Toonopolis: Gemini

Rated 4.50/5 based on 11 reviews
Toonopolis is a cartoon world. Gemini is transported to this world and becomes a reluctant hero, striving to save Toonopolis from a shadowy figure. More

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Published by Portmanteau Press LLC
Words: 55,480
Language: English
ISBN: 9780983425380
About Jeremy Rodden

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.

Videos

Toonopolis: Gemini Book Trailer
Toonopolis is a cartoon world. Gemini is transported to this world and becomes a reluctant hero, striving to save Toonopolis from a shadowy figure. The book will be released on May 30, 2011 in all formats with all major online retailers. Check www.toonopolis.com for more info.

Toonopolis: Gemini, Gemini versus Leothas
This is an enacted scene from the upcoming juvenile/young adult novel Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden. Gemini meets Leothas, a typical RPG/adventure character, outside the Suckling Pig tavern. Learn more at www.toonopolis.com.

Toonopolis: Gemini, Gemini versus Han'Eiyuu
This is an enacted scene from the upcoming juvenile/young adult novel Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden. Gemini meets Han'Eiyuu, a typical anime antihero, in Animetown. Learn more at www.toonopolis.com.

Toonopolis: Gemini, Gemini versus Internet Troll
This is an enacted scene from the upcoming juvenile/young adult novel Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden. Gemini and Miss Fire meet an Internet troll in Gothicville. Learn more at www.toonopolis.com.

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Reviews

Review by: Rebecca A on June 24, 2012 :
I’ve had this for a while and have been meaning to read it for such a long time and then the other day I just decided to read it because I was looking for something funny. Needless to say there were quite a few funny parts in the book.

There are so many funny references in this book that it was so awesome. If you watch older cartoons then you will notice a lot of these. I thought it was really fun going through and spotting the different references.

The story line was really interesting and it was nice and simple which is good because I wasn’t really in the mood for something with a heavy story line. I just found it really entertaining which was great.

The main character Gemini, was interesting. It’s always interesting to read a book from a male point of view. He was also funny which I really liked. As were his companions, such as Jimbob the eggplant.

I really whizzed through Toonopolis: Gemini as it’s a whole lot of fun and has a really entertaining story line. If you’re looking for something funny and different then definitely check out Toonopolis: Gemini.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Anastasia V. Pergakis on Nov. 20, 2011 :
It has been a long time since I watched cartoons that didn't involved teaching little kids about numbers and colors. So it took me a few chapters to get into the style of this book. But in a way, it fit with the beginning. The character Gemini, was also a bit confused about what was going on around him at the beginning. About the time Gemini figured out what was going on, I got into the groove too. I really connected with Gemini because of this, which in turn, I think allowed me to enjoy the book so much more.

I fell in love with the world building Jeremy Rodden put into this book! So imaginative and yet so familiar. It was great fun to have the characters go to different areas of the Tooniverse and recognize basic elements of my favorite cartoons and comics.

As an adult, there was a part of my brain telling me that I shouldn't be laughing or enjoying the book as much as I was! Afterall, cartoons are for kids right? But I'm so glad I read it. I enjoyed every joke, every wise crack, and every 'slip on a banana peel' moment the characters went through.

The best part of the story, wasn't the humor or the wise cracks or the sense of nostalgia for my favorite cartoons. No, it was the plot it self. The whole idea of how cartoons came to be and their connection to their creators - and what happens when a cartoon gets out of control is amazing! Such an inventive and unique twist to the idea of cartoons being "real" in the minds of those that create and love them.

I read this in one night, as I'm oft to do with great reads. While the style wasn't something I was used to, it fit perfectly with the story and would lose the humor present if written in any other way. I would recommend this to anyone who has a love for cartoons, comics, and unique plots.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: E. Bard on Nov. 06, 2011 :
Wonderful! It's smart and funny and I can't say enough about it. I recommend it to kids and teens - but most of all to the multitudes of parents who watched right alongside their kids on Saturday mornings, grew up reading Douglas Adams and never stopped enjoying the silliness of childhood. Such a fun read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carol Arsenault on Oct. 12, 2011 : (no rating)
When I received this for review, I'll admit to being a little sceptical. I'm not a huge cartoon or video game fan, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I can happily say it was a hilarious romp, that read just like a Saturday morning cartoon. One of the first characters our protagonist Gemini meets is a talking mirror and I had this very funny visual in my mind as I was reading

There were nods to the 'Wizard of Oz', 'Harry Potter', 'X files' and Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' and that was just in the first couple of chapters.

Jimbob the Talking Eggplant - think a purple non-singing Jiminy Cricket here - helps guide Gemini through the Tooniverse on his search/quest to find Shadowy Figure, and on the way some valuable lessons are learnt, without situations ever becoming preachy and with a generous helping of wit.

A very different book that was quick and fun to read and should appeal to Saturday morning cartoon fans.
Thank you Mr Rodden for the opportunity here, it certainly made me step out of my comfortable reading box.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Donna Brown on Sep. 02, 2011 :
As much as I’ve thought about it, I’m still finding it difficult to see how I can possibly do justice to the imaginative, wonderful, glorious feat of writing that is Toonopolis. Jeremy Rodden has taken the best and worst of a range of things that were dear to us in our childhoods (but probably drove our parents crackers) and remain endearing to us now as – even though we are allegedly adults – we prove ourselves to be simply bigger kids.

