The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple | Book ReviewThe Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
Published by Macmillan on 2014-07-15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sherwood and Orson should never have gone into that cave.That day, a door was opened from our world into a dark and profane realm...and earth's destiny was changed forever. In this demented future, whatever life remains on earth is oppressed by the evil shadowsmen. Only a gang of ruthless and powerful children called the Wrenchies can hope to stand against them. When Hollis, a lonely boy from our world, is magically given access to the future world of the Wrenchies, he finally finds a place he belongs. But it is not an easy world to live in, and Hollis's quest is bigger than he ever dreamed of.Farel Dalrymple brings his literary and artistic powers to bear in this sprawling science fiction graphic novel about regret, obsession, and the uncertainty of growing up.

Why Did I Read This Book?

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple appealed to me because I am the exact sort of person who loves books about ragtag gangs of children who rise up against villainy. What compounded my interested even more was the fact that this book is a graphic novels and I will forever and always love comics. My experience with The Wrenchies, however, comes down to a rather strong case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ as the reviews for it are relatively fantastic, but personally, I did not gel with this book as I had hoped to.

What’s The Story Here?

Dalrymple’s The Wrenchies opens up with two brothers wandering into a cave that they never should have wandered into. Orson and Sherwood go through this cave and end up in another world where there are shadowmen who are the stuff of nightmares. Orson finds a sword and wields it to chop the shadowman down. Sherwood, on the other hand, finds an amulet and ends up seeing all sorts of evil things. Somehow, the two brothers get separated. Sherwood ends up in the future and is desperate to save it. And so, The Wrenchies follows Sherwood’s vision of adulthood and of this dystopian world where children rule and adults end up possessed. Meanwhile, there’s this gang of children called The Wrenchies who fight the shadowmen and do their best to survive in a harsh world. The children find themselves looking for a man who calls himself the Scientist, because the Scientist might just be the key to saving the world. Meanwhile, there’s another kid named Hollis who lives in the apartment complex next door to Sherwood. One day, Sherwood tosses superhero-costumed Hollis his amulet, thus sucking Hollis into the world of the Wrenchies, and allowing Hollis to live out his dream of being a superhero.

Did I “Get” This Book?

Unfortunately, the messages and ideas within The Wrenchies went completely over my head. That’s why I say, it’s not you, book, it’s me. Now, I read my fair share of comic books and graphic novels. I do not read my fair share of literary books with grand ideas and such. I am out of practice with books that say THINGS, if you know what I mean. So, I didn’t get The Wrenchies. I know that it’s supposed to be a hero quest sort of book about depression and growing up and childhood. But, I don’t know. I did not understand a lot of what was happening. The motivations of the different characters was confusing to me. The world within Wrenchies was also confusing. I think that people who enjoy cerebral reads, however, will love The Wrenchies. There’s a lot to be analyzed and talked about and deconstructed within Dalrymple’s book.

How’s The Art?

One thing that I actually really loved about The Wrenchies were the illustrations. The art within is full of movement, yet it’s easy to follow. The graphic novel is fully colorized and makes full use of muted colors. I liked how it was muted because the world within The Wrenchies is not a bright and happy world, so the color palette of the book reflects that. The illustrations are finely detailed. The characters are drawn in a rounded style as opposed to an angular style. There’s a few panels where the background is absolutely striking. Overall, I loved the way this graphic novel was drawn, if not the plot.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’m so intimidated by graphic novels, because I have zero experience with them. I was hoping The Wrenchies would be a simple, fun way to introduce myself to graphic novels! Darn! Any suggestions for what book I should start with?

  2. I’m going to look for this one. Like you I don’t read a lot of literary fiction so this might go over my head too. But I do want to try it. Sometimes I like deeper graphic novels.