This is a very fine Middle Grades read! Unusual schools, different worlds, and a plot that moves along at a rollicking pace make this a fun, fun read, and I look forward to exploring more of the 6 worlds in the future. I loved the idea of people from different worlds being chosen to serve in others. While the idea of guardians and portals has been done before, the author brings a fresh feel to this rendition and there is certainly no lack of surprises along the way.
For full disclosure, the rating is from my 10 year-old daughter, and the review’s from me with a few of her comments thrown in. My daughter wanted me to say that the story, while a bit ‘boyish’ was fun for girls too and she particularly enjoyed the character of Charla the mermaid-girl, who is strong and feisty and while she does wrong to start with, she makes up for it and turns out good in the end.
The writing is sound and strong throughout. I thought a weakness might be that there’s a bit of a plot dump toward the end as we learn about Ben’s heritage, and the family situation seemed to be resolved a little too easily – maybe I’m just being picky, but I might have saved some of this for another adventure. Nevertheless, for MG kids, this is an excellent, clean read with something to teach. Well recommended.