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WUFTOOM by Mary G. Thompson


by Mary G. Thompson

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-63724-2
Publisher: Clarion

In this unfulfilling fable, a young boy transforms into a worm and is thrust into a war against his will.

Evan has been bedridden for two years with a disease that has caused him to become sensitive to light and his limbs to fuse. No doctor can cure him, because he’s changing into a large grub called a Wuftoom. As he transforms, Evan is torn between the Wuftoom and their sworn enemies, the giant Vitflys, who want Evan to act as their spy among the worms. Once in their underground sewer camp, Evan must decide whether to betray the Wuftoom in order to save his mother, who is being held hostage by the Vitflys. While the unusual premise initially intrigues, Thompson’s earnest tone quickly wears thin, and her worldbuilding is unconvincing. The origins of the Wuftoom are given scant explanation: “We have lived since the earliest men came to this place. No one knows how the first one appeared. But we spread through the greed of men.” The legions of Wuftoom are mostly indistinguishable, and the rather tepid ending is equally disappointing. It’s unclear if the author meant to pen a Metamorphosis for kids or a creepy horror story, but the resulting novel doesn’t work as either.

Squash this worm. (Fantasy. 12 & up)