Wondrous: A Novel by Travis M. Riddle

Wondrous is the story of Miles, a nine-year-old boy thrown across a rift between worlds to a place where several species are in the middle of a war. Magically transplanted, Miles slowly develops a number of magical skills, increasingly making him a weapon against the danger dividing the kingdoms.

While I feel that this book could make a worthwhile novel for younger readers, as it tells the story from the point of a small child whose parents are in the midst of a divorce and interweaves scenes of the family divorce as the basis of Miles’s burgeoning magical skills, I didn’t find that it pulled me in.

Although the range of species was impressively varied, they were all, at heart, good old guys willing to spend more or less endless time and resources looking after a somewhat spoiled nine-year-old while in the middle of a war. I didn’t find that beyond the scene-setting, there was any exploration of differences between the species. In addition, the frog-like Rompun species spoke bad French, and unfortunately my sense of humour is a very small verging on non-existent target to hit, so this didn’t really do much for me. The final nail in the coffin for me in terms of plausibility was that at least two of the main players walked away from certain death to come back and provide vital support for our young protagonist. If this book was designed for a very young audience, I can see why that decision might have been made, but the implausibilities made the story impossible for me to get into.

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