In The Case of the Misplaced Hero, Alex’s eccentric aunt once gave him a special ring and advised him to go jump in a lake. One evening, while escorting his drunk professor, Thorny, home from the bar, Alex discovers what she meant when he and Thorny fall in the river. On the other side, they find themselves in a different world, in the middle of mysterious goings-on involving a train wreck, a missing spy, and an assassination plot.
The action is fun and exciting, with plenty of twists and turns (the story was originally posted as a serial on Ms. LaGuire’s blog and follows that same structure), and the characters are enjoyable and well-drawn. I especially like Alex, Thorny, and Rozinshura, the much-put-upon captain of the garrison in the town where the train wreck happened and where Alex and Thorny washed up to everyone’s confusion. There’s also plenty of humor – “Anarcho-Bureaucracy” is my favorite political system that I’ve ever come across in a novel.
Plots are discovered, mysteries are solved (though there are loose ends which hopefully will be continued in the companion story about the Baronness of Beethingham, aka Plink), and Alex learns that when the time is right, anyone can be a hero. A fun, fast-paced, and enjoyable read.
See my main COYER post for reading list and review links.