Otherworld Chronicles #1: The Invisible Tower

( 6 )

Overview

Part of the spell has already been broken.

The first stones have begun to crumble.

In Artie Kingfisher’s world, wizards named Merlin, fire-breathing dragons, and swords called Excalibur exist only in legends and lore—until the day his video game Otherworld springs to life.

You are special, Arthur,

Says the ...

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Otherworld Chronicles #1: The Invisible Tower

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Overview

Part of the spell has already been broken.

The first stones have begun to crumble.

In Artie Kingfisher’s world, wizards named Merlin, fire-breathing dragons, and swords called Excalibur exist only in legends and lore—until the day his video game Otherworld springs to life.

You are special, Arthur,

Says the mysterious message in his game.

In one week’s time you will come to me at the it.

Cryptic clues lead Artie to a strange place called the Invisible Tower, where he discovers that nothing in his life is as it seems. Artie is none other than King Arthur, brought to life in the twenty-first century. Artie has won the battle in the virtual Otherworld—now the key to saving the real Otherworld lies in his hands as well.

Green dragons, hungry wolves, powerful sorcerers—suddenly Artie must battle them all as he wields Excalibur and embarks on a quest worthy of the Knights of the Round Table. With his sister, Kay, by his side, Artie steps into the Otherworld—straight toward his destiny.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“An entertaining quest fantasy, sprinkled with hints of hidden agendas, and juiced with enough creativity to carry readers happily into future episodes.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The draw here is the action, and there is plenty of that. As Artie dodges fire spells and enchanted swords, gamers will find themselves reaching for their controllers while they await the series’ next installment.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The draw here is the action, and there is plenty of that. As Artie dodges fire spells and enchanted swords, gamers will find themselves reaching for their controllers while they await the series’ next installment."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The draw here is the action, and there is plenty of that. As Artie dodges fire spells and enchanted swords, gamers will find themselves reaching for their controllers while they await the series’ next installment.”
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
Twelve-year-old Artie Kingfisher thought he was just an ordinary kid who loved to play video games. That is until a cryptic message sets off a chain of events leading Artie to the mysterious "M," who turns out to be none other than the legendary Merlin. Even more surprising is Merlin's revelation that Artie is in fact King Arthur reborn, and that the "Otherworld" of his favorite game is actually a parallel universe where magic exists. With the help of his sister Kay—video game extraordinaire and now a brave and skilled knight—and a variety of sword wielding accomplices including Tom Thumb, Lancelot, and Bedevere, Artie must reclaim Excalibur and free Merlin (currently imprisoned in an invisible tower disguised as a video game store) so that together they can save Otherworld and Earth from certain disaster. Johnson-Shelton's reinvented Arthurian legend is full of non-stop action, and nicely combines the modern world with the famous legend of the once and future king. An especially nice touch is Artie's right-hand man, who is actually a smart-talking, fearless dame. As might be expected from an action-filled plot like this, many of the characters are not overly deep. Especially problematic is Qwon, a friend of Artie and Kay, who is briefly introduced halfway through the book and then kidnapped. Readers may question the urgency of Artie's desire to rescue this poorly developed character. Nevertheless, the page-turning exploits of Artie and his gang of knights will likely be motivation enough for many readers. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
VOYA - Laura Lehner
Artie Kingfisher, a pale, video-game playing twelve-year-old, and his tournament-winning sister, Kay, are the heroes of this new science fiction/fantasy series, Otherworld Chronicles. Artie is lured to the entry into the Otherworld, which he thought only existed in a video game. There he meets an imprisoned wizard, Merlin, and learns that Artie himself is a sibling of the King Arthur (he was created in Otherworld out of DNA from the first Arthur's parents). Merlin, it turns out, needs his help to escape the invisible tower he has inhabited for over a thousand years. First, King Artie and Kay must battle dragons and evil sorcerers in order to save the world and find the renewable energy resource that only exists in Otherworld. As Arthurian stories go, this one is fresh and fun, with plenty to offer the avid reader looking for a new series. The tone is conversational and young—with slang that tween readers will relate to. The writing itself does not quite live up to royal measure, but young teens who love this genre will be pleased. Reviewer: Laura Lehner
Kirkus Reviews
In his first novel for middle-grade readers, Johnson-Shelton serves up the first installment of an Arthurian trilogy starring 12-year-old video-gamer Artie Kingfisher. Artie begins receiving mysterious computer messages telling him "it has begun," and soon he is off to fulfill his destiny as the once and future king. It turns out that Artie is King Arthur--or, rather, Arthur's genetic sibling, created out of Uther Pendragon's finger bone and a lock of Lady Igraine's hair. At a gaming tournament in Cincinnati, Artie comes across Merlin, trapped in an invisible tower downtown, and it's Merlin who directs Artie on his quest. Much is expected of him: He must destroy the invisible tower, travel to the Otherworld and put an end to Lordess Morgaine's evil reign and gain access to the Otherworld's clean energy resources. No pressure, except the world is doomed if he fails. This new take on the Arthurian legends, told in third-person, pits wisecracking contemporary teens with their contemporary banter--" freaking awesome," "far out"--against all manner of obstacles: killer tornadoes, dire wolves, a green dragon, an elf and a wolf-headed man. At times, the prose is wordy and awkward, but it's always high-spirited and fun. Gives new life to Arthurian legends and may just send readers back to more traditional tellings. (Adventure. 10-14)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The draw here is the action, and there is plenty of that. As Artie dodges fire spells and enchanted swords, gamers will find themselves reaching for their controllers while they await the series’ next installment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062070869
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Series: Otherworld Chronicles Series , #1
  • Pages: 335
  • Sales rank: 604,377
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Nils Johnson-Shelton is the author of the Otherworld Chronicles series, including The Invisible Tower and The Seven Swords. He is also the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels. Nils lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Once Upon a Twilight Reviews