Toonopolis is like putting on a time travelling fluffy dressing gown covered in fairies or footballs that transports you to every Saturday morning of your youth and adolescence and every snatched moment of your adulthood where you pretended you weren’t watching Dungeons and Dragons, Donald Duck or Thundercats but were secretly loving every minute. It encapsulates the lack of logic that surrounds not only cartoons but also video games and how willing we are to suspend disbelief in our quest for entertainment but also shows how, when we are willing to do that, things can be much much more enjoyable.

As a ‘grown up’ who readily admits to recently watching all 80 episodes of Batfink, wiling away hours on World of Warcraft and loving Studio Ghibli, there are some cringing moments in the book for me. Not, let me hasten to add, that I’m cringing at the author’s work: absolutely NOT. Instead, I’m cringing at myself. Yep, I’ve spent that Saturday morning killing rats in a basement in a quest similar to one Gemini is offered. I’ve built up a party that – whilst it seemed logical at the time – had as much sense to it as Gemini’s band of merry men (including talking Eggplant, mechanical dog and Miss Fire). And I’ve loved every minute.

Toonopolis is a bundle of fun but it does have some serious underlying messages to it too, including the importance of not leaping to conclusions without all the facts and the necessity of accepting yourself rather than constantly trying to fight against what or who you are. Additionally, it has an ending that raises many questions and leaves you wondering, thoughtful and wanting more. Thankfully this is only book one of the Toonopolis Files so we can share a cheer that there’s more of this wonderful world to encounter.

How can you not love a book that is, in essence, an Alice in Wonderland for the modern era? Or in which distance is measured in PEZ candies? Or where the author paradoxically uses an impressive and varied vocabulary so deftly to tell a story that makes you feel young enough to have a spelling book again? This is a book for everyone who accepts that as logical as they may think they are, there’s still a bit of the illogical rebellious Saturday morning slob in them. And really, it’s a book for all those people who aren’t like that because, by the end of it, they will be.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brandy Hunt on July 28, 2011 :
At first, I was kind of upset. I had thought from various tweets and so on, that this was going to be something I would laugh out loud about. But the humor is more tougue in cheek, which is fine, it goes with the main character Gemini and his side kick Jimbob.

I quickly got involved in Gemini and his adventures through Toonopolis. Mr. Rodden does an excellent job in pulling from the old RPG style of meeting your gaming group and slowly finding the right plot device. He even includes a red herring with the requisite back tracking. The entire novel is delightful once you start to understand the humor behind it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Judy Cox on July 20, 2011 :
I figured out when I started reading this that I was playing a game or watching one!! I know many people, men mostly, who would love to read this. It was very entertaining!!! I do not regret reading it at all.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: John Poindexter on June 30, 2011 :
Even though my age is advanced, I must say that I still enjoy cartoons and this was one that I could easily add to my viewing/reading enjoyment.

Great job keeping us entertained.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Alicia on June 19, 2011 :
Toonopolis: Gemini was an awesome read! I am the mother of an 11 year old son and read it before I let him read it. I am SO glad I did. It was a very entertaining read for me. I loved when they traveled to different cartoon towns. Great book!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bookblogger on June 12, 2011 :
Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden is a unique book with a lot of appeal. When Gemini first comes to the city of Toonopolis I pictured it kind of like the toon world from Roger Rabbit with the bright colors and craziness everywhere. The city is organized into sections by genre (ex Animetown) and there are some great refrences to video games, comics, cartoons, and some general pop culture refrences. The story is a lighthearted tale following Gemini in his travels with Jimbob (the talking eggplant), his travel guide.

The story is written from two perspectives: that of Gemini on his journey through Toonopolis, and that of Agent Mimic in the form of correspondence where you learn the reason that Gemini is in Toonopolis. The segments with Agent Mimic then to remind you that the story does have a basis in the real world when it would be very easy to forget and lose yourself in the cartoon world. The journey of Gemini and Jimbob takes a lot of strange turns, with some very humorous references to a wide variety of topics (my favorite was the turn based video game).

This book qualifies as young adult, but can be read and enjoyed by anyone. At some point I will be reading this book to my daughter and I'm sure when she is able to read she will read it to herself as well. I look forward to seeing what else Jeremy Rodden has to offer.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Bruck on June 06, 2011 :
Even though this is targeted to young adults, I can say with certainty that any adult that has ever played a video game, watched cartoons, or read comics will vastly enjoy this book. It's just so much fun to pick out all the archetypes he paid homage to and poked fun of.

I actually decided to create a page on TVTropes for the series, and there are so many that I spent a lot of reading downtime looking them up and listing them all (and was scolded by the author to just finish the darn book, haha!). But don't think that means the book itself is cliche. Even though elements of it are familiar, the way they are combined creates a unique and new experience.

Lastly, don't pass up this book because of lack of vampires. This book technically has more vampires than any other book in the fantasy genre. More vampires than you can shake a stick at. Seriously.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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