I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour review for Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand by R.S. Mellette. Be sure to check out all the other tour stops listed at bottom.
E=mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is." Twelve-year-old Billy and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother - and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things good and bad - are possible.
Genre: Middle Grade/YA Sci-Fi Adventure
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 8, 2014
by Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC
In exchange for an honest review, an ebook was provided from CBB Book promotions for free.
So, why did I want to read Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand? I was intrigued by the premise and the cover which seemed to hint science fiction and magic. There were also certain elements in the cover that I was very curious about, the pink flamingo, gnomes, cat wearing a beret and the girl with a flask in her hand? So much to ponder and question. Lucky for me all of that was explained in the story.
Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand begins with Suzy in a police station explaining how Billy disappeared....
"YOUR'E IN A LOT OF TROUBLE, young lady." Adults say the stupidest things sometimes. Of course 12-year-old Suzy Quinofski was in trouble. She sat in a police interrogation room covered in dirt and dried tears. Her fingers were cracked and bloody from digging in the ground. She looked like she'd just lost her best friend, because she had. The adult informing her of the obvious was Detective Mark Danner.
Suzy put him straight.
"you don't know the half of it."
Actually, he didn't know a tenth of it.
He didn't know a millionth of it.
"Then why don't you fill me in?"
"Because you couldn't comprehend it if I did."
The story is broken into two parts, the first half written as a transcript of Suzy detailing Billy's disappearance. At the same time, she is being observed through a two-way mirror by another officer and a child psychiatrist, who interject their thoughts into Suzy's story. Suzy provides all the insights into her and Billy's home and school life and the science behind them making a magic wand. These portions are very science based, we're talking quantum physics and microbiology, but are very necessary to setting up how they discover a way to break the space time continuum. Billy and Suzy are super smart twelve-year old- science prodigies, it's important to know they have the capability of figuring out how to make a magic wand. Billy's specialties are math and physics and Suzy has a passion for genetics and microbiology. Billy is the one who figures out that there are alternate timelines, but I especially enjoyed that Suzy determines the link to unlocking the space/time continuum. Enjoying science myself, it was fascinating to read how Suzy uses this link to explain an individual with Autism, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's reality. Of all the characters, I really enjoyed Suzy the most. Which I guess is understandable, because she is the story teller for most of the story, plus she also has a great sense of humor. It is also easy to be touched by Billy's home life. He lives in a trailer with his older brother and mother. His mother is a hoarder and is mentally ill, slowly it is revealed that she has Schizophrenia. Even Billy's school life is challenging, with kids who bully him and expect him to do their math and science homework. Suzy's life on the other hand is somewhat more stable, including that her father is a general in the Army. I can't say that I've read many books that included a family member in the service, so it was a pleasant surprise to have this included. What really stands out in the story though is the friendship between these two and how much of a support they are to each other. Suzy is always there helping Billy with his home life and giving him advice for the bully's at school.
The second half of the story is what happened after Billy disappeared. It introduces the characters of Merlin and a form changing familiar cat, both who are connected to the Quantum World. Merlin explains to Billy the philosophical reasons as to why the wand works the way it does, but doesn't provide him all the answers. He also cautions Billy that he soon will be walking into a mysterious trap, but he will do so willing. Reading the second part of the story was kind of reminiscent of A Wrinkle in Time with its description of traveling through time and space and pondering's on consciousness. Billy begins to understand how the wand works and that there are dark forces out there who want to acquire the wand. Somehow, I was expecting more action during the second half of the story, maybe building up to a climax. Instead, it was a mixture of setting up a rescue mission with Suzy's father for solider's who were kidnapped and the humorous ways in which Billy uses the magic wand to exact a little retribution on the boys who bullied him. Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand is not a story for someone looking for a quick read. Instead, it provides an intriguing mixture of science and magic that would appeal to that middle grade reader who wants something a little more complex, filled with contemplation, magic and science.
1st Prize- *signed* copy of Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand
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About the Author:
R.S. Mellette has written, directed, designed and acted in theater, film, television, and publishing for over 30 years. His credits in various jobs include XENA: Warrior Princess, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Blue Crush, and his own JACKS OR BETTER, which won Dances With Films Best Screenplay award in 2000. He has been working with the festival ever since. His novel, Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand, was published in December 2014 from Elephant's Bookshelf Press. For novelists, Mellette blogs for From The Write Angle. For filmmakers, he writes for Dances With Blogs.
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