One reason I love reading is that it engages the imagination. It requires readers to visualize things they thought they could never conceive of themselves. "The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray," by B.A. Williams, takes readers on a journey and shows readers what can happen when you use your imagination.
Williams released this book three years ago, and it still has a positive impact. This was the sort of book I loved to read as a child. It is so awesome to read about a child having such a vivid imagination; there is something about a child using their imagination to save the world that is absolutely amazing. Williams does a fantastic job at combining fantasy elements with real-life. Add in creepy villains, and this book ticks all the boxes.
There are so many great things about this book: a narrator who acknowledges the readers and makes you feel as though you are a part of the story, as well as Gwendolyn realizing she is not just some silly girl; there is genuine power in your imagination. Stirling and Sparrow are noble characters! The addition of the siblings, Stirling and Sparrow, helped create the steampunk feel this book had. The story was excellent, and I loved the small moments when the narrator would say, "I'll spare you the boring details…", "Sparrow said a few words that wouldn't be polite to repeat…". This might be a turnoff for most, but I enjoyed it. The pacing was quite quick, with world-building along the way, which Williams did spectacularly.
What Williams did by creating Gray was show that life can become incredibly dull in a world that is all black, white and gray. He created a character so remarkable that she thinks in color. She is the only person her age who thinks differently from everyone else, leaving her as an outcast. As the people in town continue to fall under the influence of the gray, dull society, Gray's vivid imagination runs wild and naturally gets her in trouble. The town leaders will stop at nothing to keep Gray from changing the world as they know it, and it was interesting to see what ideas Gray and her companions would come up with to make the town more lively.
This story is unique because of how it challenged the way stories and fairytales are usually told. Normally it would start with "Once upon a time…", but instead, it challenges you with "What if…?" Here is to Gwendolyn Gray for showing us it is okay to stand out in a world where you are supposed to blend in because being normal is overrated.
"The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray," is available on Amazon and at your local library.