A 10-year-old boy from another planet time-travels around Earth as he tries to track down his missing parents.
The novel opens with Orion Spence awakening after his airship crashes in Antarctica and he can’t find his parents. It’s an enticing beginning that slowly unveils the true circumstances of Orion’s situation. He and his parents come from the island of Patalosh on the planet Lumina. They learned to journey through time and have settled on Earth, allowing Orion to make friends across countries and centuries as they navigate the globe on the HMS Exploricus airship. What sounds like an adventurous life comes with a few problems: First, Orion is a “Non,” which means he doesn’t have any magic powers, unlike most of his fellow Taloshians. Second, the evil Emperor Daaggerd is holding Orion’s parents hostage, since they are the keepers of a book that contains all the good and evil spells in existence. It’s up to Orion, a Taloshian named Sir Karotene, a penguin and other friends they pick up along the way to trek to each of the seven continents and solve puzzles so they can retrieve keys to unlock the book before the Emperor can find them. Then he must locate and rescue his parents. It’s a well-trod good-vs.-evil plot, with numerous conventions from series like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, so readers can sense what’s coming. The writing is a little flat but easy for young readers to follow. It’s a quick read for fans of adventure—the time- and world-traveling components add a fun touch. The authors are also concerned with exercise and nutrition, which adds another educational aspect to the text.
Despite its conventionality, young fantasy fans will likely enjoy this novel and take away lessons about different cultures.