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Otherworld Chronicles: The Invisible Tower Paperback – Bargain Price, September 4, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, September 4, 2012
$3.72 $2.41

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Editorial Reviews


“High-spirited and fun. Gives new life to Arthurian legends and may just send readers back to more traditional tellings.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Short, action-packed chapters and funny dialogue make this book a surefire hit with the legions of Rick Riordan fans.” (School Library Journal)

“An entertaining quest fantasy, sprinkled with hints of hidden agendas, and juiced with enough creativity to carry readers happily into future episodes.” (Booklist)

“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)

“Fresh and fun, with plenty to offer the avid reader looking for a new series.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

About the Author

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


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Otherworld Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062070886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062070883
  • ASIN: B00DEZ2L28
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,145,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book expecting it to be another poorly written clone of Harry Potter but was pleasantly surprised to find it compelling, well written and accessible to children of all ages. The story follows the popular format of a child who doesn't know of their power and destiny, but discovers it when thrust into the adventures they were born to have. In this case the boy is heir to King Arthur's throne and Excalibur, told in the modern day complete with video games, cell phones and references to pop culture. Our kids easily identify with the main characters.

I also need to say how much I enjoy the author's use of language. Using mostly simple words that my grade school nephew can easily read, he creates beautiful prose worthy of the greatest authors of our time.

"...the weapons met again in a song of steel. The sound spoke volumes to young King Artie, as if he'd been waiting to hear these notes of metal on metal his whole life."

So cool. Your kids will love it just as mine do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find Middle Grade reads rather invigorating because they can take you places that other books just can't with good clean fun.

The Good

The transition from old school legend to modern day gamers and technology in this book is fascinating. I don't know a child alive that wouldn't enjoy the idea that they could actually go into their video games. Now, what I know about the legend of King Arthur comes from the movie The Sword in the Stone so I'm aware that I only have one wonderfully colorful side of the story. It happens to be one of my favorite animated movies to date, and like that movie, this book has Merlin and King Arthur and a red-headed Kay although she is his sister. They appear to get along rather well for pre-teen siblings, but then again he is adopted.

This book follows Artie as he journeys to a video game store for a controller for his sister to use in a tournament and meets Merlin. It all goes wild from there. He is introduced to Tom Thumb and is on a quest for two incredible swords (one for him and one for sis). Excalibur in The Invisible Tower has a lot of awesome abilities. I don't want to go into a lot of detail and ruin it for readers, but I'm an adult and my 10 year old has been reading it, and we both enjoy the action and characters. Johnson-Shelton really knows how to talk to children and the child in us. I am not really sure what a Dr. Pepper head is, but I know that I love Dr. Pepper and definitely do things that people think are nerdy.

The Bad

While I grew close to a wide array of characters, there were some that felt flat.

The Romance

There is a little bit of crush action going on, but nothing really in the realm of romance.
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Format: Hardcover
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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