Hello! It’s Lieutenant here and it’s time for a book review. I know I haven’t done a lot of reviews on Outlet before but I’ve been wanting to for a long time because of the sheer amount of media I consume on a regular basis. Anyway, today’s review is going to be on one of my favorite book series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.
Since you already know this is one of my favorite series, this is my score for it straight:
Where should I start? This series has everything. It references historical events, notable historical figures and in the same stroke, manages to incorporate mythology and science fiction into one seamless narrative. Among the characters are H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, the Grimms brothers, Jules Verne and many other well-known authors, philosophers and intellectuals that changed the course of human thought through history. Among the mythologies and legends that the book features, Camelot takes center stage but there are heavy biblical elements and the three Fates from Greek mythology are in there as well as the Peter Pan/Pied Piper legend. In addition to all that, there are dragons, magic and talking animals. That’s not all eit her. Not only is there a heaping dose of fantasy in the series, the plotlines play with time travel and alternate worlds. There is literally everything any fiction reader needs in this series.
Now, for some background: The first couple of books take place pre-WWII and it focuses on three writers and intellectuals who go by the names John, Jack and Charles. Due to some circumstances, they were recruited by a strange diminutive man who called himself Bert to be Caretakers of a mysterious book called The Imaginarium Geographica. The book, as its title suggests, contains maps of imaginary places. However, across a usually-impassable stormfront, Bert tells them, these imaginary places are real and this book contains the maps to all of them. This place containing these imaginary places is named the Archipelago of Dreams and it’s in grave danger.
So, forced by circumstance to be the saviors of this strange new world they’ve just learned of, the trio set off for the Archipelago, to the place where stories are real and very much in danger.
Although stories like J.R.R Tolkien’s LoTR make a whole comprehensive world populated with its own unique people and lore, this series is even bigger than that in that it doesn’t only hold the lore of one world, it holds the lore of many. It not only borrows and references elements from other well-known stories, it makes its own narrative out of this special mixture like how a patchwork quilt is able to make its own charms out of its individual mismatched pieces.
Besides this innovative approach to constructing a literary universe, the books also have illustrations sprinkled throughout their pages, one of which is the drawing of the dragon Samaranth above. These pictures really helped supplement my reading experience and the art style itself is pretty special with intricate details and a bit of a rough quality to them because of the hatches and crosshatches the artist uses to shadow.
The other thing I really liked about this series was its length. With at least 300 pages per book and most of them a good deal longer, this eight-book-long series is going to take a bit of time to get through so the goodness of the series doesn’t run out too fast.
That’s all I have to say about The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. There are a lot of spoilable plot points in this book so I tried to avoid them as much as possible which is why the summary above was a bit spotty. In any case, these books are awesome so check them out. However, be warned that because of the sheer number of characters and lore present in this story, you might have a bit of trouble remembering all of them, especially if you take a break between each book.
That’s all for this book review. Like if you were persuaded by this review to pick up one of the books and follow for more potential book reviews in the future. If any of you have already read the books, comment what you thought of them below. Lastly, share so more people know about this series.
I’m Lieutenant and I’ll talk to you later.