Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Frenzy is the last of the six-part Dreamhouse Kings series from author Robert Liparulo that continues on immediately where Whirlwind left off. Xander and David have been captured by the ruthless and evil Assyrian assassin and are being readied for massacre on an ancient battleground in Greece. Once again their level-headed thinking, along with a bottle of shampoo, allows them to escape from their captors. As they try to find their way back home, they are completely surprised to find they are time-jumping from age to age instead of going directly home. They then start to gain deeper understanding of the rules of time. While their Dad and little sister are off following up on a lead related to the ogre that kidnapped their mother, the King boys are bonding with Keal, the nurse/ex-Army Ranger, who accompanied the old man Jesse to the house. Jesse is still recovering in the hospital after being stabbed and left for dead by the assassin.

In this last installment of the series, the family chooses to jump through a portal to escape a murderous plan by the assassin. In a cool and telling moment, they land in Jerusalem and encounter Jesus carrying the cross that he would be nailed to later that afternoon. This moment is fitting because we have been learning throughout this series that the portals exist to take the gatekeepers back in history to where man's biggest mistakes were made. In essence, they exist to allow the gatekeepers to prevent where mankind went astray. Certainly the death of Jesus is the biggest such moment, and it is fitting that this is where they ultimately reunite with their mother and return home. Once home, their peace and joy are short lived as they must have one final battle with the assassin and his ogre. Through some clever thinking and strategy they lay a trap that leads to the antagonists being returned to their time without any direct path back to the present. The story ends with the family finally embracing their destiny as gatekeepers.

In an interview at the end of Frenzy, author Robert Liparulo tells us that he didn't want every aspect of the story to be wrapped up in a neat package. He didn't want the King family to kill the assassin, as this would make them too much like him. He also didn't want them to solve the problem with the coming apocalyptic end to the world engineered by the assassin. He wanted to end the series conveying to the reader that they had the skill, talent, ability, and will to change the past to positively affect the future. For now, that is enough. Have we seen the end of the King family? Likely not.