Rebecca Moesta & Kevin J. Anderson
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson bring us the first exciting adventure in a fast-paced new series for teens,
. Gwen and Vic Pierce are cousins, who have both lived with Vic's scientist father Cap since Gwen's parents died in a car accident two years before (Vic's mother disappeared a week later). The twin dads (both historical archeologists) met their exotic wives (Kyara and Fyera) together while on a dig in the Yucatan Peninsula.
wen and Vic play off each other nicely. He's impulsive and hyperactive, while she works through problems logically, counting considerations off on her fingers (a habit for which Vic teases her unmercifully). We first meet them on an excursion with Cap to Ocean Kingdoms. However, the trip is cut short after Gwen is
to feed the killer whale and it (uncharacteristically) tries to take a bite out of her instead. Cap immediately rushes them home and announces he'll be getting them up early the next morning for a trip.
hey get up before dawn, finding Cap repositioning massive clusters of crystals in the solarium. But when they step into the network, it activates, sending them to another world - without Cap. They're on the island of Elantya, '
a gathering place for scholars from far-flung worlds
', where things operate via an intriguing mix of science and sorcery. The telepathic Lyssandra teaches them to communicate, and they quickly befriend Ali el Sharif (a student with his own flying carpet), and together Ali and Vic rescue Tiaret, a new arrival whose ship was attacked by merlons.
t turns out that Elantya is under siege by undersea inhabitants of this water world, influenced by a dark sage, Azric. He used Blood Magic to conquer worlds, and was only stopped when the bright sages locked the crystal doors between worlds in the Great Closure. Now Azric plots to undo their work, unleash his immortal armies and resume his domination of all the worlds. The cousins and their new friends help foil further attacks on the island and at sea, uncover a traitor on Elantya itself, discover that the medallions their mothers gave them are surprisingly powerful, and learn that they are prophesied
is a thrilling, imaginative beginning to what looks like a great new series - to be continued in Book 2,
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