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Above the Timberline

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  83 reviews
From renowned artist Gregory Manchess comes a lavishly painted novel about the son of a famed polar explorer searching for his stranded father, and a lost city buried under snow in an alternate future.

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about finally came, the topography was ripped apart and the weather
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’d never read a “painted novel” before, but I think I like it—especially if it means getting to enjoy my stories with such jaw-droppingly stunning artwork. It certainly doesn’t get better than Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess, a lushly illustrated experience that is truly a feast for the eyes. And if you can somehow tear your eyes away from the artwork long enough to read the text portion of the novel, there’s als
Janelle Janson
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR and Saga Press for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

This book is GORGEOUS!! ABOVE THE TIMBERLINE by Gregory Manchess is a STUNNING and cinematic combination of art and novel. Fully illustrated with over 120 pieces of artwork along with a great story - I LOVE IT! I think this would make a perfect gift for the holidays!

Book Blurb:

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about fina
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this graphic novel as the full page spreads were beautiful and it tells a great story about a man going into the futuristic Arctic to hunt for his lost father.
The pages are stunning and the polar bears were my favourites. I found it a great adventure, and would give it 4*s
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every so often there comes a book that totally blows me away not only for the fact it was such a fun and enjoyable read but that it was totally unexpected - well Above the Timberline was the latest book to achieve that with me.

I cannot remember where I saw it first - I think it may have been an Amazon recommendation while I was searching for something else. Anyway its cover caught my eye and the unconventional format. However the more I read about the book the more intrigued I became. It was wr
Melania 🍒
Amazing art . One of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen . The setting was right down my alley : snow , snow and some more snow combined with huge polar bears and some steampunk elements .
Unfortunately the story itself was a bit predictable and the characters one-dimensional; but don’t let that stop you from picking up this novel of you have chance . I would still recommend it nevertheless .
“Ancient knowledge is still--more ancient than knowledge.”

Mediocre short story; marvelous illustrations.

“When nothing is easy, everything is possible.”

Steam punk, so presumably a different world. Given the tectonic and polar shifts, everyone should be dead, not just frozen. Yes the poles may now be at the equator, but the equator--not all of it--cannot be at the poles. Where did Wesley store the fuel for his various machines?

“The quest is worth more than the find.”
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a graphic novel ...more A painting book? Huge gorgeous oil paintings of an interesting SFF setting.
Story has some cliches but the art makes this fully worth it. So pretty
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a decent story and a good one considering that this is technically Manchess’s debut novel. Gregory Manchess both wrote and painted the pictures for this book. He is an award-winning painter and freelance illustrator whose paintings have appeared in several magazines, such as the National Geographic and the Atlantic Monthly. He has also done illustrations for several books as well, such as Day of the Kraken by Michael Swanwick

I’m not a big fan of science-fiction novels, so if Manchess’s Ab
Mary Catelli
A tale of a young man's quest for his archeologist father in another, polar world.

The clues that this is post-apocalyptic are light, because that it is our world is not that important. What is important that when the father's expedition to find a city is lost, and his message returns, the son can not get help for a rescue operation.

Indeed, he faces both troubles -- burglars beat both his mother and his dog when trying to find something in their house -- and demands -- claims on his father's disc
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book gave me the same kind of warm fuzzies that the Dinotopia books did. I enjoyed the setting and story and the art is wonderful. I look forward the next one (please). ...more
Sean Smart
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book (a graphic novel) and a good story. Would really appeal to any fans of Philip Reeve or Philip Pullman. Very original, deserves to be a best seller
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
If I was only reviewing the story component of this book I'd be like, "Well, it's good but..." but this book is not just about the story. In fact, I'd say that it's not even mostly about the story. It's mostly about the art, and the art is amazing.

This is self-contained but also potentially the beginning of a series and there's no question that I will pick up the second book when it comes out and re-read (or at least re-view) this one several times.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Above The Timberline by Gregory Manchess is a unique book, that isn't quite a graphic novel, instead it is a highly illustrated book, a so-called "painted novel". Very reminiscent of the Dinotopia  book series (minus the dinosaurs but add polar bears) by James Gurney, this large sized book has 240 pages of lush paintings that transport you to another time and place.

Related image

Set in the year 3518, a cataclysmic event approximately 1500 years ago (that just happens to match our current date!) caused the
Monika Cacev
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-own
Above the Timberline is a science-fiction, alternate reality novel, written and illustrated by Gregory Manchess. It follows Wes Singleton, a 17 year old boy who goes on a quest to retrieve his father, Galen Singleton, an archaeologist for the PGS who disappeared on his latest adventure, trying to find a fabled City in the Clouds in what is now the remains of North America.

This is a beautiful book; the illustrations are gorgeous, detailed and absolutely necessary to tell this story. Manchess has
books are love
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Received in exchange for a honest review.

