Meet the author you haven’t read


Ian Fertig

British novelist Chris Wooding has written adventurous, impressive stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Despite his talent, he is practically unheard of among high school students.

Ian Fertig, Staff Writer

Are you interested in astonishing tales of action and adventure? Do stories about demons, pirates, ghosts, or comic books that kidnap people sound intriguing? It’s time you met an author who is as talented as he is unacknowledged — Chris Wooding.

[Wooding’s] stories are exceptionally well-written and take place in alternate histories, fictional worlds full of magic, and versions of our world with some added fantasy elements.

— Staff Writer Ian Fertig

Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. If the name is any indication, Leicestershire is not the most eventful place to grow up, so Chris began writing to pass the time at a young age. He had written his first novel by the age of sixteen and it was published three years later. Throughout his career, Chris Wooding has published around a dozen novels, a few graphic novels, and two books that are a combination of both, in addition to writing for film and television.

Chris Wooding’s stories all share a common theme of being fantastic, in both uses of the word. His stories are exceptionally well-written and take place in alternate histories, fictional worlds full of magic, and versions of our world with some added fantasy elements. Half of his novels are written for adults and the other half are written for young adults, so high school students will be able to enjoy any and all of his works. His unique genre of writing blends fantasy, comedy, adventure, and science fiction.

As an author, Wooding’s greatest strengths are the development of his characters, his talent for creating a suspenseful, action-packed story, and his ability to introduce and explain his complex fantasy worlds. When reading a Wooding novel, especially one that takes place in an entirely fictitious universe, readers should have no trouble building a mental picture of what that world is like. Its people, customs, geography, inhuman creatures (if any), and magical elements (if any) are all explained without dumping information on the reader all at once or resorting to letting the back of the book do the explaining.

For any story to work, the characters need to be likeable and the plot has to be interesting. Wooding exceeds at both of these tasks whenever he writes. As all great authors do, he creates characters that feel as real as the people you know in your own life. The events of his stories keep the pace high and each chapter as interesting as the last.

The best place to start for anyone interested in reading Chris Wooding are with the “Tales of the Ketty Jay.” A collection of four novels centered around a loveable pirate crew of misfits in a steampunk world. It’s “Treasure Planet” with World War II-inspired aerial dogfights, “Pirates of the Caribbean” inspired gunfights, a motley crew of wisecracking screwups, and a hearty dose of the dark and demonic, it’s absolutely delightful. Everything about these stories, which begin with “Retribution Falls” and end with “The Ace of Skulls,” demands readers’ attention with an endless supply of jokes, twists, action, and suspense. Readers are guaranteed to fall in love with the incredible cast of characters, from the drunken doctor to the cowardly scared-of-the-ship’s-cat pilot.

Some other notable works by Chris Wooding include: The “Malice” series, two young adult half-novel, half-comic books about a comic book that takes its readers inside a deadly world run by an all-powerful sociopath. “Silver,” a quick-paced siege thriller about a private school overrun by evil self-replicating robots. “Storm Thief,” a novel where reality is subject to change by a Probability Storm at any moment, and nothing and no one can avoid the storm’s power.

Chris Wooding is hilarious, sarcastic, talented, brilliant, and wholly unheard of on this side of the Atlantic. His novels are packed with adventure, and his characters are fresh and real. Readers with any appetite for a great story will be happy to devour his stories from cover to cover.