Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review - The Mysterious Manuscript


The Mysterious Manuscript (Mortensen's Escapades)

By: Lars Jakobsen
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761378839
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2012

Agent Mortensen’s job was to make sure that history was kept “in the right order” and to make sure that “valuable artifacts” stayed in the proper time. If he didn’t do his job properly, chaos could ensue. On a dark rainy night in Denmark in 1929, he followed a map drawn on a piece of notebook paper. It led him to Havne Kroen, an unusual establishment where a strange man sat sipping a beer. He demanded that Mortensen sit down and declared “I collect ancient books and illuminated manuscripts. A few days ago I found a book from Scotland ... from a rare book collection.”

When Motensen glanced at the pages, he was astonished to see an illustration of an airplane. How on earth did an airplane get to the year 1512? The rare book collector knew that Mortensen could travel through time, but it was not something he would discuss. The book had to be destroyed! It was however, necessary to get to Scotland to find out why that plane had ended up in the Middle Ages. He boarded the ship, the A.P. Bernstorff, as he began his journey. Professor Wonmug had invented time travel and Mortensen would have to use his Time Gun to do some sleuthing. When he arrived, he figured he would wait until dark to enter the castle and grab the illuminated manuscript.

“I’ve got to find that book!” Mortensen exclaimed to himself. The only logical place was in a library, but the search would be daunting. Once he had the book he’d go back through time, but soon he would discover that he had more problems than he bargained for. A creaky door slowly began to open and a creepy ogre-like man stared at him under the light of his candle. “THIEF!” The only way to escape was to use his Time Gun, but Mortensen just might have a fight on his hands. Was he going to be able to escape the clutches of that creepy guy? If so, could he find out why a plane ended up in medieval Scotland?

This dark and mysterious time travel mystery, set in the Middle Ages, will entrance young mystery buffs. Mortensen is like a futuristic Sherlock Holmes who has to figure out how and why a plane was able to travel back through time. Once he did that it was critical to rectify the problem. This graphic novel has several elements that are alluring, including Blossom, a mute damsel in distress (a witch), Mandrake, an unusual scribe from Loch Ness, and characters like the greedy rare bookseller. Time travel adventures, as a rule, have many quirky twists and turns and this one is no exception. The artwork, keeping in tune with the tale, is dark and mysterious with splashes of color to illuminate it. In the back of the book are several historical dialogues that include “Illuminated Manuscripts,” “The First Bicycles,” “Witch Hunt,” “Dungeons,” and “The Libraries of Way Back When.”

Quill says: This exciting new series, Mortensen's Escapades, combines just the right elements of mystery and time travel that young graphic novel enthusiasts will love!