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Ahn Do , Chris Wahl

Rise of the Mythix (Series, Book 1): Golden Unicorn

YEAR: 2019

COUNTRY: Australia

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Title of the work

Rise of the Mythix (Series, Book 1): Golden Unicorn

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States of America, worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2019

First Edition Details

Ahn Do, Chris Wahl, Golden Unicorn: Rise of the Mythix 1, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2019, 224 pp.

ISBN

9781760525132

Official Website

allenandunwin.com (accessed: April 05, 2020).

Genre

Chapter book*

Target Audience

Children (older children (10-14))

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Male portrait

Ahn Do , b. 1977
(Author)

Ahn Do was born in Vietnam and came with his family as refugees to Australia in 1980. He studied Law and Business at the University of Technology, Sydney, and from an early age was exceptionally entrepreneurial, selling American Indian artefacts while a student and building a franchise of four stores. He became a comedian after graduating, and is also an artist, an actor, a television presenter and documentary maker, and a writer.His autobiography, The Happiest Refugee: My Journey from Tragedy to Comedy (Allen & Unwin, 2011) details his life journey. He has published several series of books for children, including the Ninja Kid (2018-2020) and Weir Do (203-2016) series of middle-grade readers. He lives in Sydney with his wife and four children.


Sources:

smh.com.au (accessed: April 13,2020);

Official website  (accessed: April 13, 2020);

wikipedia.org (accessed: April 13, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Chris Wahl (Illustrator)

Chris Wahl is an artist and illustrator who grew up in Sydney and now lives in Wollongong, New South Wales. He has illustrated for the Star Wars and Tank Girl franchises, as well as Mad magazine and Hasbro.


Sources:

chriswahlart.blogspot.com (accessed: April 13, 2020);

jackywinter.com(accessed: April 13, 2020);

instagram.com (accessed: April 13, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Book 2 of the Mythix series is due to be published in April 2020.

Summary

Billionaire William James is the ‘Soul Collector,’ enabled by ‘Lucifer’s Ring,’ to capture the souls of unusual or interesting people and frame them in his art collection. He also collects rare mythological artefacts, such as the Holy Grail, which his resident archaeologist, Stanley Solomon, finds for him. Stanley is trapped in his employ, because the Soul Collector has captured his wife.But when he finds a rare manuscript, he reads in it the prophecies of a soothsayer called Damasos of Anastos: ‘Misfortune will come as a man rich in wealth but not in soul will discover unearthly oddments that grant him power none should have. He shall suck his kingdom dry of beauty, and even daylight itself will not be safe from his thirst. The world will suffer at his hands, yet hope remains. With the return of long-forgotten magic, slumbering spirits released from Purgatory will find new homes in human souls. The Golden Unicorn, the Minotaur and the Griffin will be born again as children of humanity. Only these three united in common purpose can fell him who seeks to triumph over all.’ (50-52)  

Meanwhile, Kelly Swift, who is gifted with the ability to run very fast, is frustrated by life under the Soul Collector’s surveillance.Her mother begs her to hide her talents for fear that the Collector will take her soul. Kelly notices a lump growing on her forehead, and develops the ability to hear other people’s thoughts. When she goes to the doctor to have the lump checked out, he informs her that it is pure bone; meanwhile she hears him thinking that he can profit by sending her details to the Collector. The Collector sends a squad to capture Kelly, but she escapes. They threaten her by kidnapping her mother. The lump in Kelly’s forehead grows to become a unicorn horn, and she gains fresh powers of speed and insight.Escaping a second time from the squad, she spends the night sleeping under a hedge at the cemetery. She meets Stanley Solomon, who has broken free from the Collector, and the two escape a further time from the Collector’s henchmen. Their advantage is gone, however, because the Collector has hired a new Classicist to translate the prophecies of Damasos, and is aware that Kelly is the first of the trio of mythical creatures (the Mythix). The story ends with a cliff-hanger, as the Soul Collector prepares to interrogate Kelly’s mother.

Analysis

This chapter book for young readers blends simple novelistic storytelling with the traditions of comic-book super-hero adventures. Ahn Do draws on well-known myths from the Classical and Judaeo-Christian traditions to establish the Soul Collector’s ambitions. In his collection are items such as the gloves of King Midas, and moss-stained tablets from the Lost City of Atlantis. The character of Solomon Stanley is clearly influenced by adventure stories such as the Indiana Jones film series, and Kelly Swift’s transformation into a superhuman creature with mythological powers is also influenced by contemporary superhero adventures. The Soul Collector has elements in common with Hades (wealth, darkness). Chris Wahl’s illustrations are firmly in the comic-book superhero tradition (as is most of his oeuvre). While the story is simple, the lively storytelling and dynamic illustrations give Golden Unicorn an energy and interest, and introduce the concepts driving the series. The next in the series focuses on a boy who reanimates the soul of the Minotaur.


