When it comes to flatulence, author Trayner Bane, knows his gas with an amusing and thought-provoking fantasy world that runs on stuff (the internal kind), sure to enthrall children and adults alike. But the story isn’t just about gas… it carries with it a message about acceptance, bravery, and how you treat people around you. It’s a message that has the power to reach its audience carried on the sweet fragrance of the author’s sense of humor.
The BeWes live in the Land of Windhollows. Beanies, bean-shaped and yellow, absorb the Essence of PU2 and exude U2; while the Weanies, are, not surprisingly, shaped like hot dogs, absorb U2 and exude PU2. So these two beings exist in perfect symbiosis. Only the abnormal Bare Pants disrupt this harmony; pale and unproductive, lacking strong essence, they are objects of general scorn.
Former Bare Pants-er, Rip Stinker, seeks revenge on those who bullied him, using a device called a FAART (Flatulence Amassing and Release Tool) to extract the essence of nine newborn babies, transforming them into Bare Pants and causing their grief-stricken parents to disown them. Only one, Billy Molskin, will be raised at home; Billy’s father, secretly ridden with guilt about his former treatment of Stinker, is determined to nurture his little boy despite the challenging complications.
As Billy grows up, he has no friends and suffers constant taunting and insults. But one day he discovers the other eight children whose essence, like his, was robbed by Stinker. The Bare Pants buddies take the vow of TUTE (“Together to the End”). All is rosy for a while; Billy even finds a girlfriend, Skylar, among his newfound companions. Then the still-enraged Stinker hunts them down, offering to use FAART essence, Ripinum, to give them special powers like his. Billy alone refuses and must abandon–or save–his deluded buddies and his darling Skylar.
Bane’s Air of Vengeance is filled with a constant barrage of jokes about yucky smells, edible ear wax, poop, and flatulence: in fact, there’s a region in the Land of Windhollows called the Flatchu Lands. Stinker has a sidekick called Pootrick, and anything great is “tootacular.” This is just the kind of harmlessly naughty wordplay that will appeal to youngsters (and some oldsters). The well-plotted story raises, without pushing, some real issues for young people to consider, such as how to treat people who are different, how loving parents can cherish a “different” child, and how teasing and bullying can distort someone into a hate-filled monster.
Air of Vengeance: Windhollows is the first book in the Windhollows series and comes in an Ultimate Art Edition that includes full-page colorful art panels at the end of each chapter.