Sky raiders by Brandon Mull
Five Kingdoms series. Simon and Shuster, 2014. ISBN
Well recommended for early secondary students. Sky raiders is the first of five books exploring other realms which are not in our present understanding.
Set initially on Halloween night, Cole, Jenna and Dalton, dressed in their costumes, decide with their school friends to visit the haunted house nearby. Life turns frightening and ugly when Jenna and Dalton, along with all the others except Cole are caged and wearing iron collars and leg chains drop into an open manhole and disappear. Cole follows, is caught and marked as a slave and so begins an amazing journey through floating castle worlds. He lands on the 'Brink' where he meets Mira, a princess whose powers have been stolen by her father. Jace, Twitch, Mira and Cole set out to find Mira's lost powers although Cole is trying to find his friends. They encounter semblances who resemble living things, bizarre sights not of this world and worst of all Carnag, who has much of Mira's abilities and which the group try to remove so Mira's powers can be restored to her. This first book moves swiftly with believable characters who will develop and add their individual talents to each of the Kingdoms. It's an exciting start to a 'story (that) must hold out hope for a better, wiser world, one that is less done over by power tripping adults' The Weekend Australian, September 13-14, 2014. And in the same article by Rosemary Neill she says, 'To survive you have to be totally fake'. It's a new world'.