K2 is a seemingly unremarkable boy who does his best not to stand out. Izzabird, his twin, is smart, funny and chatty. Their family has a strange Magical history –
‘There’s nothing strange about US!’
but the twins are under strict instructions not to tell anyone.
The stepfather doesn’t suspect he married into such an interesting family. Neither does Theo, his intelligent and sporty son, or Mabel, his quiet and kind daughter.
The magical secrets are bound to get out, though, because the four older children are about to go on a rip-roaring adventure twenty gazillion miles away. Annipeck, their baby sister, has been kidnapped and they’re getting some family bonding time, whether they want it or not.
There’s nothing like an adventure to find out whether you are a Hero or not.
This book is chock full of illustrations that bring the human earflings and their out of this world adventure to life. There are some great chapter titles, like A Stranger Enters the Story and the Story Gets Stranger Still, that really drew me in.
The narrator addresses the reader but not often enough that it becomes annoying. I had some trouble deciphering a few of the words that accompanied the illustrations during the early chapters but didn’t have any problems with this once I got used to the handwriting.
There’s an environmental message and I witnessed some pretty impressive courageous acts. A number of characters were vying for the coveted title of Big Bad.
Amongst all of the arguments and chaos there was a surprise misty eyed moment that had me trying to figure out how to get myself grafted into the O’Hero-Smith family.
‘This is what being a family means.’
Thankfully this is the first in a new series. I absquo-lootely adore books where someone can say, ‘Something’s spooked the toothbrushes …’ and it makes perfect sense.
I have so many questions, including those raised by the story’s narrator. I’m looking forward to getting to know the Aunts better; they have the potential to be fabulously fun to follow around. I definitely need to borrow one of their vacuum cleaners.
The sky’s the limit here, with as many worlds to explore as the author can imagine. This book has given me a taste for what magic is possible but it’s clear we’ve only just scratched the surface.
Make sure to put your thinking cap on and spritz some Steri-gas on yourself before you step into this Otherworld.
Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
K2 O’Hero is a seemingly ordinary boy from a truly extraordinary family – he and his twin sister Izzabird have been sworn to keep their family’s history of magical explorers a secret. Not even their infuriating stepsiblings, Theo and Mable, know magic exists. They believe K2 to be the most hopeless person they have ever known.
But K2 has a secret gift.
He draws maps of worlds that are beyond the wildest of imaginations. Worlds with six hundred moons, burning rivers, armoured robots and dark, twisty jungles alive with cannibal plants who hunt by the smell of fear. But what K2 doesn’t know, is that the maps he draws are real. They are worlds beyond the world we know, and the maps he draws make up an Alternative Atlas showing the exact spot where the worlds cross.
K2 and his warring siblings are going to have to use this gift to cross over into another world on a daring rescue mission to save the one thing they agree on: their baby sister Annipeck who they all adore. And with a terrible beast and a petrifying robot assassin in their way, they must work together and learn how to be brave – because the future of their family is at stake …