‘Universe’ takes readers on imaginative journey

Published: Saturday, March 5 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

"Hazzardous Universe," by Julie Wright and Kevin Wasden, Covenant Communications, 242 pages, $12.99 (f) (12 and up)

Hap Hazzard is a magician, sort of.

Having worked in his grandfather's magic shop before he could even see over the counter, Hap has seen his fair share of the unbelievable.

But strange things start to happen when a mysterious visitor comes looking for Hap's grandfather with a strange message that Hap's grandfather doesn't want him to hear.

"She has the pyramid. Once she delivers it, he'll search for the books. If he gets it, everything we hold dear will be like a candle flame to parchment — nothing but ashes. The trust is in danger..."

After being sent out of the magic shop, Hap runs into Tara, the neighbor girl who is trying to apply for a job at the magic shop. Frustrated with his grandfather, Hap teases Tara to tears and is sent after her by his grandfather to apologize.

Before Hap can apologize, he and Tara are accidentally abducted onto a space ship, locked into a broom closet, implanted with a mind-controlling device and taken against their will by a strange crew of thieving aliens, who Hap suspects are the ones his grandfather was warned about.

In a fun and fresh space adventure, Hap and Tara are whisked away to another universe where they find themselves meeting many bizarre creatures and situations. While using his pocket full of magic tricks, Hap and Tara work together in hopes to return to Earth and discover the truth of the alien's mission.

"Hazzardous Universe" is the first of a four-book series that is fun and exciting for young readers. Paired with excellent illustrations, the book invites readers on an imaginative journey to discover the truth about aliens.

If you go:

What: Launch party

When: Wednesday, March 9, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Barnes & Noble, 5300 S. State St, Murray

Online: http://hazzardousuniverse.com/

Hikari Loftus graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She lives with her science-loving husband in Salt Lake City.

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