Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Otherworld Chronicles #1: The Invisible Tower by Nils Johnson-Shelton

The Invisible Tower (Otherworld Chronicles #1)My name is Kay Kingfisher. I am a competitive gamer, but I just found out my adopted brother is King Arthur, actually King Arthur II. Artie only discovered the truth after meeting Merlin in an amazing video game store. I was surprised when I found out about my little brother, but it's exciting to know I'm now the king's warrior! A spell was cast upon Merlin that imprisoned him in the store; he can't leave. Artie and I must retrieve Excaliber and locate a key that will free Merlin. One problem is the key is in the hand of the powerful Numinae; I mean, it's literally inside his hand! An even bigger problem is that Numinae works for Lady Morgaine, the woman who imprisoned Merlin. Morgaine has already sent a dragon to attack us, created tornadoes to destroy us, and she can see Excaliber anywhere in the Otherworld. Our world and the Otherworld must be reunited in order to survive, but Merlin is the only one who can do it. Our success rests with my little brother, King Arthur.

This book begins a series with another main character adjusting to newly-found powers. Artie's character has the added importance of being the king of two worlds. It's curious how the Otherworld mirrors our own world, although our world uses more science and the Otherworld uses more magic. However, the characters easily deal with both of them. Artie and his sister have knowledge of the setting after playing the Otherworld video game, and Artie even uses the game to explore and communicate with other characters. Excaliber magically gives him more information, so the plot doesn't spend a lot of time adjusting to the strange differences between the two worlds. Artie's dad finds out about the whole situation, and accepts it, while many/most books have kids sneaking around behind their parents' backs. I'm enjoying the smooth blend of unusual characters, and the conflict with Morgaine provides focus and tension to the series.

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