World building and character development take a back seat to religious themes in British theologian McGrath's opener to The Aedyn Chronicles. Teenagers Peter and Julia fall into a glowing pond in their grandparents' garden and find themselves in Aedyn—a small, former paradise ruled for the past few centuries by a trio of masked tyrants. Hailed by the enslaved populace as chosen ones sent by the Lord of Hosts to throw off the oppressors, Peter and Julia participate in a secret communion ceremony (“Why do we eat salted fish on this night of the year and on no other night?”) then lead a successful rebellion. Along the way they learn to reject ritualistic temptations to choose personal safety or power over the greater good, and by the time they return to their own world they've also learned something about having faith—both in a higher power and in each other. Periodic black-and-white illustrations add a dramatic touch to the story. The perfunctory story line may not linger long with readers, but the clear, simply presented messages of its religious core will.