The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple (:01 First Second, Sept. 2014). $19.99, ISBN: 9781596434219
Recommended for ages 14+
In a dystopian future, adolescence is terrifying. Only the kids are safe – adults live in fear of the Shadowsmen, a group of mindless monsters who hunt down teenagers and attack them with horrifying, tentacular fingers that penetrate their minds and leave them changed – walking nightmares. The Wrenchies, a gang of kids who band together against the Shadowmen, meet Hollis, a sad, lonely boy who has a charm of sorts that allows him access to the Wrenchies’ world, a parallel universe from his. The story also includes a subplot with a man named Sherwood, who is somehow tied to both of these universes and to the Shadowmen.
I didn’t love the Wrenchies – more often than not, I was lost as to what was going on. It took me a good part of the book to realize that there was a parallel universe, and I never really felt that I “got” the entire story. I just didn’t connect with it, nor did I connect with Dalrymple’s style of art. This would be a great read for a teen/YA post-apocalyptic fan who prefers a less linear storyline. There’s violence and language aplenty, which may give some parents pause – it wasn’t an issue for me, but my younger ones don’t usually seek these types of books out.