“I spent my early years in a series of foster homes, none of which ever seemed to work out for one reason or another. By the time I was ten, I had pretty much come to feel that nobody really wanted me. The last one of my foster families finally sealed the deal: they were the ones who got me killed. . .” * * * A deadly crash leaves ten-year-old orphan TJ Sims homeless and alone, stranded and presumed dead. While roaming in search of food and shelter, the boy encounters with a passing traveler named Lee Christopher. Concerned for the boy's safety, Lee takes him in and offers to assist him in any way he can, The two of them (accompanied by a rather unusual dog) journey by motorcycle to Lee's home town, where TJ is introduced to his benefactor's childhood friends, Mike Kent and Stephanie Miller. Twenty years ago, these three shared an epic adventure, the details of which are recounted in the “Hole in the Universe” saga. This is the first time in a decade that the one-time adventurers have come together, and their convergence at this time presents a puzzle: what mysterious force has caused them all to decide to return simultaneously to this place? It is almost as if they have been summoned -- but how? And why? During a visit to the site of Mike and Lee's long-defunct tree fort, the answers to these questions are revealed in the form of a brand-new version of the Hole in the Universe. Once more, a portal has been opened to the World Next Door -- but with a difference: this new Hole is capable of providing access to a multitude of worlds, in an assortment of alternate universes. These developments will change the course of TJ's life -- but not necessarily for the better. In the company of a pair of new acquaintances, he will become caught up in an odyssey through both space and time, a journey which will ultimately bring him face to face with a very powerful, and very dangerous, ancient Enemy . . .
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