Starting in and under Australia, and then under and around other parts of the earth, known from here on in as Gaia, this is the tale of a 12 year old orphan named Joshua (hence the title) who jumps from a cruel punishment and into an exciting adventure.
Rescued from the punishment room by a dirty stranger, he travels through a complex tunnel system, where he is joined by an American girl and a British boy, also "collected" by the stranger, before reaching an underground ancient city named Eldertown.
He soon learns that Eldertown is a part of the larger Elderworld, and of course there's something threatening to end its peaceful existence. Naturally, this leads to a quest, and the three children (plus two local Zamias) are soon embroiled in a secret mission where they can't even admit to being human.
After receiving some supplies, they are taken down a long and winding road through tunnels and berry fields (including strawberries) and eventually learn of the dangerous task ahead.
Fast paced (except for long periods of walking), the ending really turns up the excitement before leaving the reader at the brink of what is obviously going to be book two. Imaginative and magic/action oriented, this book promises much for the adventure yet to come.
Amanda Richards, July 15, 2012