Erec Rex is no ordinary twelve-year-old boy. He has a powerful inborn magical gift that helps him save other people's lives; and one of his eyes is fused with a dragon's eye! More importantly, Erec has begun the journey to becoming one of the future rulers of the Kingdoms of the Keepers of magic.
Erec must go on twelve quests before he is crowned the king of the magical realm of Alypium. These quests are not contests to win in order to become king, but situations that need Erec's fixing. From these quests Erec will gain the knowledge and power he needs to be king. The Monsters of Otherness is about Erec's first two quests. He must save the dragon hatchlings of the wilds of Otherness. And he must stop the monsters in Otherness.
This second installment in the Erec Rex series is funnier and deeper than the first. The Monsters of Otherness has more humor and explores more serious themes, such as trust, self-sacrifice, politics, prejudice, discrimination, and justice. I also think this installment is better because it uncovers some of the secrets from the first, but also introduces new mysteries. The plot thickens in The Monsters of Otherness, and you all know how much I love complex plots. ;)
I continue to wonder at Ms. Kingsley's imagination! There's the brilliant "ten years earlier" section that serves as the epilogue of the book. And more fun things like pet vending machines (put in a couple of coins for a cute hamster or rabbit!); chocolate rain (be careful of the bugs that get in with the rain); a dancing coat rack; a memory mogul; and cyclopes, hydras, trolls, and valkyries like you've never heard of before!
The Monsters of Otherness has its flaws - just like every other book. Its author has her weaknesses - just like every other writer. But I will not dwell on any shortcomings because 1) I always try to focus on what is happy and hopeful :P and 2) the bottomline is: The deeper I get into the Erec Rex story, the more I think about it and the more I analyze it, the more I like it! :)
If you are looking for a light, but engrossing read, I recommend the Erec Rex series. Readers young and young at heart will enjoy this series because it is COOL.
"I just do what I have to... We do what is right. We don't have a choice."
- quote from The Monsters of Otherness