Thursday, February 12, 2015

Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand Review

Today I'm reviewing Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand by R.S. Mellette.  It's an upper middle grade, lower young adult sci-fi adventure novel with a dash of fantasy.  There's also a Rafflecopter giveaway at the end, so be sure to check it out after the review.  But first, let's take a peek at the book blurb.


Check out the tour page for more information.

About the Book:
Billy Bobble Version 4"E = mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is."
 Twelve-year-old Billy and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal, wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things – good and bad – are possible.

 Amazon | Goodreads 

         The Review    

Billy Bobble is a twelve year old genius who’s a freshman in high school. His best friend is Suzy, another twelve year old genius who attends the same school. Together, they invent a magic wand that breaks the relationship between space and time, allowing them to make anything happen, provided they can imagine it correctly. And that isn’t always easy when you’re busy navigating through the perils of high school bullies, a coven of witches, and army generals. As you might expect, disastrous things can, and do, happen throughout the story.

I found the story to be an inventive attempt to mix science and magic. Although the explanations had some weak spots, overall it was more than enough to feel right for this type of story. The first section of the book is told from Suzy’s point of view. Billy has disappeared after an explosion at their school and the police want to know why. But after Billy returns from the Quantum world, it becomes his story for the rest of the book.

What I liked most. The sense of humor was the biggest draw for me. Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor can be found sprinkled throughout the book, much of it involving pop culture references. I also enjoyed the witty dialogue between Billy and Suzy, the humor and sarcasm often belying their age.

What I didn’t like. I thought some of the explanations of how the physics worked might have been too long and involved for most middle grade readers. Remember how mysterious and fun The Force was in Star Wars before Lucas started trying to explain it with midichlorians? Sometimes it’s better to resist the urge to explain than run the risk of ruining the magic (pun not intended) of the story.

I was also disappointed with Billy having no father and his mother being an out of touch schizophrenic. While this allowed Billy plenty of freedom to do what he wanted (which is why roughly 99.999% of MG and YA fantasy books seem to have one or more parents missing in action), I’m always hoping authors will work harder to find ways to write these kinds of stories with relatively normal parents. But that’s a small nit to pick, I suppose. Why change what works?

In summary, I enjoyed the book, although the level of humor often seemed more aimed at adults than at middle graders. Not that kids won’t enjoy the story, but don’t be surprised if some of the jokes and references go over their heads.  But that's okay, since I suspect some of the adults in the house will want to read this book too.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an  honest review.

     My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 About the Author: 

R.S. Mellette has written, directed, designed and acted in theatre, film, television, and publishing for over 30 years. His credits in various jobs include XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, BLUE CRUSH, and his own JACKS OR BETTER, which won Dances With Films Best Screenplay award in 2000. He has been working with the festival ever since.
His novel, Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand, released in December 2014 from Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. For novelists, Mellette blogs for From The Write Angle. For filmmakers, he writes for Dances With Films.
 Also find him on AmazonGoodreadsTwitter and Facebook.

1st Prize- *signed* copy of Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand
2nd Prize- Season two of Xena: Warrior Princess
Open to US only
Ends 2/25/15
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


  1. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for taking the time to read my book and post your thoughts.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop and sharing your thoughts about the book!