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Rise of the Mythix (Series, Book 1): Golden Unicorn

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States of America, worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2019

First Edition Details

Ahn Do, Chris Wahl, Golden Unicorn: Rise of the Mythix 1, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2019, 224 pp.

ISBN

9781760525132

Official Website

allenandunwin.com (accessed: April 05, 2020).

Genre

Chapter book*

Target Audience

Children (older children (10-14))

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Male portrait

Ahn Do (Author)

Ahn Do was born in Vietnam and came with his family as refugees to Australia in 1980. He studied Law and Business at the University of Technology, Sydney, and from an early age was exceptionally entrepreneurial, selling American Indian artefacts while a student and building a franchise of four stores. He became a comedian after graduating, and is also an artist, an actor, a television presenter and documentary maker, and a writer.His autobiography, The Happiest Refugee: My Journey from Tragedy to Comedy (Allen & Unwin, 2011) details his life journey. He has published several series of books for children, including the Ninja Kid (2018-2020) and Weir Do (203-2016) series of middle-grade readers. He lives in Sydney with his wife and four children.


Sources:

smh.com.au (accessed: April 13,2020);

Official website  (accessed: April 13, 2020);

wikipedia.org (accessed: April 13, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Chris Wahl (Illustrator)

Chris Wahl is an artist and illustrator who grew up in Sydney and now lives in Wollongong, New South Wales. He has illustrated for the Star Wars and Tank Girl franchises, as well as Mad magazine and Hasbro.


Sources:

chriswahlart.blogspot.com (accessed: April 13, 2020);

jackywinter.com(accessed: April 13, 2020);

instagram.com (accessed: April 13, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Book 2 of the Mythix series is due to be published in April 2020.

Summary

Billionaire William James is the ‘Soul Collector,’ enabled by ‘Lucifer’s Ring,’ to capture the souls of unusual or interesting people and frame them in his art collection. He also collects rare mythological artefacts, such as the Holy Grail, which his resident archaeologist, Stanley Solomon, finds for him. Stanley is trapped in his employ, because the Soul Collector has captured his wife.But when he finds a rare manuscript, he reads in it the prophecies of a soothsayer called Damasos of Anastos: ‘Misfortune will come as a man rich in wealth but not in soul will discover unearthly oddments that grant him power none should have. He shall suck his kingdom dry of beauty, and even daylight itself will not be safe from his thirst. The world will suffer at his hands, yet hope remains. With the return of long-forgotten magic, slumbering spirits released from Purgatory will find new homes in human souls. The Golden Unicorn, the Minotaur and the Griffin will be born again as children of humanity. Only these three united in common purpose can fell him who seeks to triumph over all.’ (50-52)  

Meanwhile, Kelly Swift, who is gifted with the ability to run very fast, is frustrated by life under the Soul Collector’s surveillance.Her mother begs her to hide her talents for fear that the Collector will take her soul. Kelly notices a lump growing on her forehead, and develops the ability to hear other people’s thoughts. When she goes to the doctor to have the lump checked out, he informs her that it is pure bone; meanwhile she hears him thinking that he can profit by sending her details to the Collector. The Collector sends a squad to capture Kelly, but she escapes. They threaten her by kidnapping her mother. The lump in Kelly’s forehead grows to become a unicorn horn, and she gains fresh powers of speed and insight.Escaping a second time from the squad, she spends the night sleeping under a hedge at the cemetery. She meets Stanley Solomon, who has broken free from the Collector, and the two escape a further time from the Collector’s henchmen. Their advantage is gone, however, because the Collector has hired a new Classicist to translate the prophecies of Damasos, and is aware that Kelly is the first of the trio of mythical creatures (the Mythix). The story ends with a cliff-hanger, as the Soul Collector prepares to interrogate Kelly’s mother.

Analysis

This chapter book for young readers blends simple novelistic storytelling with the traditions of comic-book super-hero adventures. Ahn Do draws on well-known myths from the Classical and Judaeo-Christian traditions to establish the Soul Collector’s ambitions. In his collection are items such as the gloves of King Midas, and moss-stained tablets from the Lost City of Atlantis. The character of Solomon Stanley is clearly influenced by adventure stories such as the Indiana Jones film series, and Kelly Swift’s transformation into a superhuman creature with mythological powers is also influenced by contemporary superhero adventures. The Soul Collector has elements in common with Hades (wealth, darkness). Chris Wahl’s illustrations are firmly in the comic-book superhero tradition (as is most of his oeuvre). While the story is simple, the lively storytelling and dynamic illustrations give Golden Unicorn an energy and interest, and introduce the concepts driving the series. The next in the series focuses on a boy who reanimates the soul of the Minotaur.


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