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The Unwritten, Vol. 5: On to Genesis
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The Unwritten, Vol. 5: On to Genesis (The Unwritten #5)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,381 ratings  ·  168 reviews

Before his mysterious disappearance and untimely death, the world-famous fantasy author Wilson Taylor helped bring two enduring creations into the world: Tommy Taylor, the fictional boy wizard who starred in his best selling book...and Tom Taylor, his real-life son

Armed with his father's journals, Tom Taylor begins a journey to uncover the truth
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Vertigo (DC Comics)
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24th out of 87 books — 23 voters
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31st out of 42 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Not sold on the On to Genesis storyline. For a forbidden love affair that Wilson was willing to risk everything to maintain, there's a distinct lack of passion between him and Mari. I was dissatisfied with the aftermath, too: (view spoiler) There's a bit of handwaving, but I wasn't satisfied with Carey's explanation. Still good enough to keep going with the se ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Teresa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
When I was a kid, I read the occasional super-hero comic book -- I have 4 brothers, so those kinds of comics were around -- but I've never considered myself a fan of the genre. Even so, I enjoyed the super-hero connection and twist to this installment as we are taken back to Depression-era Brooklyn.

The auction, the journals and the return of the Tommy Taylor websites were fun too. The plot thickens!

I'm having a hard time writing reviews for Unwritten. Is it sufficient enough for me to say that by now this is one of my favorite series and that you should high-tail it to your local comic shop to grab it right now? I hope so. :)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
More of Wilson's history is revealed, and there is a blessed absence of the disturbing sub-story with the horrific realm of the poor talking animals.
Geoff Sebesta
I'm continually going back and forth on this book, and it makes me wish that I used four stars as sparingly as I use five, because the Unwritten is so close to classic and not just there.

The art by Peter Gross is competent without being amazing -- the best way to describe it is "Average Vertigo art." I can always tell what's going on, which is very nice, but for me, a great comic needs a page or a panel every five or six pages that makes you gasp in awe. Not every shot can be, or should be, clas
Julie Hayes

With Tom Taylor presumed dead and Wilson’s estate up for auction, what else can Lizzie and Savoy do but try to steal what they need from it? Specifically Lot 57. Lizzie provides a diversion so that Savoy can surreptitiously photograph the layout of the auction house where everything is on display for inspection. And while they are mulling everything over in the safety of a small diner, the wayward wanderer himself unexpectedly returns after his absence of three months, bursting on the scene fro
It may be that the novelty of the story is starting to wear off, but I found this volume to be pretty weak. There were several lines and plot twists where I thought, oh yeah, this is a comic book. The early issues didn't really feel like that to me. In the earlier issues, it seemed like the fascinating storyline transcended the commonly weak writing of comics. In this volume, however, it seems like the creators had lost some of the passion they had for it or something.

Some of the methods they u
Scott Lee
Carey and co. continue to provide top notch comic entertainment in the fifth volume of The Unwritten, On To Genesis. The title is, of course, a play on words referring both to the stories pointing toward a new beginning (by the end Tommy seems truly ready to take an active rather than reactive posture toward Pullman and the Cabal) and ontogenesis--a word referring to the entire cycle of growth and development of an organism from birth to death--a reference to the stories further clues about Wins ...more
Three and a half stars.

I didn't find this one quite so amazing as the previous collections -- there are a few threads that feel just a little flat to me, and I'm hoping they turn out to have a Point -- but it's all still pretty gripping and mostly unexpected.
[Name Redacted]
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one. It was good, it built on the revelations from the previous volumes, and it explored the potential of media which academics and ivory tower types refuse to take seriously... But it felt a bit patchwork, and there was a trifle too much exposition this time around. I suspect the author recognized this, because he included this marvelous exchange in the final chapter:

LIZZIE: "Th-thank you, Tom. this really--?"
TOM: "If we start in with the expo
Thomas Hettich
Yet again, there was not a quick gratifying understanding to be learned from this book. As with volume 3 and 4 the most rewarding part came after having read the book and starting to think about how it was relevant to me (i.e. what aspect of story-telling it is illuminating, what meaning I could derive from it).

