazing, heroic destiny."
The Unwritten is a story about Tom Taylor. Or Tommy Taylor, depends which bit of the book you are reading. Tommy Taylor is the centre of a series of fantasy novels. The best selling books in the world and adored by millions.
The real Tom Taylor turns out to be a dangling plot line as he is the abandoned son of the writer of the fantasy books. But as he is about to find out, he might not be abandoned as such.
Tom is worshipped worldwide as a literary legend made flesh. His life begins to take on eerie and deadly parallels with Tommy's. He soon finds himself drawn into worlds he doesn't understand. A strange literary underworld where the power of story telling is as strong as any spell.
The idea of this story could be fascinating. A boy steps from the pages of a book to the real world. But it just doesn't deliver and it is quite a big let down.
The book doesn't seem to know what it is. One minute it is a normal story following Tom's life, the next, there is killing all over the pages. It doesn't fit together. You're left thinking, why did that just happen?
Where this is volume one, it leaves you with loads of questions. Loads of books do that, it is so you go and buy the next one in order to find out the answers.
But this book doesn't make you want to go and buy the next one. The questions don't stick with you and the ending just seems like it can't be anything but predictable.
There is one redeeming quality to the book. Inside you get extracts from the Tommy fantasy novels. Just a few pages, but they are the most interesting thing to come out of it. You start to see the connections for yourself, planting with you firmly the idea that Tom, is Tommy made real.
Mike Carey's writing isn't anything special. It flows alright and has everything in there you need to know. But it doesn't grab you. There is just no bang, whack, thumb, grab your attention and keep it. It is a little too mondane.
The artwork is the biggest let down of the entire book. Peter Gross could have done so much with it. The idea allows for something to be done that maybe hasn't been done before. However, he seems to ignore that. What attracts you to the book in the fist place is the cover. It is beautiful and flowing and mysterious and just makes you want to know what that story is.
At the back of the book there is a cover sketch gallery, and every single image there is more gripping than the work throughout. It is just boring and plain. For a published comic it isn't even that good. It is hard to see why they didn't stick to the style on the cover. It is baffling.
Everything about the book doesn't make you want to buy the next one, which is a shame seeing as the idea had so much promise. But this was certainly not worth the money.