    If you are looking for an imaginative story for you child around the age of 9 or 10, this is a great book to start with. I wish I would have read a story like this at that age. It has so many adventures and such neat characters that you’ll love them all. The story begins with this boy named Arthur but they called him Artie. He loves playing video games and he’s great at them, but not better than his sister Kay. She’s a genius when it comes to video games and competes in them too. They both live with their single father, Kynder who is as sweet as can be, but does not allow them to drink to many soda pops.

    One day when Artie, finally defeats a very difficult level that not even his sister could beat, he’s very surprised to see a secret message in the game addressed to him specifically. He believes it to be a coincidence. They are preparing for his sisters tournament and leave to the hotel where they will be staying at. Once at the hotel, Artie begins to unpack the gaming system so that his sister can practice once she returns from registering with their dad. But when Artie can’t find her “special” remote control, he just thinks that she took it with her. When Kay returns to the hotel and realizes that her control was left behind at her house, shes begins to panic. But Artie has a solution for his sister and what he does not know is that it will be the beginning of his new life. He will discover something about himself and his family that he never knew, and it will be the adventure of a lifetime.

    Although, this book is not my style, I gave it a chance anyway and I am glad I did, because it’s such an adorable book filled with imagination, adventure, and lovable characters. It is very well described, written and understandable for that age group.I highly recommend this book to all children, they will love it ! - Jenny

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2014

    This was a really good introduction to a new trilogy. The author

    This was a really good introduction to a new trilogy. The author's take on King Arthur and Excalibur were different then others that I have read. I enjoyed ready the simple terms and the easy flow of the book. I was able to read and escape into another world. I liked that the author included modern day technology, and it made me wonder how much different the original Arthur would be if written in today's world. The hidden video game message brought me back to my younger days of hidden 1-ups in Mario Brothers! I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    A Must Read For Boys!!!!

    My 10 year old loves this book!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    AWESOME!!!

    This was one of my most favorite books. I ever read. I love King Arther so it was amazing. I can`t wait for the sequel to come out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Light-hearted fantasy

    If you're looking for a light-hearted fantasy adventure, look no further. Nils Johnson-Shelton brings to life a fun story of two contemporary tweens who find themselves pulled into an adventure to save the world the know and the world that they just discovered.

    Arthur "Artie" Kingfisher was adopted by his family when he was just a baby. Until recently he's never really questioned where he came from, but after a not-so-chance meeting with Merlin, he's curious. The answers are not what he ever expected to find and actually, they're quite hard to really believe. He's King Arthur? As he and his sister and knight, Kay, embark on a series of adventures to save the worlds, they'll have to face dragons, elves, witches, and any number of magical beings to free Merlin in hopes of saving the world.

    Artie and Kay were really fun characters to get to know. I really liked that they had a great family dynamic with their father, Kynder, and with each other. Their personalities were also quite complimentary--when Artie was nervous, Kay was strong and vice versa. As Artie learned more about who he was and Excalibur showed him new things, he came into his own (whereas at the beginning, Kay was clearly the dominant one).

    Overall, I felt like this was a good fantasy adventure for young readers, probably between ages 9-10. While I personally didn't enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed some other MG fantasy novels, I felt like it had good pacing and a fun, adventurous storyline that will offer young fantasy readers something to enjoy. Slightly older MG readers may find that the dialogue and storyline is a tad simplistic and the non-ending is a bit unsatisfying. I walked away feeling like the cliffhanger ending was unnecessary and they never resolved the one thing that they really set out on the quest to do--save the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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