One day you are volunteering at the local zoo…you have just been at the batting cages with your friends…you just finished a Chinese food lunch…you hear some strange music and whoopsie…you look into a hippo’s mouth and you are in a totally different world. That, in a nutshell, is what happened to Jason. This new world has a blind king, a slew of characters who are so afraid of the evil emperor that they can scarcely move and a quest. And this quest is a doozy!!! Oh…almost forgot…there is another person who is now lost and or doomed in this world, Rachel. Together Rachel and Jason find themselves encountering amazing danger, performing amazing feats and eating totally weird and often slimy food in order to survive and get back to where they belong.

This was a fast paced interesting novel…not sure I loved it…there were a ton of weird unappetizing things all over the place in this tale. People who can be cut apart and put back together again, people with a seed on the back of their neck who can be killed and then the seed can be planted elsewhere and they can live again, people who are forced to live in horribly awful places in order to protect syllables in a word that when found will undo the evil emperor.

Yep…it is all about the word in this book…sort of…

I can see this book appealing to tons of betweener aged kids…there is enough squeamish and exciting stuff to really spark a reader’s attention. Again…it ended with a puzzle…a maddening puzzle and even though I didn’t love the book I liked it and will have to read the next two in this series.

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