Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Pages/Word Count: 154 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: After fifteen-year-old Tuck finds a Maya artifact while on vacation in Guatemala, his whole life changes. To his surprise, he discovers he can make it rain and snow. A local weatherman happens to be around when Tuck creates a waterspout near his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and the next thing he knows, someone from the Department of Homeland Security is picking him up at school and taking him to their offices in Orlando. From there, things only get weirder and more dangerous when he’s escorted to Washington, D.C.
With help from friends and family, Tuck tries to outwit government agents while staying one step ahead of the mysterious Rafe Castillo, the man assigned to ride herd on him. Tuck has an amazing opportunity to reverse the effects of climate change… but only if he stays alive long enough to do it.
Review: Author Theo Fenraven takes a foray into the young adult category with the latest release, Weatherboy, and I, for one, am heartily glad he did! If you are reluctant to take on this sharp and intelligently laid out novel due to its YA label, do yourself a favor and put aside any misgivings right now. With a plot line that is packed with exciting and thought provoking twists and turns, and a main character who tugs just a bit at your heart strings, this is one action packed story you will not want to miss.
Tuck brought back more than he bargained for from his vacation to Guatemala. Unknowingly, he has returned with an artifact so powerful that it gives him the power to control the weather. Before he is able to even comprehend his own depth of power, the local weatherman catches sight of him testing his abilities, and suddenly the Government is knocking at his door. Within days the life Tuck knew as a high school student is gone, and he is not much more than a guinea pig that his captors both study and fear. But he is also growing in power, and the real question becomes will Tuck be able to control not just the weather but his emotions as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed the flow of this story. It was swift, action-packed and while the warnings about the reality of climate change and our inability to fix the damage we have done were not subtle, they most certainly rang with truth and sincerity. Tuck was on the cusp of so many things. Turning sixteen as the novel progressed, dealing with coming out to his friends and family, and then being wrenched from their protective grasp made him a dynamic and believable character. I appreciated that even those around him who would eventually decide his fate were allowed some shreds of decency—hesitating when it was clear that Tuck may be made to suffer if all did not go according to plan. It made what appeared first as men who were nothing more than governmental thugs to be more rounded and real—and compassionate to an extent. But the idea of a power so great as to control drought and monsoon was always the overriding factor in this novel, and the reality of how small people are churned up by a power glutted government was front and center.
This was a clever story with lots of warning bells and whistles attached to it. But again, never heavy handed, rather continually prodding at us to move, be less complacent and more effective at having our voices heard. Tuck embodied that spirit within each of us that refuses to lie down and accept the status quo. Perhaps the only negative I saw about this novel was that I felt his parents were a bit too accepting of their son being taken away from them. That was just a bit too contrived for me. I felt that they should have at least attempted to fight for his return rather than lie down and follow what they were told. However, that was minor and otherwise, this novel would have been a slam-dunk for a five star rating.
Weatherboy is a great addition to the YA genre, and I sincerely hope that Theo Fenraven writes more stories such as this!
You can buy Weatherboy here: