WELCOME TO MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!
Book covers are there to convince you to read a story. A great cover can also provide visual hints to the plot. This new fantasy tale (Due out this week) succeeds on both counts along with it being an enjoyable and imaginative story of two worlds.
Let’s take a tour of the cover. Of course in the middle is the protagonist, Gwendolyn. Her out of control red hair and and often out of control thoughts bring much unwanted attention at school. The red book she holds in one hand and a shiny round object in the other become the center in her quest to figure out who she is and what is happening in her world.
“The City” is on the left. A dark place where tall buildings and ultra modern transportation can’t hide the disturbing feeling the residents are all under some sort of trance. They do as told and the city runs like clockwork. That is until Gwendolyn sees it another way. Her imagination gets her into huge trouble when what she thinks comes true for a classmate. It’s then that two faceless men follow her, sent to eliminate the threat.
As Gwendolyn escapes their grasps she runs into two unusual kids—Sparrow and Starling. Together they portal to another world that you see on the right side of the cover. It’s the opposite of where she lives with inventors, bright colors, and pirated airships. Gwendolyn has imaginative powers she will use to try and save the new world and the one she came from.
The third person narrative is often humorous in tone but also very serious in the various scenes of escape. Gwendolyn is a strong female character leading the way, and except for her occasional “It’s all my fault” tirades, she has a great presence to cheer for. The surprising ending will have readers hoping for a quick sequel.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:
THE MARVELOUS ADVENTURES OF GWENDOLYN GRAY
- Sparrow and Starling are such strong brother-sister characters, a whole story could be written about them. A testament to the author’s skill at bringing them alive.
- The boy pirate, Kolonius Thrash, was also a different type of character who provided a few chuckles at how he went about his leadership role.
- World building is a must for the success of a dystopian, steampunk type of story. There are many to build here and all are brought forth, leaving you with vivid memories.
- You may find it unsettling when the narrator addresses you with a statement as to what’s its like in our world, but it provides a little break to an otherwise always moving forward story.
- A story within the story (the red book titled KOLONIUS THRASH and the PERILOUS PIRATES) is a creative way to move the plot forward and infuse even more adventure.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2018 PAGE COUNT: 336
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: B. A. Williamson is the overly caffeinated writer of The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray. When not doing battle with the demons in the typewriter, he can be found wandering Indianapolis with his family, singing in a tuxedo, or taming middle-schoolers. He is a recipient of the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship. Please direct all complaints and your darkest secrets to @BAWrites on social media, or visit gwendolyngray.com.
Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.
This sounds like a really different fantasy/dystopian. The book and the two worlds sound really interesting. I’m going to add it to my list. Thanks.
What a fantastic sounding adventure. Both your review and the cover sold me.
Out-of-control red hair signals lots of trouble and lots of fun! Great review.
What an excellent review. I enjoyed all of the detail about the characters and contrasting worlds. This sounds like a thrilling adventure for teens. Love that cover!
Your reviews are always so thorough and helpful. This is a genre I really don’t read, but it is good to know about. Thanks for the post.