Up Next Reminder | Thomas

thomas

I can remember exactly how I first came across this story. Like many of my early Robiny discoveries, it began with a rainy afternoon at the library. I was ten and summer break was just around the corner. I’d availed myself of the usual suspects – among them an old BBC audiobook of The Amber Spyglass, which I still think is the best recording of that book you’ll find – and was on my way to the check-out desk when I spied the silver spine of a new Robin Jarvis tape.

I took a peek at the cover, grinned at the loathsome visage of a vicious-looking beastie, and flipped the case over. To this day I’m not sure what drew me more, the enticing premise of ‘four years since the fall of Jupiter’, or the mention of terrifying heathen gods, but that new tape got top spot on my library pile. I had absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for.

To you, Readers all, I now extend the bejewelled claw of invitation. Who will set sail with Thomas and Woodget upon the roaring oceans?  Who among you has the courage to venture through poison-tipped peril, to hear the beating of pagan drums in the night and breathe the searing air of forgotten temples? Join us; share a flask of rum, pull up a cotton bale, but hang on tight to your packs. A storm’s a-brewing, and it’ll not pass us by.

 

 

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Of course even if you have the original edition, you’re going to want this one too, as it’s clearly the best. (Hodder Silver, 2000)
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Not to sneer villainously but, well, I daresay you could do better than Thomas’s face. (Chronicle Books, 2006)
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Finally, there’s this illustrationless but easily accessible version. (Hodder, 2007)
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3 thoughts on “Up Next Reminder | Thomas

  1. Thomas certainly gets my vote for the most gory and frightening of the Deptford books, and that is definitely saying something! Peeling is a horrific way to go, but I still think the venom of Sarpedon beats it out for the extent of sheer agony it dooms the victim to from even the smallest of wounds. I mean, slowly melting into a pile of black sludge… eww! *shudder* The Scale are frightening and formidable foes, to be sure! And in spite of all that, I’m more than willing to go along for this exotic ride across the waters!

    I had to laugh at your comment on the US cover. I remember being disappointed when I saw it for the first time… I knew Leonid Gore could do better. His talents were best put on display when he depicted the villains (or at least ambiguous characters). I especially loved Akkikuyu gazing at her crystal ball on The Crystal Prison and mean, green Jupiter on The Final Reckoning (those covers were what drew me to the series in the first place). Thomas on this cover (and Vesper and Ysabelle on the previous one), while looking quite angry, were still too cutesy with those big, black beady eyes to really convey the type of experience you’d have if you picked up one of these books. I can only imagine how incredible and wonderfully dark Gore’s depictions of Morwenna and Dahrem might have been. I’m glad I ordered the Hodder Silver editions of the Histories ahead of time because the US editions, when they finally came out, were sadly lackluster. I still don’t know why they didn’t include the illustrations for them when they had done so for the original trilogy.

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  2. Just quickly before we dive in, I want to check if there are any first-time readers of this book on board at the moment. Could we have a role-call, please? If you’re a first-time reader, comment below so Matt and I can get an idea (thankee kindly).

    I’m asking because so far the reread has kind of been replete with spoilers for this book, and I’ve been leaving them where they are on the assumption that ain’t nobody gonna talk about ol’ Thomas unless they’ve read it already, as it’s not exactly Robin’s best-known work.

    So, if any of you are green-eared new mariners, let us grizzled old-hands know asap and we’ll adjust accordingly.

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  3. @Starshine To clarify, it wasn’t so much Mr Gore’s art I was critiquing, but rather his choice of subject. Like you say, I feel he was somewhat wasted depicting Deptford heroes …but of course I have a personal bias, about which I’ll say no more.

    Liked by 1 person

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