Have you ever thought that a middle-grade novel could have the perfect plot of a dystopian world? Neither did I! And I was pleasantly surprised by the world created by B.A. Williamson in this book. If someone decides to make a movie based on this story, I will be the first buying cinema tickets!
Gwendolyn Gray faces an overwhelming battle every day: keeping her imagination under control. It’s a struggle for a dreamer like Gwendolyn, in a city of identical gray skyscrapers, clouds that never clear, and grown-ups who never understand.
But when her daydreams come alive and run amok in The City, the struggle to control them becomes as real as the furry creatures infesting her bedroom. Worse yet, she’s drawn the attention of the Faceless Gentlemen, who want to preserve order in The City by erasing Gwendolyn and her troublesome creations.
With the help of two explorers from another world, Gwendolyn escapes and finds herself in a land of clockwork inventions and colorful creations. Now Gwendolyn must harness her powers and, with a gang of airship pirates, stop the Faceless Gentlemen from destroying the new world she loves and the home that never wanted her—before every world becomes gray and dull.
Disclaimer: *Thank you NetGalley and North Star Editions for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.*
Gwendolyn Gray is the only speck of color in The City. She is a dreamer, an inventor, and an explorer, and she is not welcome in the gray world of tall skyscrapers, gray clothes, and dull people. Gwendolyn’s first distinction from everyone else is her wild red hair. In my head, she looked exactly like young Merida!
In tribute of Gwendolyn’s colorful imagination, I’ve decided to give my review of her character in accordance with the rainbow colors.
Reckless. It is a very rare occasion when main characters are rational and think through all of their decisions. Let’s admit it, it’s not fun to read about someone who never makes mistakes or who doesn’t rush into battles to save the world with a spoon in their hands! Gwendolyn is no exception. She is Righteous, she believes in right and wrong, and most importantly she believes in saving the world, and that always comes with being Rash and reckless.
I would love to describe Gwendolyn as Optimistic or Outstanding, but there were many times when the other characters had to pick Gwendolyn up, urge her to believe in herself, therefore I’m going with Overcritical, which Gwendolyn definitely was, judging herself too harsh, blaming herself for the misfortunes at school and in Thok.
* Uh…How many adjectives start with Y?! (Maybe this was a bad idea after all).
Gwendolyn Gray is Young! (if you think of any other Y – adjectives, comment them down below!) She is 12, turning 13. This is a perfect book for anyone from 9-10 years old and beyond. Even though the book is written for the middle-grade readers, teenagers and especially adults will appreciate the hidden meanings.
Besides her Ginger hair and being a very Gifted inventor of stories, Gwendolyn is also Genuine and Gentle with her friends, Starling and Sparrow, and her schoolmates, even when they don’t treat her the way she deserves.
Brave. It takes a special type of courage to stand up against the widely accepted rules of The City, against the man in the black bowler hats, against the injustice and to come to the aid of the fellow schoolmates and her dear friends.
Gwendolyn, without a doubt, is Imaginative. After all the idea of the book is based on the power of her imagination. From rabbit ears to red dresses and mysterious worlds, who knows what else she is capable of summoning with mare power of her thought.
Lastly, Gwendolyn is Vibrant and Vivacious, especially compared to the grayness of her world and of people who surround her.
What is your favorite middle-grade novel? Let me know in the comments below!