This is another one of those times where I was duped into buying a book because of rave reviews. Brian K. Vaughn even appears in a blurb on the cover stating that this is the kind of story he wishes he’d thought of. After reading it I wholeheartedly agree. I wish Brian K. Vaughn had thought of it too.
The Unwritten takes place in a world where stories are truth. In this world Tommy Taylor is the biggest story of them all. Tom Taylor, however, is sick of being confused with Tommy Taylor – a figment of his father’s imagination. A father who’s now vanished, completely.
The Tommy Taylor story reeks of Harry Potter rip off. Except in this universe Harry Potter also exist and Tommy Taylor is BIGGER than Harry Potter?! Cue eyeroll. Especially as the excerpts presented from Tommy Taylor are completely clichee, lacking heart and imagination.
Yet the unwritten really wants to be special, filled with heart and imagination. It’s not. The artwork was all 90’s with no warmth or irony and the typeface was grating with word made bold for no reason.
The premise was great but the story is too slow. It quickly becomes obvious that Tom Taylor, the son of the disappeared author, is in fact the Tommy Taylor of the fantasy series. And Lizzie Hexam is the trusty sidekick Sue Silver. However Tom spends a lot of time denying things and talking about stuff and then there’s a whole horror film/slasher homage that just comes out of nowhere and does nothing to advance the story.
So. Women. Well. Lets talk Lizzie Hexam/Sue Silver. The only woman present in the story who exists solely as a plot device. Furthermore she is drawn in a miniskirt and slinky crop top, wet lips and sexy librarian glasses straight out of the 90’s. I was expecting some point to it, some wink-wink-nudge-nudge look at how women are portrayed in fantasy. Sadly, she only added knee high boots to the next ensemble. This along with the masculinization of the author – Tommy Taylor is written by a man – just left me slightly disappointed. Not enough to be mad, just enough to be meh.
I won’t be picking up the next volume; too many things happened as they built up to some grand conspiracy. I like diving into good, solid, interesting characters. This story, unfortunately, has none.