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Erec Rex is a fantasy novel series by Kaza Kingsly (Kaza rhymes with "jazz-a", by the way).
Erec Rex has only one eye. His foster siblings are all unique; one can't walk, one doesn't talk, and one a little bit wild, plus two older twins, who are just teens. Not even monstrous ones. They're also all adopted, collected like stray cats by a kindly woman named June O'hara. (Erec himself was abandoned at the age of 3 by his father.) She works multiple jobs and moves around a lot just to care for them, but for the most part, their lives are happy, if a little weird--their mother has a habit of ordering strange, oddly lifelike electronics from a company called "Vulcan."
Erec, however, has a strange gift--he gets "cloudy thoughts" which compell him to do things he wouldn't normally know/want to do, like saving someone in trouble. One day, shortly after his mother goes out to a job interview, he gets such a thought to go look for her. He tries to resist it, but inevitably it leads him into the companionship of a girl named Bethany, and together, they go down--beneath the sidewalk, into a strange, subterranian mall, on a ski lift that takes them into a place called Alypium. Alypium is one of three worlds near our world "Upper Earth," that still remember magic. And Erec has a few more ties there than he'd suspect.
At first, given the impovrished life he comes from, the magical Alypium seems like a paradise--and he even has a chance to enter a contest to become a King. But as time goes on, he begins to realize that this whimsical Magical Land, while pleasant on the surface, is stewing in vileness just beneath. Only he can right it, and he isn't even sure why. Luckily, he has the assistance of his mother, Bethany, and a number of friends ranging from the small (like Jack and Oscar) to the really, really big (like the dragon Aosqueth). Too bad they seem to be his only friends, and as the world quickly turns against him, he must combat both his enemies and his bad publicity to save all the worlds once and for all.
It's planned to be an eight-book series
- Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye (2006)
- Erec Rex: The Monsters of Otherness (2007)
- Erec Rex: The Search for Truth (2009)
- Erec Rex: The Three Furies (2010)
- Erec Rex: The Secret of Ashona (2012)
These books contain examples of:
- Can Not Tell a Lie: Anyone who holds the Archives of Alithea in Book 2. Makes for some... awkward situations.
- Carnivore Confusion: Jack is of the "can talk to animals, so is a vegetarian" variety.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase
- Chekhov's Gun: The Hole in the Substance.
- The Chew Toy: Erec just can't seem to have anything go his way in Book 2.
- Crap Saccharine World: Think Alypium seems like a pleasant place to live? Read Book 2, then think again.
- Cute Mute: Erec's little brother Trevor.
- Clone Degeneration: The three Stain boys are all clones of Baskania. While the first, Balor, turned out alright, Damon and Dollick ended up progressively more messed up.
- Epic Hail: The "dragon call."
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Is there anywhere Baskania doesn't have eyes?
- False Memories: Erec's memories of his father didn't even come from him.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: In Book 3, Erec briefly gains ultimate knowledge from the Awen of Truth. He has to decide whether to keep it, and fix the world's problems as an all-knowing hermit, or give it away and solve it by becoming King and stopping Baskania. He chooses the latter, obviously.
- Friend to All Living Things: Jack is an unusual male example.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The ginglehoffers, which end up being one of the monsters in Alypium to be properly represented by most humans. Luckily, they have a fondness for marshmallows which can be used to distract them.
- Good with Numbers: Bethany's specialty.
- Gorn: Erec and co. witness an absolutely horrific death at the hands of Baskania in Book 3, where a man is continually subdivided into smaller and smaller pieces--while still being kept alive--until all that remains of him is chunky salsa. Thank goodness he eventually gets to forget this by changing the past.
- Gravity Screw: The sideways castle in Book 1 is... funky.
- Grumpy Bear: Oscar. However, he's more stuck up than he is a grouch.
- Happily Adopted: Erec, most of the time. He gets very mad at June for hiding his past from him, but he forgives her most of the time.
