Michael Henry’s adventures continue in O’Brien’s (The Land of Whoo, 2012) latest installment of his series.
Michael Henry and his friend Savannah have returned to Earth after their adventures in the Land of Whoo; they’re hoping for a peaceful summer vacation. But when Michael Henry receives an urgent call for help from King Vincent of the Land of Coral Seas, he realizes that, as the bearer of the powerful Medallion, he must help the king. King Vincent’s daughter Ariana has been kidnapped by the Wizard of Pisode, who demands that the king renounce his throne. Ariana has been locked in a cave at the end of a booby-trapped maze. Unless Michael Henry can rescue her within three weeks, the cave will flood, and the princess will drown. Michael Henry must also deal with the wizard’s pirate allies, led by the traitorous Capt. Sturges. To save the princess and defeat the king’s adversaries, Michael Henry assembles his team of friends from Earth and the Land of Whoo and brings them to the Land of Coral Seas. While O’Brien’s work still shows a few rough edges, this book is considerably more sophisticated than his last. He digs deeper into his returning characters and presents them with far more depth and interest. He also throws them into situations where they must make difficult decisions—including one or two points where there is no clear right answer. The result is a realistic and appealing installment of the series. O’Brien’s occasionally odd word choices are a bit distracting; for example, “contingency” and “contingent” are used interchangeably. On the whole, however, this tale is not only entertaining, it breaks the mold of teenage wizard stories.
A sequel that improves upon the original; worth reading.