Walker Watson is a lonely eleven-year-old who keeps to himself because his classmates tease him about the star-shaped birthmark on his cheek. But he finds a companion in Eddie—short for Prince Edward the Soon-To-Be Terrible—who rises up from the underworld to persuade Walker to join him in the Nebula, a dark kingdom where his birthmark is a sign of royalty. The kingdom glows with light from a secret power supply called the Source, but the king is dying and can only pass on the secret of the Source to someone with the mark. Walker is hesitant to accept the challenge but when the Kingdom is threatened by the evil Warriors of the Black Shroud who wants to destroy the Source, he knows he is the only one who can help.
Oh I do love a good middle grade fantasy adventure and this one was pretty fun. It was quick and light so a welcome distraction from the long and emotional reads that I'm so used to reading.
This book has a little bit of a moral that won't be lost on the target audience as it tells the story of a boy who is bullied for his odd birthmark but to another group of people this birthmark is the mark of a hero, I liked knowing that this book, whilst fun and adventurous, had an underlying message.
I would have absolutely loved this book as a twelve, thirteen/fourteen year old, I mean I thoroughly enjoyed it as an 18 year old and I think I'm a few years above the target audience so this is a book that I'd definitely recommend to younger readers. The characters are fantastic and unique, from the bookish, shy Walker, a normal boy who develops into a hero to the adventurous and spunky Frankie, who accompanies on his journey, I loved the odd appearance from the aptly named Fussington and I really loved reading about these characters.
I don't think that there was a lot of emotion in the book and maybe that's because it;s aiming at a younger audience that don't really need emotion, just adventure and action and magic, but I did feel slightly disconnected from the story and teh world and a little emotion may have fixed that.
Overall, an exciting and fun story, I felt little emotion but did love the story and characters. One that I'd recommend to younger, pre-teen/middle grade readers!
Overall Rating: B
Book to be released January 31st by HarperCollins Childrens
Book received as an eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.