Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Dr. Dredd’s Wagon of Wonders by Bill Brittain

When a stranger and his wagon of wonders rolls into a town, the locals turn up to see what curious things he has brought to show them. However, the last thing they expected was for him to have a boy who can bring rain to their drought-stricken town. As the stranger seeks to take advantage of the town’s need and demand an unusual payment in return for giving them rain, his scheme is tested when the boy who can bring rain escapes and seeks refuge in the town from his cruel master. If the town dares to protect this innocent boy, they will face the wrath of the stranger’s dark sorcery.

The writing in this odd book is pretty good for a children’s series, and it uses an unconventional point of view arrangement to tell the story. The story itself is elevated a bit above the usual formulaic children’s series installment by some original touches, though it harms itself with an illogical occurrence towards the end and some political correctness. Readers who are particularly fond of scary or fantastical stories might enjoy it despite its flaws. While I found this book interesting to read, it wasn't good enough to make me want to seek out other books in the series.

Aside from the mild violence and scariness one would expect from a dark fantastical novel for young readers, the only content of note is the high level of magical use. A witch is portrayed positively, but there is no hint of where she and other good mystics get their power. However, it is made clear that the villain’s power is from the devil. Christianity is portrayed positively, though generically, but unfortunately no one in the book sees anything wrong with mixing witchcraft and Christianity.


  1. This sounds... interesting. I've never heard of the book, but the review has me curious enough that if I found a very cheap copy somewhere, I might pick it up. ;) Thank you for the review, Jonathan!