Review: For adults like myself, who loved cartoons, manga and anime as a child, and continue to enjoy the variety of incarnations and genres, both animated and in print, Toonopolis was a fun concept I definitely didn’t find myself too old to enjoy even though it is primarily slated for young adults. One of the first things I liked about it, though comical in nature with plenty of action and quips, it was still well-written, focusing on understandable sentence and paragraph structure, and descriptions easily visualized.
The narrative voice felt natural to the ages of the characters without trying too hard to make you believe it. I’ve felt some young adult literature writers were too heavily age focused. Whatever the genre or age of the intended readers, good writing is good writing, and I believe can appeal to all. A particular thing, however, is some types of comedy or jokes don’t translate to all cultures, so some of the situations and dialogue I realized was intended to be funny weren’t so for me, but that’s just a difference of language and society. Toonopolis was a very appealing and creative effort, and the author has much skill and obvious ability to share in further books.
Description: 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.
I spent the first ten years of my professional life in retail sales, working my way up to store management positions in two different Fortune 500 retailers. Along the way, I managed to earn a BA in Religion and English Writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Secondary Education from Holy Family University, also in Philadelphia.
After completing my Masters, I began teaching high school English. When my second son was born in May, 2010, however, my wife and I decided that it would be more prudent for me to be a stay-at-home dad, taking care of the new baby along with my first son, who was born in June, 2005. I have since had the challenge and pleasure of being a homemaker.
It was at this time that I finally grasped the stories that had been in my head since I was a teenager and wrangled them to paper. Toonopolis began as a silly interactive fiction game played with some real life and virtual friends. The game only lasted a few years but the world I had created and my characters never escaped my thoughts.
As a writer, I consider C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll as my strongest influences. They were able to create magical worlds that readers of all ages enjoy, which is exactly what I want to achieve with Toonopolis. It is a lofty goal, indeed, but the only goals that will invariably be unachievable are the ones that are not set.
Welcome to my world. I hope you have as much fun as I do.