Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Erec Rex and the Secret of Ashona Review
Title: Erec Rex and the Secret of Ashona
(Erec Rex Series #5)
Author: Kaza Kingsley
Price: $16.99 ($12.74-Amazon)
Rating: 4 out of 5/ A Good Long Wee
I have spent my career trying to warn others about the risks of reading. Evil librarians, sinister books sellers and dark stone hallways are all part of the dangers that only the bravest of readers choose to face. Today I am hiding on one of the beams in an undisclosed triangular structure to warn you of yet another peril that lurks in the shadows to trap the unsuspecting...a tome's contract. Whenever you are reading a book you have essentially signed a dangerous deal. You exchange your time and often hard earned money, and in return the author will attempt to transport you from your boring moment into their presumably more exciting imagination. If the author is skilled enough a reader can completely forget their own world (not always a good thing). But if the author is in over their head they can leave the reader scarred and brain dead, drooling in a corner (always a bad thing). This is why reading a book should never be taken lightly, and it's why readers deserve more respect for being the daredevils they are. If only I had been more wise before reading The Secret of Ashona. But I carelessly signed that contract and was transported body and soul to what I can only assume was some kind of acid trip. If I had been more careful I could have prevented my current dire circumstance; because now I'm quite afraid I'm addicted.
What do you like in your children's stories? Maybe some magic, adventure, even a touch of Greek Mythology? Or perhaps you'd like some Nazis', suicide, child sacrifices, soul stealing, mind control, eyeball theft, the conquest of Russia, or just simply a few very angry man-eating animals. Instead of making you choose between so many great options Kaza Kingsley has generously decided to just include everything into one book. Erec Rex is either the luckiest or unluckiest child in the history of the universe. As future king of a magical realm his enemies are relentless in seeking his demise, and strangely enough seem to succeed fairly often. Erec has been assassinated no less than three times but always seems to be able to find a loophole back to life. Unfortunately this last time he forgot to bring his soul back with him. And as we all know already, a soulless person is condemned to spend eternity in hell with an angry bull and his posse of evil cranes. Erec must discover a way to escape hell, regain his soul, and stop WWIII on Earth. (that's right I said WWIII, I told you this book had everything)
There's honestly not much to complain about the book other than perhaps silliness. The story is exceedingly strange and won't appeal to everyone. If your the kind of nerd who enjoys their fantasies with an anchor in logic than this book will prove to be the end of you. Instead it must be approached as an Alice in Wonderland experience, where the reader simply told to enjoy the ride without asking too many questions. If anything I would like to see Kingsley put a little more development on the sidekicks as they seem to just follow the main character around rather than put their own influence on the story. One final drawback is that the story can not stand alone as it's own tale but seems to rely heavily on previous books to establish the location and characters.
If your looking for originality and imaginative wonder than this series is perhaps one of the best currently on the market. Rather than cater to one of the already well established niche markets (ie: wizards, greek mythology, vampires ect.) Kingsley has decided to simply add everything into her world. When I say everything, I really mean everything plus the kitchen sink (which ironically has it's own personal role in this book). The characters are vibrant, the world well described and colorful, and the dialog feels fresh and natural. Kids will easily slide into this strange world and the young at heart should find the unique humor a breath of fresh air.
I have loved the world of Erec Rex for years and I'm glad to see that Kingsley has been able to keep up the momentum even after 5 installments. The Secret of Ashona get a 4 out of 5/ or a good long wee. Kingsley credits her stories and vivid imagination to her chronic nightmares so all I can say is prepare yourself before signing this particular contract because once started there is no going back. Perhaps you would prefer a safer option such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Spot the Puppy?
Picture Reference: http://erecrex.wikia.com/wiki/The_Secret_of_Ashona