The Secret of Zoone
The Secret of Zoone
“Why wouldn’t she want to go to Zoone?” Tug wondered.
It was a good question, Ozzie decided. A really good question. Here Aunt Temperance was, lying in bed, when there was an entire world out there populated with definitely-not-tigers, green-spotted mice, and who knew what else. Plus, she had a key – an actual way to get there! What were they doing, kicking around Apartment 2B, when they could be off on adventure? Instead, she had kept the existence of Zoone hidden from him, kept it a…
Ozzie gave Tug a pointed look. “Have you ever heard of the secret of Zoone?”
“No,” The skyger admitted. “But there’s lots of things I don’t know about Zoone. You know adults. They don’t tell you anything. But I have an idea! Maybe you can ask your aunt to lend you the key, and you can take me back to Zoone. Then we can find the secret together.
“Actually,” Ozzie said, “I don’t need to ask her for the key. I know where it is. And you can help me get it.”
Oswald, aka Ozzie, Sparks is stuck. His parents are away - again - doing their important jobs in exotic locales, and he has been left behind – again – to live with his Aunt Temperance in run-down apartment 2B. It’s not that he doesn’t love his aunt, but what boy wants to be stuck living with an odd aunt in a dilapidated old building? Oswald is feeling angry, unwanted, and lonely. Then, Aunt Temperance falls into a state of depression after a visit from a very tall lady who talks about doors, magic, and possibilities, the possibilities that reliable Oswald, who now must take care of his bedridden aunt, yearns to explore.
So, when Tud, a very large blue skyger with wings, shows up in Aunt Temperance’s living room talking about the world of Zoone, Ozzie is more than willing to be convinced to help him get home. Besides, he wants to know why Aunt Temperance is keeping secrets from him. Why does she have a key to Zoone hidden away? Why did Lady Zoone, the “muysteerious” tall lady who visited earlier, send a blue-not-tiger to convince Aunt Temperance to open the door to Zoone? Could he open the door to Zoone? Maybe, he rationalizes, the way to make Aunt Temperance better is in this magical place. So, off Ozzie goes with his new friend, Tug, to the magical station that acts as a gateway to the multiverse.
When the door to Earth is destroyed as Tug and Ozzie enter Zoone station, Ozzie panics. He only wanted to visit Zoone, and Aunt Temperance needs him! Thus begins Ozzie’s quest to get the door to Earth fixed so that he can go home again. Unfortunately, the only person who can fix the door is a crotchety know-it-all wizard who is not convinced the door should be fixed. Besides, the wizards are facing their own crisis as Crogus, the glibber king, may have escaped from his prison. If so, then the fate of the magical multiverse may very well be in the hands of an ordinary young boy and his quirky friends, including Fidget, a runaway princess who may not be who she claims. Together with Tug, they will navigate strange new worlds, meet some interesting people, and learn a little about betrayal, friendship, and family.
The Secret of Zoone is reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz with a main character who is on a quest to find home. On the way, Ozzie learns some things about himself and meets some friends who are on their own quests. Tug wants his wings fixed so he can fly and be a normal skyger, and Fidget, a princess in hiding, needs a curse removed.
A charming middle-years adventure fantasy with a positive message, The Secret of Zoone has colourful characters and worlds of possibilities. I’m looking forward to seeing what door Lee Edward Födi opens next.
Jonine Bergen is a librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.