“Wandernaught – Wander Not” are the words inscribed on the old ship’s wheel in Jessica’s playroom. When she and her two friends flip the wrong lever, they unexpectedly travel to a world in another dimension. Their house is a landnaught, a vessel capable of teleporting to different planes of existence.
On an uninhabitable world filled with towering trees, her father is attacked by moss-covered creatures. He slowly transforms into a thing part man, part tree. In an underground garden, her mother dons a diamond tiara and becomes a unicorn in a blinding flash.
They travel to an urban setting that could be a prosperous neighborhood on Earth, but find it possesses its own frightening secrets. An elven queen seeks to solidify her kingdom by capturing a place of power in a forest with magical maze-like properties. In a savage swamp world, they are attacked by trolls as they explore the world searching for other landnaughts to fix their home.
What I really enjoyed about this story is the feeling that anything goes. There were moments where I laughed out loud and parts that made me say to myself: “What the hell!” Most books that you read seem to have a formula to it. A lot of them you can try to predict whats going to happen and in my opinion when you can’t guess what’s going to happen it makes for a good story. I never knew where the story was headed in Wandernaught but it was one fun trip.
I’m not big on fantasy books with the exception of the works of Terry Goodkind. Wandernaught had me wondering if I was missing out on a genre that I looked at as strictly for kids. I was familiar with Kirk Warrington’s Dark Age and wanted to give this one a try and I’m happy that I did.
This story has all the action you can handle and a group of characters that you wouldn’t expect in an action/fantasy novel. The main characters are a mother, father and three kids. None of them are warriors and seeing them trying to escape evil giant trolls and bloodthirsty pirates was suspenseful. The scenes with the trolls were excellent because I saw no way out for the Wandernaught crew. My favorite character was one of the kids named Emmitt. He is a know it all and a bully, but he changes quite a bit in the course of the story. My favorite scene in the book was when the mother named Molly harms Emmitt to save her family and then later on accidentally does something else that shocked me so much that I had to reread the scene.
What made this book great was that I got the impression that the author was wanting to entertain himself first and foremost. I think he was thinking to himself : What would I want to see most in a fantasy novel? The answer is: lots of action, mythological creatures, fantasy worlds that seem unbelievable, excellent evil villains and likable characters that you hope get a happy ending. This is the beginning of a series which has already shown can take you anywhere and that’s what fantasy is all about. Thanks to Kirk Warrington I won’t be looking at the fantasy genre as something that is just for kids. Wandernaught is one heck of a thrill ride.