In the Land of the Penny Gnomes by Wesley T Allen - Book Review

In the Land of the Penny Gnomes by Wesley T Allen - Book Review

Write on: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 by  in SPFBO Reviews 4183 comments Read 72938

In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes

Blurb: “HEY KID, wake up.”

That’s how Will’s adventure began. The next thing he knew he’d fallen through a mysterious coin slot in his floor and landed in The Realm, where people like him were not supposed to be. Confused, angry, and a bit bewildered by the unhinged behavior of the Penny Gnomes – Will found himself in a land at war with a rampaging horde of camouflaged lawyers. To make matters worse Will was supposed to be the key to saving The Realm, disbarring the lawyers, and putting imagination back on the right track.

All he had in his corner was a voice in his head, a professor of Applied Imagination, and a grumpy Penny Gnome named Bug. Narrative had the horde right where it wanted them. 

This is my last review for the first round of SPFBO19. In the Land of the Penny Gnomes was a quaint read. It had more of a middle grade feel to it (I didn't see where it was marketed as such), and not really up my alley. However, there were a few things I found enjoyable. Will, the main character, had a voice in his head called "The Narrator", and the story was interspersed with humorous footnotes (which can be read kind of like this parenthetical thought). It was a clever idea and worked well in the story. I also enjoyed the nitpicking between two married gnomes (Bug and Sindy) and the way they interacted. 

The story as a whole was definitely more childlike and simplistic. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but the writing style wasn't my favorite. Will was referred to as "kid" literally hundreds of times, and it got grating. I think the author was going for more of a humorous tale, but there was far too much telling and not enough showing. I chuckled a few times, but it was mostly at the footnotes. After awhile, I just wanted to finish the book to get it over with, not because I was invested in the story or characters. 

I think younger audiences will enjoy this, however. I can definitely see myself liking it in middle school. Congrats to the author for completing a novel. No easy task. Perhaps marketing it as MG fantasy more explicitly would hit the right target audience. Good luck!!!!

Last modified on Monday, 30 September 2019 08:56

By day Janelle is a nurse, mother to two autistic sons, and writer. By night, she's immersed in other worlds. Reading fantasy is her happy place. And drinking wine. And eating tacos. 

Grab her flintlock fantasy series The Rodasia Chronicles, or her epic fantasy series The Steward Saga on Amazon.


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