Confronted with artefacts of childhood, Tommy is starting to understand what his powers are and starts using them. Savoy starts a blog and Tommy, for the first time, takes on a literary t
Mar 27, 2012 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bibliophiles, Harry Potter fans, Sandman/Gaiman fans
If you're a writer or someone who likes to think more deeply than just the immediate text, you may really like this series. I can't remember who recommended this to me, but it's an amazing read on a number of levels.

This series keeps getting stronger and stronger...and it's now at a point where I may break my habit of waiting for trade paperback collections and go hunt up any issues after this one just so I don't have to wait to read more.....
The end draws nigh, one way or the other. With Wilson Taylor dead, the only route to finding the truth may lie in his journals. Getting a hold of them will require quite the heist though, as they're being sold at auction along with most of his other possessions. Fortunately, Tom is back from his sojourn in the fictionverse and is ready to help. But even once they acquire the journals, making sense of them is going to be tricky--Wilson was very vague, and apparently picked a page at random for th ...more
Sean Gibson
We'll call it 3.5 stars.

This series continues to perplex and frustrate me, but only because the first volume was so unbelievably fantastic--when I read volume 1, I thought to myself, "Self--at last, we've found one! A worthy successor to Preacher/Transmetropolitan/Fables/etc. in the grand scheme of epic and imaginative graphic novels that I will devour repeatedly in perpetuity!" Alas, each subsequent volume has been up and down, and none have approached the peak of vol. 1, though I'd say vol. 5
The thing is I want to really like this series. I think the premise is great (sound bite description take Harry Potter and mash it up with Thursday Next). But Mike Carey's execution just seems off. Mind you, I think this is an improvement over the previous volume, but it still falls short of my hopes and expectations.

Carey's flashback to a story about Wilson Taylor, Tommy Taylor's father, is decent. What stands out there is how other characters begin to point out to Wilson where popular culture
S.M.M. Lindström
Seeing a team of friends working together like this, against the odds and so forth, always leaves me smiling, despite the horrible occurences around said friends. I've gotten invested in both Tom, Lizzie and Richie, and I want to see not only where their quest ends, but also learn more about them and find out what's going to happen to them personally in the future.

Also enjoying how the pieces of the puzzle are coming together slowly and how it all makes sense, in-story. Wilson Taylor... what a p
This was another really good volume. I loved the idea that Tommy's "magic" now lets him read the words of his father and see into the past. The art for the past was very good and it was interesting to see the first failed creation. I loved the idea that all this magic was originally started by a woman who wrote and drew comic books. The ending was quite tragic, I loved that the son went mad. It was a really interesting flash back which explained the how and the why of things happening. I think t ...more
This one is rather like the Ouroboros, a comic that travels into a comic. Clever, clever gentlemen at work here again...grumble grumble wish I'd thought of it it's so good. This is one of those ideas that is so amazing...Margaret Atwood talked last night about the changing narrative voice in the ORYX & CRAKE series, as different characters pick up the thread of the story, and how the reader continues to interact, in conversation, with those voices in order to create something wholly new. And ...more
I have actually been working my way through these, starting with volume 1, over the past two months. I hope to finish this last one up tonight or tomorrow. These are quickly becoming my favorite, even over Lucifer. The sad thing is that I'm not sure I am well-read enough to fully enjoy them. They are simply so ... full... of literature.

The theme The Unwritten explores is the possibility that significant literature does not merely reflect the culture of its time, but can actually shape it. The st
Thom Foolery
Why, oh why do I continue to read this saga? I keep expecting that it will make sense at some point, but Carey's reach far exceeds his grasp, at least in this series. We're still following Tom Taylor, the boy upon whom the best-selling (in this fictional universe) Tommy Taylor novels are based. Alluding to Harry Potter, exploring a stolen and fictionalized childhood (think child celebrity), and playing with Big Ideas like the power of fiction and the relationship of magic to the collective uncon ...more
This series is finally living up to its potential and I'm happy I stuck around. We find out exactly how Tom's powers work and how the Cabal shapes the world through words and stories. The characters make so much more progress in this story and what Tom, Lizzie and Richie discover about Wilson's past through his journals help propel them forward and deliver the next blow the mysterious conspiracy. As the last couple of volumes focused on the power of literature - Thomas Hobbes "Leviathan", "Moby ...more
So, The Unwritten.

