Graphic Novel Review: The Talisman Vol 1: Road of Trials

(Titan Books, �9.99)

BASED on the best-selling novel which brought together the talents of master storytellers Stephen King and Peter Straub, this is the first volume in what promises to be an accomplished graphic novel adaptation of the acclaimed tale of treachery and betrayal.

In a run-down amusement park on a desolate beach in New Hampshire, 13-year-old Jack Sawyer is about to learn some hard truths – about his father’s death, why he and his mother are on the run from his sinister uncle Morgan, and the real nature of the mysterious realm Jack once called the Daydreams.

Now, with the help from his newfound friend Speedy Parker, this young man will reclaim his identity as Travellin Jack, and make his first foray back into the Territories to retrieve the magical Talisman, an object of immense cosmic significance. Yet even more important to Jack, the Talisman holds the key to saving his mother’s life. But in the Territories, where monsters lurk, evil watches and an unbelievably precious prize awaits, Jack embarks on a desperate quests to fulfil a destiny he never sought but cannot escape…

Phew! Something of a convoluted plot to summarise there, and this is just the first volume! No signs yet as to when the next book is available, and this one ends rather abruptly, without so much as a cliffhanger, almost as if a set page-count was reached.

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Adapted by Robin Firth and illustrated by Tony Shasteen, it does a remarkably proficient job of representing the original novel in comics form, especially as this requires translating much of King and Straub’s descriptive prose into atmospheric illustrations without losing the pace or atmosphere of the source material.

An interesting beginning for what promises to be an epic series.

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