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The First Escape: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One

Review

The First Escape: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One

Internationally bestselling author G. P. Taylor has entered brand-new territory with his fresh and riveting "illustra-novella" featuring three orphans with enough spirit, spunk and sass to overcome just about any villain or criminal activity out there. Taylor, who is now world famous for his beloved novels SHADOWMANCER, THE SHADOWMANCER RETURNS, WORMWOOD and TERSIAS THE ORACLE, now offers his audience a new type of reading experience. The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, which is told alternately in graphic novel format and plain text with occasional illustrations, is intriguing, beguiling and keeps the pages turning almost by its engaging format alone.

Yet Taylor's storyline is what will most grab and maintain his fans' attention. Like all his other works, THE FIRST ESCAPE is chock-full of amazing twists and turns that take readers by surprise with their adventurous impact and then equally subtle message of right/wrong and spirituality. Taylor opens this eye-appealing story with an eerie insider's peek into the dreary and sometimes dangerous life in Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children. With a lightning blast thrown in for good measure, the scene is set for dark bodings of future events.

Sadie and Saskia Dopple, identical twin inhabitants of this dreadful establishment, run the show, so to speak, over the other more compliant orphans. By wit and daring, these two sisters find novel ways of wreaking havoc upon the child-hating cook, Mrs. Omeron, and the headmistress, Miss Rimmer. When they can't stand the temptation any longer, the twins give in to fellow orphan-inmate Erik Morrissey Ganger, who challenges them to break the rules. Little do Sadie and Saskia realize that this will set in motion an entire train of events that will first separate them and then place them in grave danger.

Enter the wealthy and eccentric writer Muzz Elliott, who arrives at the school and asks the girls to smile and open their mouths. One must go, while the other stays. Sadie chooses for her sister's sake, so Saskia is whisked away in Muzz's chauffer-driven car by Brummagem, the formerly faithful driver now turned traitor. Muzz's home is frightening at best, and Saskia is confronted with various otherworldly forces that try to influence her into compliance. Soon, Saskia is enmeshed in a murderous scheme in which she tries to escape from a number of evil characters attempting to find a missing inheritance and who will not stop at killing Saskia and Muzz to get at the treasure. While she is trying to stay alive, Sadie and Erik embark on their own adventure involving a completely different set of combatants.

The two suddenly friends decide to trust one another. They make a run for it from the school and are chased down by police and a huge dog, and fall into the hands of a crazed illusionist and deranged madman. With some luck, Sadie and Erik get away from Potemkin and rush to the aid of Saskia. Once they get to Muzz’s mansion, more creepy events and dangers ensue. But truth rules over all. By the final page, many of the wrongs have been righted, and a new fellowship of friends is formed with the three orphans and Muzz.

Fun, lighthearted and comical, readers will truly appreciate Taylor's newest offering, anticipate future installments in this unique six-book series and, strangely enough, find themselves recalling many of the life lessons in THE FIRST ESCAPE.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on September 1, 2008

The First Escape: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One
by G. P. Taylor

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2008
  • Genres: Adventure, Christian, Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: SaltRiver
  • ISBN-10: 1414319479
  • ISBN-13: 9781414319476