This is my last post in The Discover Fantasy Tour and I would like to say a big thank you to the organisers for letting me take part and to the fabulous authors for their brilliant posts.
This final post features the wonderful Jeremy Rodden. I have read a couple of Jeremy’s books and am a big fan. So, although I don’t as a rule do reviews, I’m going to review Toonopolis Gemini.
First though lets find out a bit about Jeremy!
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 to be 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.
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.
Before I read Gemini I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my type of book, I had never read a novel set in a cartoon world before (probably because there aren’t that many!). But I have to say I was very quickly gripped by the story, and it’s characters. Gemini gathers a very colourful group of friends, to help him on his journey through the cartoon world, who all have their own distinctive personalities. I particularly liked Jimbob the Talking Eggplant and Won Won the mechanical dog .
I found this an easy exciting read which I can imagine will greatly appeal to the young adult and mid-grade market. I can also see it crossing over and being enjoyed by all the rest of us big kids who love to escape back to the days of Saturday morning cartoons, carefree adventurers and slapstick humour!!
You can findToonopolis Gemini on:
And an anthology of essays by stay at home dads about what it’s like for dads to be the primary care provider for their children, The Myth of Mr.Mom