#THETWIN by Karel Jan  Kosman


Graphic Novel
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A debut graphic novel blends sci-fi and myth.

This book is split into two roughly equal parts, both presented by Karel, a freelance reporter on Earth. The first section introduces some students—Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Fox —their professor, nicknamed Pro, and Alpha’s mother, Pam, who is romantically involved with Pro. The team is searching for signs of intelligent life on other worlds. The group discovers a parallel universe that contains a mirror planet to Earth called the Twin. There, humans have evolved into a global society quite different from Earth in terms of ethics, economics, and technology. Pam and Pro travel to the Twin to gather and exchange information, where they have a daughter they name Pamela. Pamela makes the arduous journey to Earth to promote understanding between the cultures. The second half of the book starts with the creation story of the twin universes told from Alpha’s point of view. It also includes a chapter briefly describing a fantasy about Pamela written by Karel and a story arc about an overbearing government trying to force itself on a land called Bohemia. There are some captivating sci-fi ideas in Kosman’s short novel, especially those relating to the wormhole between Earth and the Twin and the complex process of traveling from one planet to the other. But the tale reads more like an outline for something longer and more comprehensive than a finished book. Too much is left out. At one point in the first part of the volume, the author writes that criminals from a penal colony invade the Twin, but that episode is summed up and dismissed in a couple of sentences, and only mentioned in passing in the second half. Readers never get to see the full story. Formatting inconsistencies also make this a tough read. There are occasional shifts into first person; some dialogue is in quotes and some isn’t; and footnotes offer key information that should have been relayed through the main narration. And the images by debut illustrator Tiwari don’t enhance the tale. There are only 13 of them and they reveal nothing that is not already covered in the text.

An intriguing but underdeveloped story about a parallel universe.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-692-98738-4
Page count: 106pp
Publisher: Quires Investments RLLLP
Program: Kirkus Indie
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