When mortal enemies Veronica Lopez and Heather Simms get hit by a bar code scanner while fighting over the last copy of Queen of Twilight, it takes them a moment to realize that they aren t in a New Jersey bookstore anymore. In fact, they re in the novel. Too bad they don t realize it until after they accidentally kill the book s heroine, Princess Arabelle, aka “The One.” Only The One can restore light and peace to the land of Galma, long held in thrall to the evil Twilight Queen. Now Vero and Heather have no choice but to try to save Galma from the Twilight Queen. But can the two girls find their way to the end of the story and home again without destroying Galma or killing each other?
If you take fantasy books as serious business (for example, if you’ve ever yelled this at someone: ” How dare you say Hobbits aren’t real?!”), then this book is not for you. But if you can find humor in things you enjoy, then I have a feeling you’ll like this book. I did.
Now, the characters. At first, I thought this book would be more about Veronica since she’s the one who actually reads fantasy books and knows the layout of the world her and Heather are zapped into. (Don’t try to figure out the science behind a faulty barcode scanner becoming a means for teleportation into a book. Just nod your head like this makes perfect sense, especially if you’ve read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.) After introducing Veronica, however, the focus shifted to Heather, the shallow popular girl that used to make fun of us in high school. (I know we didn’t go to the same high school, but I’m 96% sure you were a fellow nerd like me during those teen years.) Heather’s not altogether bright, but I grew to like her, especially after she butts heads with a haughty elf. Don’t worry, he had it coming to him.
There are definite references to The Lord of the Rings. As I haven’t read many fantasy books, that’s the one I noticed the most, but there might be others. At one point Dungeons and Dragons was mentioned and I sent a mental high-five out into the collective nerd mind. You should have felt it. It happened about ten days ago. Anyway, every little reference or similarity made me smile. Some made me laugh at the absurdness, usually the ones that caught me by surprise.
But it wasn’t all fun, all the time.
For being a parody, there’s actually a plot and a sense of earnestness in the characters. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but it was surprisingly good. It was cute and sometimes funny in a ridiculous way. If you’re looking for a light, fantasy read, this is it.