author Kaza Kingsley won over young readers with the
inventive gadgets, relentless action, and gross-out
humor in her first book, Erec Rex: The Dragon's
Eye. The book became a bestseller and collected
numerous children's book awards, including the
Benjamin Franklin Award for best new voice in
anticipated second book in the series, Erec Rex:
The Monsters of Otherness, deals with themes of
adoption and acceptance under the mythological
framework of the Hercules legend. As Erec fights to
save the lives of 50 dragon hatchlings, his real
quest is to uncover the truth about his own
The excerpt below is
called "Erec Buys His Memory Back." It's a short
scene where 12-year-old Erec Rex visits the Memory
Mogul to find out what happened to his childhood
OTHERNESS is an awesome adventure, full of twists
and turns, cool characters, mystery, and a lot of
fun. Erec follows his heart when it’s not the easy
thing to do, and goes against the odds to do what’s
right. This is a wildly exciting book with pedal to
the metal attitude!
“Ned,” star of Nickelodeon’s popular daily sitcom
Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
Kingsley won't let down fans of Erec Rex with this
lively, imaginative sequel to The Dragon's Eye. It's
a rollicking good read, with many layers that unfold
into a captivating ending. The engaging characters,
suspense, humor and vivid descriptions make it a
great book for all ages.
Readers will be
intrigued by a world filled with magic, friendship
and thought provoking adventures.
"Erec Buys His Memory Back"
by Kaza Kingsley
It was not easy
finding the Memory Mogul's shop. Most of the people
Erec asked simply glared at him and turned up their
noses. Finally a blind woman told him the store was
near the edge of town, close to Medea's magic shop.
Inside the store, a
counter stretched across the entire room. Behind it
were racks of shelves covered with tiny packets. A
small, spindly man hunched over the counter. His
wild white hair and beard projected from all angles
of his face, making him look like a dandelion gone
to seed. He seemed to be in a daze.
The man remained
still as Erec walked up to him. Erec cleared his
throat, but the man seemed to take no notice.
The man jumped. "Oh!
How's that for sneaking up on an old man? You should
be ashamed of yourself, boy. Scaring me like that."
His wispy hair and
beard waved around in the air as he spoke. It made
him look so comical that Erec had to bite his lip to
keep from laughing. "Now," the man said, "what were
you saying, sonny? You have a memory to get rid of?"
Erec pointed at the
shelves behind the man. "What do you sell here?"
"You don't know?" The
man looked indignant. "Memory chips, of course.
Splices. I cut, I take out, I add in. Anything can
be altered." He coughed. "What was the question?"
"You were telling me
about the memory chips."
"Of course. Memory
chips. I've got all types." He waved a hand across
the huge racks. "I've got bits of memories from all
over the known earth and beyond. Want a bit of
African jungle safari? Wild nights in the ogre bars?
Dungeons? I've got plenty of dungeons," he said
happily. "Of course there's no guarantee that the
memory will be fully pleasant. But what fun would it
be if it was all nice and safe, right? So what would
you like, boy?"
"I'm not sure I want
to buy any memories right now."
"So you're here to
get rid of one? No problem. Would you like a
replacement, or do you want to leave an empty gap
where it was?"
Erec had to stop to
consider. Why did Mr. Peebles suggest he come here?
He said he might find out something about himself.
"Can I help you?" The
man turned to him with a smile, white hair wagging
around his face. He seemed to have forgotten their
"Do you happen to
have any memories in the name of Erec Rex?"
The man chortled.
"Oh, ho, ho! Erec Rex, eh? Even I remember the day I
got the memory of Erec Rex. And I do admit my memory
isn't exactly what it once was." He mused in silence
a moment, then looked at Erec. "Can I help you?"
"I'd like the memory
of Erec Rex. Tell me about it."
"You and everyone
else, kid. I still remember the day his mother
brought him here." His eyes sharpened, gained focus
as if he could see her still. "He was real little,
three, I think. And he was in trouble, hiding for
some reason. He was here with another kid, and his
mother had just changed their looks. They both got a
chunk of their memories taken out that day. I talked
his mother into giving Erec a replacement memory to
take its place. It's usually easier on a kid to have
some past to remember, I told her. It also doubled
the price. And I happened to have a memory I had
just gotten from a girl about his age. It was a
short one, but who cared? It was something, right?"
The Memory Mogul's
eyes danced as he relived old times. "His mom was
real worried his replacement memory might be a bad
one, but I told her it would be fine. The girl had
looked nice enough. How bad could it have been,
right? But then he started crying as soon as he got
the memory, darn kid. His mom wanted me to erase it,
but I couldn't do it for a week -- too dangerous --
so she had to leave it in." He shrugged. "Aw, don't
worry about the kid. It was no big deal. His new
memory was so short and hazy, and at that age it
would only really come out in his dreams. The other
kid there that day never got a memory replacement,"
he recalled. "The mom was too upset."
Erec gripped the
counter, mind spinning. He couldn't believe his
ears. He had known his mother changed his looks, but
now this. And what was the memory replacement he
got? Some memory discarded from a girl? What could
it be? He squeezed his eyes shut. Something that
would only come out in his dreams.
In the next moment he
froze. His dreams? He remembered the nightmare he
always had about his father. It was his only memory
he had of his father. But what if -- Erec felt sick
-- what if it wasn't really his own memory? So that
wasn't his father then? It was someone else's
Erec's breath became
heavy and he felt faint. He looked around the shop,
but there were no chairs. He wondered if he should
be glad that his memory of his terrible father
wasn't his. He hated the memory, hated the man. But
he had grown up with that memory nonetheless. It was
all he knew.
The man tapped the
counter, white wispy hair waving. "Can I help you,
Erec stared at him.
"I'd like to buy the memory of Erec Rex. Do you
still have it?"
The man smiled. "Ah,
Erec Rex. I still remember the day his mother came
in the shop --"
Erec interrupted. "Do
you still have it?"
"Oh, goodness no. I
sold it the next day to a young man his age who had
another memory problem to get rid of. But I wish I
kept, I'll tell you. You and everybody else that's
been in here want it. I could've gotten a good price
on that one, yes sir. If I'd known how popular it
would be, I'd have checked it out myself too. It's
hard to resist trying out some of the memories I get
in here, especially the more exciting ones. Of
course, they can mess with your own memory if you're
not careful. Not that I would ever let that happen
Erec thanked the man,
who settled back into a glassy-eyed stare. He didn't
seem to notice when Erec left the shop.
Retail Price: $18.99,
Hardcover, 349 pages. Published by Firelight Press,
Inc., October, 2007. ISBN-10: 0978655575
by Kaza Kingsley. All Rights Reserved. Please feel
free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as
the contents are not changed and this copyright
notice is intact. Thank you