Erec Rex (nice name) is not even attempting to be just like your average, ordinary kid. He's twelve years old, acts normal, but lives with his adopted mother in a cramped house-- so cramped he doesn't even gett a bedroom to share. He also has a glass eye that he's had as long as he can remember that doesn't match. His hair is part straight, part curly. Okay, so that's a little strange, but normal.
One day, however, his mother gets kidnapped, and Erec is told by a "cloudy thought", or one of his unusual premonitions, to go after her. He runs into a girl named Bethany who may know where his mother went. Together they get chased...
...into the sidewalk.
They soon find themselves in a world that's hidden right under (or above, as the case may be) our very noses. Alypium is a wondrous place, filled with little touches of genius-- my favorite was called an Inquizzle, a ball that answers a yes/no question. No sooner does the reader begin to ponder how the author came up with all of this than Erec is whisked off to take part in a tournament to decide who the future king will be. And Erec is beginning to uncover some secrets about his past that suggest he is not at all who we think he is. We, the reader, are taken along with Erec on a thrill ride we won't soon forget.
I really, really enjoyed this book, as well as its sequel, The Monsters of Otherness (review coming soon). Kaza Kingsley's loosely mythology-based world is full of all of the little details that made Harry Potter great. But the boy wizard's reign is over. Long live Erec Rex, and his wonderfully original tale of the magic that lies hidden beneath our feet.
The best part? There are going to be eight of these books.