- Head Pet: Cutie Pie enjoys riding on Bethany's shoulders and head.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Many of the magical talents showcased in the book are a lot more epic and have better applications than it initially seems. For example, King Piter's ability to talk to plants actually gives him lots of insider information. Being good at math helps make you a seer. And Jam's ability to "always be ready to serve" makes him an invaluable sidekick.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Poor Erec. Alypium really has it out for him.
- Humans Are Bastards: Happens hard in Book 2.
- Humble Hero: Jam, who despite risking his life multiple times over for Erec and his friends, constantly tells them to Think Nothing of It.
- Ill Girl: Erec's little sister Nell, who has difficulty walking.
- The Jeeves: Jam, butler to the west wing of Alypium Castle. Always being prepared to serve is his magical talent.
- Make a Wish: Nitrowisherine, which, as the name implies, grants wishes. Unfortunately, as the name also implies, it's Made of Explodium.
- One Springball player can actually grant his own wishes.
- Meaningful Name: Too many to list, but Erec Rex is the first and most obvious. The logo even includes a crown, just to tip you off.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Dollick Stain, who is half-human, half-sheep, thanks to some shoddy cloning.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: You do not mess with a man named "Thanatos." However, he's usually just referred to as "Baskania."
- Never Was This Universe: Although Upper Earth is a 90% like our world, there are a few peculiar differences (such as the fact that fast food places are now called "fastaurants", and the prominence of the nonexistent and strange sport of springball) that still make it rather unlike our own world. Hard to say what it's meant to be.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Very different.
- All Trolls Are Different: They do follow the "turn to stone in daylight" rule, though.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They can see the Substance, or the magic around everything.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Come in silver, bronze, and gold varieties. The gold ones are implied to be, essentially, seraphim.
- Our Gnomes Are Weirder
- Out of Focus: Jack and Oscar are Erec's friends too, but are distinctly more background when compared to Erec and Bethany.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Queen Posey in Book 1; King Piter afterwards.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Only briefly, however. After Erec changes the past with the Novikov Time Bender, he briefly recalls what happened to Piter's murdered Adviseer before the new past overwrites it. Considering what Erec saw, this is probably for the better.
- Rhino Rampage: A rhinocerous accidentally gets mixed in with a host of normal "Aniballs" during a prize ceremony in the first book, and its shocked rampage injures a few contestants.
- Sadistic Choice: In the bonus story of the Gold Ghost called "Ghost Stories" in the first book, Baskania offers the UN president this: Either he gives up an eye and serves Baskania, or his wife and daughter die due to their injuries from a recent car crash.
- Start of Darkness: The Stain brothers were never very nice to begin with, but over the course of the second book, it's clear to see how they become truly evil as opposed to merely mean.
- Take Our Word for It: The process by which a dragon eye and a human eye get fused together. It is apparently very "...interesting" (ellipsis included).
- Taking the Bullet: Aosqueth takes the Death Blade for Erec.
- Talking Animal: Cutie Pie the pink cat.
- Team Dad: King Piter is this occasionally, but the mantle more frequently goes to Jam Crinklecut, the butler.
- Team Pet: Wolfboy and Cutie Pie, Erec's werewolf dog and Bethany's secret-telling cat, respectively.
- Theme Triplet Naming: Piter, Posey, and Pluto, the Triplet Kings (and Queen).
- Unkempt Beauty: Jam the butler. It's noted that when his hair starts getting mussed and his clothing wears down, he looks much more handsome and approachable than his usual overmade butler appearance.
- Unwitting Pawn: Hecate Jekyll is using Spartacus as one.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Baskania.
- You Can't Fight Fate: An interesting variant in Book 2. It seems clear that Erec is the fated king, but his opponents, who want to stop this, try to disqualify him at every oppertunity. But because he's necessary to do any of the Quests at all, they have to keep him.
- Not to mention, much of Book 3, Erec tries to figure out how to prevent Castle Alypium from crashing, but he can't.