It’s really hard to describe why I love this series so much. In fact, it’s really hard to describe this series, period. It is fantastically complex, but not in a confusing way, and not in that way that “smart” things tend to be, where you just know there’s something you should be getting, but you just . . . aren’t. It’s the kind of story that has layers, and if you want to read it as a straight-up adventure, you can certainly do that, but past the surface thriller stuff, this s
Volume 5 of The Unwritten and the story is really picking up now. In fact, it's almost picking up too fast, because that would mean the story ending sooner rather than later. And this is a story that I hope will last a long, long time.

Tom and his friends get hold of his fathers journals, and we finally start to see some of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle come together. Along the way, there is a lovely homage to Superman and pulp heroes, a moving love story, and a bit of a deux ex machina in the
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
Carey and Gross once again do everything but disappoint. This collection starts with two-parter that is sort of an epilogue to the last collection's Leviathan story as well as a springboard for On to Genesis.
In the title four-parter, Tom Taylor and company delve into Wilson Taylor's connection to the early days of superhero comic books during the Depression. The insights into the real appeal of the superhero genre (and the story-manipulating Cabal's interests in it) are fascinating to say the le
Tom and co. investigate Wilson Taylor's past, which leads them into the history of comic books. The most interesting thing about this volume is probably the way the idea of a comic book character, who can be written and drawn by dozens of different people over his or her lifespan, fits in with and expands on all the ideas about the power of story already explored throughout the series, as well as the collective unconscious concept Tom discovered in volume 4, Leviathan. At least, I found that to ...more
Marcos Olmos

Comencé leyendo el nro 1 de The Unwritten y me cautivo por la mezcla de conceptos, medios narrativos y abundante información que contenía. Luego fui comprando los tpbs hasta que hoy termine de leerlos de corrido.
Hay que decir que la serie parte despacio, detallando las características de los protagonistas, dándose tiempo para explicar sus motivaciones e ir presentando personajes secundarios y villanos paso a paso. A medida que pasan las historias la vida de Tommy Taylor (el protagonista) comien
Alexander Case
I started reading this today, and blitzed through it. This series, thus far, has been absolutely awesome, and I simply cannot wait for volume 6.

That said, I can't help but have one minor little quibble. The Cabal Of Arbitrary Evil - if they already all but rule the world, what purpose do they have in trying to quash humanity's will (which has clearly been their goal since volume 2)?

Wouldn't it be less expensive, in the long run, to more gently shape humanity's will to fit their purposes, then to
Brent Soderstrum
Volume 5 of my graphic novel experience was pretty mediocre. Still waiting for that volume that I put down and can't wait to get to the next.

In this one Tom Taylor visits the early comic book days of The Tinker who appears to be similar to Superman. Turns out Tom's Dad was involved early on with the author of The Tinker who was a lady writing under a fake male name. I am sure this kind of thing happened back in the day.

Slow pace is bogging me down. Hopefully story will pick up.
With this volume the series delves deeper into how stories affect and influence reality and how reality sometimes alters itself to be more like the stories that have depth and meaning and resonance for all those that love and cherish those stories. Carey explores how pulps and comics and newspaper strips burrowed down into the psyche of the working-class and those who had little time for "literature" and became the driving influence of their hopes and dreams and inspirations. It's why the story ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Mike Carey was born in Liverpool in 1959. He worked as a teacher for fifteen years, before starting to write comics. When he started to receive regular commissions from DC Comics, he gave up the day job.

Since then, he has worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, writing storyli
More about Mike Carey...

Other Books in the Series

The Unwritten (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man
  • Dead Man's Knock (The Unwritten #3)
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 4: Leviathan
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound
  • The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 8: Orpheus in the Underworld
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 10: War Stories
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, #1) Lucifer, Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway Ender's Shadow: Command School

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“You know what pulp is, Mr. Tallis? It's the flesh of a luscious fruit, mashed down into an incredible, half liquid richness. so saturated with flavor that it fills your whole body, not just your mouth.” 4 likes
“Some kind of worship of the state, as though the state was somehow different from the schmucks who run it. Can't say I'm keen.” 0 likes
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