Gregory Manchess as an artist is amazing. The illustrations are so detailed and just gorgeous. The artwork alone tells a story and sometimes that is a wonderful thing. It is here because it helps to enhance the tale that is being written about. It puts the words in visual and more. I can say I don’t think this would translate to looking at it on a e-reader that well unless it is one like the fire or the nooks that are color because I believe the illustrat
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a story about a young man going into the arctic wastes to try to find his father, who has gone missing while searching for a mythical city. Our focus is on Wesley, who is angry at his father for abandoning the family while also wanting to prove himself. The story moves from the city he lives in and through the arctic wastes, brilliantly illustrated by the author.

The book plays a balancing act between Wesley's emotional journey and his physical one. I have to admit I was much more drawn t
Nostalgia Reader
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nostalgia Reader by: Tor
The gorgeous illustrations and arctic future-dieselpunk genre meant that I couldn't give this any less than three stars (again: Arctic. Dieselpunk.).

But the story (more a novella than a novel), while it was a quick read and a fun adventure, just was too reliant on tropes for me. While I can usually overlook this if the story is excellent enough, there were just too many opportunities to break tropes that just ended up heavily reinforcing them.

There were also some points in the narrative that jum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this is a worthy story. Describing a son finding his lost father, who is in turn hunting for a fabled lost city, it's mostly journal entries. The entries are terse, but they provide the backbone for the pictures and the plot. Don't skim over these gorgeous illustrations, give them your attention, too. They deserve it.
Meaghan Ethier
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Beautiful artwork!
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The art in this book is amazing, I think I would have enjoyed it even if the story was so-so... but I would have actually enjoyed the story without the pictures as well. The sparse text combined with the art made the story "feel" Polar to me.

After reading the book myself I actually sat down with my four year old daughter and let her make up a story about the pictures. She was completely enthralled and art inspired her to make her own story.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, adventure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
amazing artwork!
Jessie (Zombie_likes_cake)
Not sure if I can file this with graphic novels, it is like an adult picture book, it is a 'Painted Novel'. Let's go with that. I also will consider it my first authentic book of 2020, the actual first finish of the year I mostly read in December, "Above the Timberline" I started on January 1st and rang in the new year with it.

The illustrations, or rather paintings, are what make this book, they are the most compelling part, they tell big chunks of the story on their own and they are likely the
Dakota Morgan
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The cover screams "Dinotopia for a new generation." The interior illustrations echo James Gurney's fabulist dreams, minus dinosaurs, plus polar bears. The writing...the writing isn't great. Manchess is a thrilling artist and his illustrations make the book 100% worth picking up, if only to skim through it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend trying to read all the words though.

There's definitely a story in Above the Timberline that serves as a functional backbone for Manchess's art. Wes must find h
Oswego Public Library District
Over a thousand years in the future, a cataclysmic pole shift sets the stage for this dystopian steampunk adventure. When Wes Singleton’s legendary father disappears, the young intrepid pilot sets off across a frozen wasteland to find him. In a dangerous world of ice, snow monks, polar bears, and wild cats, he seeks to unravel his father’s obsession with a lost buried city. Many seek to sabotage his mission just as they sabotaged his father, but he finds aid from a mysterious native woman.

The st
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Synopsis: "From renowned artist Gregory Manchess comes a lavishly painted novel about the son of a famed polar explorer searching for his stranded father, and a lost city buried under snow in an alternate future.

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about finally came, the topography was ripped apart and the weather of the world was changed—forever. Now the Earth is covered in snow, and to unknown depths in some places.

In this
Maria Becker
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Young man goes on a mission to find his father. Set in the future where the world is now covered in snow and ice.

This book was such a sad disappointment. I have often wondered why more adult books don't feature illustration, because it seems silly to me to assume that only kids enjoy looking at beautiful art. I was SO excited to find this book for adults that is illustrated with 120+ original paintings by a world-renowned illustrator. The only problem is that they let him ~write~ the book too.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'M SO GLAD THIS BOOK EXISTS!! And I'm also so glad that I paid top dollar to buy it, because if there's anything I believe in it's supporting authors doing weird things with my cold hard cash, so that I can see more of it, and hopefully the kind of more which keeps all the best parts and moves beyond all the less-best parts.

So here's the deal: Gregory Manchess gave us 240 GLORIOUS FINISHED OIL PAINTINGS in this book. Everything else aside, that's AMAZING. His level of production is stupendous,
Danish Meman
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very different kind of novel. The paintings are wonderful and the book is a work of art.

The overall story of exploration and discovery is serviceable but doesn't really go anywhere by the end which is disappointing (unless there is a sequel planned). In fact, it veers off into a totally different genre by the end and doesn't even expand on it in any way, shape or form. That's unfortunate because there are a lot of interesting threads here which are never fully realized. At times I felt like I
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Gregory Manchess is a self-taught artist whose paintings have been seen in such magazines as NEWSWEEK, TIME, ATLANTIC MONTHLY, READER'S DIGEST, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. He has received gold and silver medals and the coveted Hamilton King Award from the New York Society of Illustrators for NANUK: LORD OF THE ICE by Brian J. Heinz. About GIVING THANKS, he says, "This story is a timeless expression o ...more

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