Debut author Dorsey creates a world that’s equal parts fairy-tale dream and anime action drama.
Quinton Jackson is an average teenager, worried about bullies, his family, and a class field trip to the museum. Then a strange series of events involving his new digital camera, lawn mowing, and a backyard pond transports him to another world entirely. Unfortunately for Esse•Jenna, a Dream Deity, Quinton falls through his pond and into her life. Almost immediately, demonic creatures called mares attack them. In the course of the battle, Quinton ends up with Esse•Jenna’s magical scepter, Dragonvulge, and, after defeating the mares, they both quickly discover that Quinton is magically bonded to the weapon and can’t let it go. Esse•Jenna’s problems don’t end there, however: Boa-Bogg, the Soulless Viper, seeks the four Ghostly Image scepters, of which Dragonvulge is only one. If the demon finds the scepters before Quinton and Esse•Jenna do, nothing will stand between it and the conquest of both their worlds. The battle sequences splash liberally across the pages, replete with anime-like moves, weapons, and flowery names. Quirky characters abound as well, including a talking dog named Kalmekrazie; Batina, Queen of the Bat Mares; and Esse•Jenna’s annoying but sometimes-helpful sisters. Unfortunately, their oddness often gets in the way of them feeling real and genuine, and this is compounded by the teens’ often awkward phraseology. It’s less of an issue with the villains, though, who are generally far more cartoonish; they keep the plot humming along at a good pace, and the varied threats and combat keep things engaging. Although the narrative noticeably drags whenever Quinton or Esse•Jenna pauses to bemoan the injustice of his or her life, there’s still something universal in their teenage martyrdom.
Light, anime-inspired fun that can be awkward at times but still provides action-packed battle scenes and colorful villains.