Friday, October 23, 2009

Isis novel Impression

Isis novel
Beware what you wish for, it may come true. A lesson that Iris Villiers learns in the novella Isis by Douglas Clegg with illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne. What makes this novel unique is readers don’t have to, well read, to enjoy the story or the art. All they need to do is search online for Isis Spot the Difference and a number of sites will come up and readers can experience this supernatural tale in an entirely new manner. First a look at the novel then the game.

Iris Villiers lives with her mother, twin older brothers Spence and Harvey. She rarely sees her father who’s a war trader or her oldest brother Lewis. Due to their father’s absence and the war the family is sent to live with her grandfather, whom she and Harvey nickname the Gray Minister. They live in Belerion Hall which has a history, a history both real and supernatural. As Harvey and Iris learn of these tales from Old Marsh, the gardener, they joke and jest at the possibility of them being reality. Isolated in this dreary manor Harvey and Iris become close as twins. They perform daring trapeze acts in their minds and share a bond which Spence cannot fathom in all his wickedness, a wickedness which reveals itself in his dealings with the tutor Edyth. As tragedy approaches Iris must recall the tale of Isis, a play her family performed, as the raising of the dead becomes a very real possibility.

There are major story points missing from the above for a purpose, that being not to ruin what is an excellent read. At just over 100 pages with illustrations sprinkled throughout this tale of tragedy feels perfect for the big screen, a stirring tale of another time where a lost loved one is wished for with all the proper intentions but none of the desired results. The stories told by Old Marsh become very real for Iris and the play of Isis which both she and Harvey took part in, becomes more than a play. Clegg takes readers on a journey both dark and chilling. Now the online game, just find it and listen to the music, it’s as chilling as the tale it illustrates. Finding the differences in each image is of course the object but upon playing once take time to go back and study, enjoy these fully colored images as they show the haunted tale which Clegg weaves.

Both the novella and the online game can be enjoyed separated but put them together and the flavor is more robust and enjoyable than the separated parts. While not the first game of its type, not by a long shot, what Isis does is gives readers another interaction with a too short novel (a good thing, great read) and gives gamers a reason to get off the computer and pick up a book.

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