Book Review: Above The Timberline

above the timberlineAbove the Timberline
by Gregory Manchess
Adventure/Graphic Novel
240 pages
Published 2017

I call this a graphic novel because that’s really what it is – it’s not a comic, though. Each spread of pages is a mixture of text and oil painting – sometimes just a painting.

If it was just the text, it would be a very lackluster book. There are aspects of the story that are unexplained, and aspects that are explained only by the accompanying paintings. It’s really the paintings that make this book unique. It’s almost like – an adult picture book, I suppose. It actually reads more like someone found the series of paintings and constructed a story to support what they imagined was happening in the pictures.

Regardless, it’s a unique experience. Manchess is a remarkable artist. The paintings are gorgeous, and the book does that thing where the text and art play around each other on the page, creating unique formatting that helps tell the story on its own, like when a full two-page spread of a painting has two lines of text to emphasize them.

Fascinating, beautiful book.

From the cover of Above the Timberline:

A city, buried under the ice. An obsessed explorer, lost in the frozen waste. A son, searching for his father, alone . . . above the timberline.

Galen Singleton, the most renowned explorer of the Polaris Geographic Society, is lost in the Frozen Waste. His estranged son, Wes, is determined to find his father after receiving an encrypted note six months after Galen was last heard from, when his airship, Indomitable, was lost.

But there are others who care only about what Galen – or Wes, if he finds his father – has discovered, and the will take any action necessary to insure Galen and Wes don’t escape the Waste alive.

Exquisitely illustrated and told in more than one hundred and twenty paintings, acclaimed artist Gregory Manchess has created an epic wide-screen adventure that will captivate readers in this future age of exploration set against an ice age that has lasted more than fifteen hundred years.

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