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Paraworld Zero by Matthew Peterson
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    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Several reviewers, including WormsScifi.com, have mentioned that Paraworld Zero is a "Harry Potter meets Star Wars!"
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Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Simon first learns about a paraverse when he meets Tonya. Their meeting is an unusual one, and so is just about everything else once they join forces in battle.

Living in Mrs. Trimble's orphanage provides a fairly loving environment for 12-year-old Simon, but it's definitely not very exciting. As a lowly seventh grader in the midst of older bullies, his life is filled with tormenting and teasing. That is until the arrival of Tonya, the thin, athletic, and mysterious young girl with the colorful hair.

It is immediately obvious that Tonya is not from anywhere nearby; in fact, she's not even from the planet Earth. She tells Simon she is from Paraworld 4329, which she explains is a parallel universe. Although it all sounds like a dream to Simon, she insists that parallel universes are extremely common.

With Tonya's help, Simon is able to escape from his tormentors. He soon realizes that Tonya has extraordinary powers, although her command of them is often at a beginner level. Magic is how things work in Tonya's paraworld.

As a result of Simon's adventures with Tonya, he finds himself in another parallel universe called Pudd. The people there seem friendly enough and offer to help when it becomes evident that Tonya is in danger from some less than desirable characters from a world intent on eliminating the use of magic. Simon and Tonya are soon involved in a frantic adventure that includes magical spells and creatures with names like menabaws and dragunos.

PARAWORLD ZERO is the first in the new PARALLEL WORLDS series by Matthew Peterson. Its rollicking adventure style reminds this reader of a cross between Harry Potter's adventures and those of Artemis Fowl. Colorful characters, fast-paced adventure, and clever humor make this an interesting read. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
I devour everything Harry Potter, so when I heard the phrase "Harry Potter meets Star Wars" I had to pick this one up. Paraworld Zero is not your typical Harry Potter-like book. The story has a lot of science fiction and fantasy in it, so I guess you could call it "Harry Potter in space," though space is not really the word for it. The characters travel through a thing called the parastream, which is like a special form of outer space that allows you to move quickly from parallel world to parallel world. The idea is intriguing, and the author makes it simple to understand. Simon Kent is now my favorite 12-year-old magician. He gets into the most precarious situations. Oh, and the narration was top-notch. There are dozens of cool character voices that will appeal especially to younger audiences. Humor, action, romance--this audiobook has it all. ( )
1 vote JoshGreen12 | May 29, 2009 |
I found this book by accident and fell in love with the story and characters. My children have listened to it several times. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment. The narration is smooth and the story is filled with impressive creativity, and the ending is simply divine. It might be too intense for smaller children, but if they are mature enough to read Harry Potter and Eragon, then they could also read Paraworld Zero. Do not miss this one. ( )
2 vote NancyA5 | Mar 21, 2009 |
I think this is the type of book you either love or dismiss, depending on your personality and age. I know the intended audience (ages 8 - 16) will love this. For me as an adult, I absolutely loved it as well. But that's because I enjoy a good story with interesting characters. This is not a serious book, though there are a couple of serious moments. The mystery in Paraworld Zero was just enough to keep me guessing. I wish there was a little more romance, but the characters are fairly young (12 through 14), so I understand why the romantic aspects were watered down. There better be more romance in the sequel! I was hoping to see Simon at the magical school, but as it turns out, that'll be in the next book. I'm looking forward to it.

As for the narration, I actually enjoyed the funny and peculiar voices. They were well done and kept me entertained. The prolog is awfully serious, but it lightens up considerably after that. Highly recommended. ( )
3 vote Corns | Feb 23, 2009 |
The book Paraworld Zero is the authors first book in the Parallel Worlds series. Its written for young adults. As an adult I enjoyed it. I have to admit that science fiction books aren't really my genre to read but after reading the ebook I truly enjoyed it.

The story begins with the mysterious birth of Simon Kent. His birth mother had a disease and it was unknown. When she gave birth to him, something magical happened, and then she died. She left him a medallion. Simon is raised in a foster home.

We are introduced to Butch who is a bully who lives with Simon in foster care. Butch is set on making Simon's life more miserable than it already is and will do anything to make it happen. Simon is physically abused by Butch. One day, Simon is trying to escape from Butch when a strange girl appears and her name is Tonya. Tonya is special and has hair changes color to reflect her moods. She believes that she is on another planet. This is when the adventure really begins. Tonya takes Simon off with her to a parallel world called PUDD. Simon and Tonya are taken in by a strange alien family whose mom cooks up some pretty disgusting creatures.

In the parallel world that Simon and Tonya are in there is two groups of people. The little people are the smart scientists and the big people appear to be unintelligent slaves. The little people treat the big people awful. In spite of the little people's knowledge they don't understand that its wrong to treat the slaves so poorly. Simon has visions of a beautiful woman appearing to him, who leaves him with special gifts, such as the ability to absorb poison. He learns that this world is about to be destroyed by lizard like creatures. He is given the tools to try to save the people, but he needs them all to work together. He also learns to feel better about himself.

I really enjoyed this book. It was totally outside my genre of books that I read but so happy to have read it. I can't wait to read the other books in this series and see how Simon evolves.
4 vote montrealgirl2005 | Sep 23, 2008 |
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The woman was dying, and no one on Earth would mourn for her when she was gone. Not a soul would know of the secrets she possessed or of the ultimate power that emanated from within her limp body. The hope of the universe was about to be lost–that is, unless she arrived at the hospital in time.
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Simon Kent is just an ordinary 12-year old trying to cope with the loss of his parents and the bullies at school . . . or so he thinks. After meeting an outspoken girl with strange hair that changes colors with her mood, he is swept into a futuristic world filled with dragonlike creatures, vast technology, and enslaved giants. But Simon also stumbles upon a secret: He can perform magic in this parallel world! While fighting mystical creatures, unraveling an ancient mystery, and even experiencing his first kiss, Simon discovers that he, an outsider from Earth, is the only person who can save the high-tech planet from an impending doom. http://paraworlds.com
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"Twelve-year-old earthling, Simon Kent, stumbles upon a secret that thrusts him into a bizarre adventure filled with magic, technology and deadly out-of-this-world creatures. He discovers a true friend, confronts his inner demons and becomes the savior to a peculiar race of people, when all he truly wants is to find his way back home. Parallel to Simon's adventures is a mystery involving a catlike spy and a magical swordsman who both struggle to maintain peace among the paraworlds."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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