Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lorijo Metz's YA Novel WHEELS Will Satisfy Hard Core Science Fiction Fans

I was contacted by author Lorijo Metz to review her YA book Wheels. I felt it was something I could get into because of the time travel aspect, plus author Metz even includes H.G. Wells as a fictional character within her storyline. Lead heroine McKenzie Wu is a VERY distant relative of Wells and the route that Lorijo Mets goes with her plot is believable. Wheels has a unique layout as far as the format that Mets writes in.

You have three different perspectives that I can speak of without spoiling the book such as McKenzie, Hayes, H.G. Wells, and Krumm the FBI agent who’s character is written in the form of interviews with many other characters. I have to hand it to Lorijo Mets for being able to manage her very large cast and manage to keep her story straight. It seemed like a big task while reading.



McKenzie Wu doesn’t know her great-great grandmother married an alien or that her great-great-great uncle is alive and systematically eliminating a race of beings on a tiny planet light years away—she has enough to worry about. Molecules keep rearranging themselves to suit her slightest wish, but only at the most inconvenient times. If that weren't enough, she’s been dreaming about an accident; one she’s had no memory of until now and, if true, means McKenzie is responsible for her mother’s death. 

When McKenzie stumbles upon a portal, transporting her and her friend Hayes to the tiny planet of Circanthos, she learns the inhabitants believe she is the “One” destined to save them from H.G. Wells, a name that sounds strangely familiar, and his Tsendi warriors. But while her newfound ability might give her superhero status back on Earth, halfway across the galaxy it’s commonplace—all Circanthians can particle-weave—and if they can’t stop H.G. Wells, what can she hope to do?

With the portal closed and no idea how to get home, McKenzie must learn to use a power she does not want and accept her mysterious past, or risk losing everything—her father’s love, her new alien friends and the boy.

WHEELS is a sci-fi adventure filled with mystery and romance—a coming-of-age tale that proves it takes more than super powers to save a planet.

McKenzie is the obvious heroine of the story. She is disabled and in a wheelchair and seems like a fun girl to be around. She is down to earth with a bit of shyness that I enjoyed seeing blossom throughout the book. For someone who has had to face challenges in her life on earth, seeing her in a totally different environment was entertaining. She doesn’t exactly have faith in herself at the beginning and when she realizes the power she’s had all along it’s fun to see her try and develop it. The description of particle weaving was interesting to me and because the reader is learning about it as McKenzie does, it’s never confusing.

Hayes is a fun guy to have around. He always has this flirty innocence around McKenzie that is very complimentary to their dialogue and maintains a good pace between them as they both discover how important they are to each other. I feel Hayes doesn’t come out strong until the end of the book. He serves a purpose at the beginning but shines more at the end because of his courage and his ability to back up McKenzie. He helps give the story an edge that gives the ending an adrenaline pushed pace that keeps you reading.

Before I go on I would like to mention my reading habits. I’m usually reading two or three books at a time. This may be the reason for my only complaint. There is a lot to take in with Wheels because of all the different things that pop out at you such as the chapters that are Krumm’s interviews, and then the different chapters from each characters perspective which I think was from three or four different characters. Then there was the language that the Circanthians speak. I got a pretty good idea of what they were saying depending on the phrasing but I was sometimes pulled out of the story either because of re-reading, or checking the glossary that Metz provides at the back of the book. Again this may have only been confusing at first because of my reading habits. Instead of reading two or three books at a time it seemed like five or more.

I think that Wheels is for the audience that can completely immerse themselves in a new world, like fans of Lord of The Rings and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Wheel’s transports readers to an entirely different planet with a unique language and particle weaving that would feed any imagination. I think Lorijo Metz has a large audience that her book can appeal to.     


  1. Hi Celine, Thanks for the wonderful review! It makes my day to know someone has read my book. Soooo, what was your song choice? (by the way, mine was the Magic Carpet Ride remix).


    1. Hey Lorijo, thanks for stopping by. My song pick was I Promise from When in Rome. I thought it was a good song for Hayes and McKenzie and their friendship that develops into something sweet. :D

    2. Wow, I just listened to this song. (I know, better late than never--right!) Great choice!


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