Paint the Toon Red (Animætropolis Book 1) Review

Review By Aaron B.

 Being a fan of classic cartoons, such as Looney Tunes and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I knew I wanted to read this. From the cover alone, I was very interested. To best describe this is an ‘R-version of Cool World’ (but MUCH better written and a much more interesting plot.) I won’t ruin the plot too much, but in a nutshell it’s about a human character, named Tyler in a world of cartoons-what follows is a story including violence, dark themes (think maybe a gritty action movie or a noir tale)

I tend to bounce from subject to subject during a review, but I do have ADHD so I guess it’s the nature of the beast sort to speak! What I enjoyed the most here from a writer’s perspective besides the characters themselves (Snappy- the old timey alligator {crocodile maybe?} being maybe my favorite) was the descriptions of the cartoon characters. Of course, in a movie, it’s blatantly obvious who the animated characters are-you don’t question who’s who, but in a novel-everything is up to the writer to convey how characters walk, talk, interact with the environment etc. I was skeptical as to how this would work, I couldn’t imagine writing a cartoon character-so many details and so many actions would have to be done. Imagine WRITING a Wille E. Coyote short? It would be tough in my opinion.

However, A.J. Mayall does a fantastic job describing these odd characters. How their eyes would literally pop out of their heads from shock or how silly some of them behave (much like a Looney Tunes short) As a writer, I’d shy away from writing cartoons, but I’m glad another author took up the challenge, and I feel like this is a story I would have written-I’m glad someone else did, takes more pressure off of me I suppose!

For me, the plot kept getting better and better. I’ll admit I was skeptical over some plot points (turning humans into cartoons specifically) I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this concept, but I really did-it made for amazing character development. The other thing I thought I’d get tired of is the romance between Tyler and his boyfriend, romance is not my thing typically. Again, I was proven wrong. I liked the two couples, they made for kind and enticing characters.

I also loved what Tyler gets himself into, I loved who the bad guys ended up being and there were some extremely unique ideas. What would people do if they could turn others into cartoons? What would a sicko do with that kind of power? It gets depraved quickly.

Speaking of depraved and an R-rating, I am not kidding. Some of the plot even took ME off guard with how graphic the violence, torture and sex were-but I welcomed it (hell I wrote a book about a dragon and knight falling in love, so I have no room to talk!)

The last few chapters totally switched genres, which I really enjoyed. It flowed well. More of an action-thriller type deal, I won’t ruin what Tyler decides to do with his cartoon body, but it’s really, really cool. I was a huge fan of the ending.

The writing was also very good, never did I feel it long, again I have ADHD so for a book to hold my attention isn’t always a given.

I really liked everything in this story, it’s what Cool World should have been-I hope something like this (or heck this same story) gets turned into either a movie or a series. I think something like this would really grab people. For R-rated cartoon content you can’t do better.    

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