Walker has always been embarrassed about the star shaped birthmark on his face, so much so that he avoids other kids at school. To make matters worse, his mother seems overly concerned with the fact that he has no friends. Thus, when Eddie shows up, literally out of nowhere, and demonstrates great respect for Walker because of the star, Walker is suspicious. Eddie claims to be from an underground world, where a star shaped birthmark is a sign of the Chosen One. Curious about Eddie’s claims, Walker follows him to Nebula, a kingdom where the forces of light (the Lightkeepers) and darkness (The Black Shroud) are struggling to gain control. There Walker learns that his star is indeed a mark of honor, but also of great responsibility.
Younger readers will enjoy Walker’s adventures beneath the surface of the earth. Although reluctant to become entangled in the underworld’s conflict, Walker’s sense of duty compels him to do what he can to save Nebula. More advanced readers may find this book’s characters a bit flat and the writing unsophisticated. (There is even one grammatical error that would send any English teacher into a tirade.) That aside, nearly everyone likes a story in which good triumphs over evil, especially when the ending hints at a sequel.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.