The pages practically turned themselves once I got into Erec Rex by Kaza Kingsley. I wasn't sure I was in the mood for more fantasy. But after Erec and his new friend, Bethany, found themselves in a strange magical realm, the action rarely let up. Erec's search for his adoptive mother brought him to a strange new world where all the children his age, almost 13, were taking part in competitions to find the next three leaders.
The best way for Erec to hide who he really was - a "Loser" from the non-magical world -, was to pretend to be a competitor. The contests are a combination of skill and cleverness with coded messages and dangerous tasks. It is too easy to compare the book to Harry Potter but Kingsley includes a lot of the things that make Rowling's famous series so popular. Clever puzzles, action packed contests, adults who are not what they seem, children who make childish choices, lots of danger AND a new exciting and weird sport, Springball, that can be played by normal humans and magical humans alike.
There are already two books in the series and the next time I have a free hour or two, I am reading The Monsters of Otherness, book two in the Erec Rex series.