I'm trying to identify a YA Fantasy book targeted late elementary to middle school (circa 2011). The main character is a young boy whose eyes grant him some sort of power granted to him by a character named Helter Skelter, a powerful user of the same kind of power, whose rival was Pell Mell, another user of this eye-power. The power might have included some kind of teleportation or dimension hopping.

At some point, the MC made his way to an island where a bunch of small, tireless creatures lived, and if he didn't keep them busy doing tasks they would eat him.


1 Answer 1


To ensure that there's an answer, this seems to be the Books of Umber series by P.W. Catanese.

From this Reddit post, where it was identified as an answer.

A fiction book where the male main character has special eyes which can see red strings.

The villain collects eyes and has the eye of an eagle or hawk to see better and wants the main character eyes to see the red strings.

There is a huge worm at the beginning at the story before the main character escapes a cave like structure.

Main character and friends sail on water creature (I think was a whale called Leviathans) and turn invisible on the creature to escape the villain who's on a boat nearby (that I think was described as seemed to catch up no matter how fast they went).

From the author's summary of the second book, Dragon Games:

All is not well in Kurahaven. Happenstance is jolted by a surprising revelation about his origins, and the rivalry between the princes takes a violent turn. When Umber receives a pair of mysterious messages, he and Happenstance are hurled into a wild, epic adventure. Before the final twist, Umber and company will encounter a ring of volcanic fire, a strange island filled with murderous creatures, a man from Umber's past living with a terrible curse, and a land ruled by a cruel tyrant who is eager for Umber to witness his Dragon Games.

From this review of the third book, The End of Time:

In The End of Time, Lord Umber, Happenstance, and the rest of the crew are almost immediately thrown into adventure when Umber's friends try to lure him out of one of his emotional dark periods. They venture off to the land of the dragons, in order to return the stolen dragon eggs from Dragon Games. Once Umber emerges from his funk, so to speak, they return home to find their kingdom on the brink, as the king nears death, and a bloodthirsty prince waits in the wings. Then of course there’s the sorceress locked away, who’s awake after a long meditation, and ready to cause trouble. But most importantly, there’s Hap, and the seemingly impossible task Umber and Willy Nilly, the Meddler who made Hap, have placed before him. That is, saving the world, our world, from itself. To do this, Hap must learn to read the mysterious filaments that show people’s destinies, and become the powerful Meddler Willy Nilly meant him to be. Along the way, there’s death, destruction, reunions and departures, lots of action, a thrilling chase scene that retraces the steps of the trilogy and an emotional conclusion.

What may have confused things slightly is that the characters are Willy Nilly and Pell Mell.

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    I've seen at least one online text of the third book that mentions Pell Mell, but it's one of those sites infested by malware, so I can't access it enough to get a quote.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 5 at 20:45

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