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It’s not because the book is uninteresting or that it lacks action. It’s packed with action and suspense. I can only assume that it’s me.
Okay, here’s the deal (spoilers ahead). A fictional high school in the San Francisco Bay area is located next to a super-secret government research lab that has captured creatures from other worlds and has an inter-dimensional gateway.
A narcissistic, self-absorbed (didn’t I just say that) Asian super nerd named Peter who is always being bullied by the school jocks and cheerleaders, has a serious love/hate relationship with Holly Dent, who has just become captain of the cheer-leading squad after cheating her butt off (which involves doing significant harm to her rival). He also has a female friend who seems to be the “only adult in the room” named Eun Yin, but she can’t keep Peter from starting something he calls “the Fuckrising” to get revenge for his mistreatment.
Meanwhile in a parallel universe, the barbarian king Kor’Thank, who rides into battle on his personal steed, a velociraptor, goes off alone after a defeat in which he lost his favored mount.
Through some bizarre set of circumstances involving hallucinogenics, Holly and Kor’Thank switch bodies and universes. Amazingly, both Holly and Kor’Thank (who is called Kora while in Holly’s body) don’t seem to have much trouble adjusting to suddenly being different genders. In fact, in some pretty much X-rated portions of the book, Kora has sex (to put it mildly) with another teenage girl using various “devices” (keeping in mind that although Kora looks like a teenage girl, inside is an adult male barbarian).
In the other universe, where time passes faster, Holly in Kor’s body, turns total despot (which is totally unlike the actual king) and realizes that the petty “Mean Girls” stuff she was pulling before pales compared to going to actual war and slaughtering all of the armies of the surrounding nations.
Back in “our” universe, Peter, Eun, and Kora, with a ton of supernatural help, invade the nearby headquarters of ANOS (yes, it’s pronounced “anus”) disguised as janitors, see a bunch of weird stuff, and while on psychedelics,try to open the gateway between universes to possibly switch Holly and Kor back to their correct bodies.
It doesn’t work, something horrible is released, what amounts to a bizarre wizard tries to help, and all hell breaks loose.
Tons of insane high school hi-jinks occur if high school was in a universe where all of this could occur and the kids were either incel-like geniuses or homicidal cheerleaders.
Did I mention that you probably don’t want actual high school age kids reading this because of the R and X-rated sequences?
I previously reviewed all four volumes of Kent Wayne‘s (pen name) Echo series (you can search my blog for “Echo” to find them or go to my Reviews page) about dystopian military action and trying to derive meaning from a life of violence (something Wayne says he was trying to do himself relative to his own military career). Kor’Thank was his way of decompressing and just playing with the ridiculousness of high school.
You should read Kor’Thank in that spirit.
I think I’m too old to relate, but that could change when my grandson starts high school in about three or four years.