“It’s like discovering the Harry Potter of technology, before everyone else”
This young adult series is written and layered for the mature reader. Set in a world at the equivalent of the 1800s, the various kingdoms and nations are rapidly approaching a technological revolution brought about by key inventors who are integral to the story.
Along Came a Wolf (Book 1) follows Tee, Elly and Richy who come together as a heroic team when a foe from Nikolas Klaus’ secret society past sends an agent to retrieve the steam engine plans. Will Nikolas’ secrets cost him the life of his granddaughter?
Fairy-tale elements are incorporated as if they were real, in a similar fashion to how Ring-Around-the-Rosie was about the black plague. For example, Master Inventor Nikolas Klaus is a combination of the Santa Claus myth and Nikolas Tesla. These elements are present to enrich the background of story.
A few months back I wrote a blog about how getting a good review doesn’t just depend on writing a good book, or even getting that book to the right reader, but also requiring that reader to be in a receptive mood. I’ve had Along Came a Wolf on my Kindle for quite a while after connecting with Adam Dreece on Twitter. Adam is one of life’s good guys, always helpful, always encouraging, he’s built a great following for his stories by doing things the right way: engaging with his readership and working very hard. Because of this I wanted to give Adam’s book a go but for whatever reason I just couldn’t get into the book. At the time I was deep into writing what would become Absent Souls and mentally my head was in a much darker world than the one Adam had created. Still, I recognised it was a good, well written story so recently decided to have another go. I’m glad I did.
In Along Came a Wolf, Adam Dreece has written a great children’s book full of adventure, high jinx and bravery in the very best traditions of the Famous Five and the books of Roald Dahl. The story is set in a very believable, fictional world where the technology many science fiction fans would recognise as Steampunk is in its infancy and inventors are king.
The story is very loosely based around the three little pigs, only instead of a wolf we have the dastardly Andre Leloup, who has come to steal top secret plans from the master inventor Nicholas Klaus, only to be confronted by the Yellow Hoods – Klaus’s granddaughter Tee and her friends Richy and Elly – who decide to do something about it.
This is a cleverly written, rich children’s story, interweaving classic fairy tales into this unique setting to deliver something both recognisable and very, very new. For those of us a little older, it’s great fun seeing Dreece subtly reveal the various inspirations for his characters, until you find yourself second guessing whenever a new character appears.
In Tee, Dreece has created a clever, stubborn and ingenious lead character who beats her enemies using quick thinking and the help of her friends. The Yellowhoods face their foes with optimism and excitement and always believe they will win, and throughout the book there is a feeling of excitement and adventure, taking those of us a little older than we once were back to the fun and games of our youth, whether in the thrill of riding a sail-cart or the joy in developing plans to bring down our enemies.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes their adventures innocent, their heroes plucky and their villains just the right side of scary.
To buy Along Came a Wolf from Amazon.co.uk click here
To buy Along Came a Wolf from Amazon.com click here
Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.