Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye (Shadow Mountain, 978-1-59038-963-8) is the fourth installment in a fantasy series projected to be the basis of a movie in 2009. It’s set in “Foo,” a land where dreams are generated and human weaknesses are personified: desire as The Want, obsequiousness as Sycophants, and so on. The main action follows Leven and his close friends who’ve returned from the realm of Reality to prevent an evil creature called the Dearth from destroying both places. The villain, extracted from dirt, regains full power and complete form gradually, much like Harry Potter’s Voldemort.
The persistently sour Ezra is a sentient toothpick stranded in Reality with a slow-witted janitor for a keeper. The toothpick’s aggressively cutting remarks serve as rudely comic counterpoint to the more poignant scenes featuring Leven. This series is likely to be familiar to everyone in the near future.