THE DOPPLE GANGER CHRONICLES: THE FIRST ESCAPE
Written by G.P. Taylor and Drawn by Daniel Boultwood and Joseph Sapulich
Published by Tyndale House
Sadie and Saskia Dopple are the queens of Isambard Dunstan’s School For Wayward Children. Abandoned by their mother, the twins rule the school with devious pranks and are the bane of the headmistress’ existence. But the nasty old woman concocts her revenge: she finds a woman to adopt Saskia, leaving Sadie behind. Left behind, Sadie’s troubles multiply, sending her and her friend Eric Ganger on the run from the school and from the police. In the meantime, Saskia must adapt to the strange woman who now controls her fate and the bizarre castle she now lives in. Plus, there seems to be an odd conspiracy afoot inside the very walls. With both girls in danger, they wonder if they will ever be reunited… while they’re still alive!
Taylor, the best-selling writer of SHADOWMANCER, dips his toe into the graphic novel pool with this nifty and swiftly paced young adult adventure. Some pages read as straight text, some read as picture and text combined, and some are pure sequential art, giving the book an entertaining look and feel that should draw in the tween audience in droves. There’s enough mystery and sense of danger to suck in the reader, and the characters are so much fun that I suspect that they’ll catch on with the intended demo quite easily. Certainly, the girls will likely eat it up, and who could blame them? They can put themselves in the sisters’ shoes with relative ease.
At times, Taylor threatens to get a little heavy handed with religious allegory, but mostly he toes the line in trying to keep the proceedings light and moving forward. And as this sets up perfectly for any number of sequels, I suspect we’ll be seeing more of the twins and Eric sooner rather than later.