White teenage cousins discover that they have four days to reconstitute a magic shield that will save Earth from fiery destruction. First stop: ancient Greece.
The pseudonymous co-authors assemble tried-and-true, which is to say stock, elements into a plot-driven opener. When Trey and his gung-ho British cousin Samantha match up the halves of a disk dubbed the Heart of Light, they find themselves transported to a cave where they are immediately attacked by a harpy before just as suddenly snapping back to Trey’s basement. A wizardly figure appears to inform them that they are “Chosen Ones” tasked with finding the four long-hidden fragments of the Warrior’s Shield before an imminent “attack of the Dark.” They return to battle more harpies—or “winged filth” as the local satyrs repeatedly dub them—before tackling the “serpent woman” Medusa herself. Sam needs rescuing more than once by the boys, but her comically wild aggression (“I wanna kick some asp!”) both leaves the harpies in broken, bloody heaps and makes her a good match for cautious Trey, who recalls garbled bits of the legend of Perseus in time to snatch the Shield’s first piece and work an escape. De la Rue contributes occasional ink drawings that depict the skinny young heroes in battle with ragged mythological horrors; the author appends a follow-up miniquiz for “Greek Geeks.”
Uncomplicated gateway fare for readers still working up to Percy Jackson or Jane Yolen’s Young Heroes series. (Fantasy. 8-10)