It’s an ordinary Friday afternoon at the end of an regular school day. Jacob Jones, a happy go lucky eleven year old travels home on the school bus with his good friend Ethan and his best friend Erica both of whom seem to be more excited about the forthcoming ‘special’ weekend than he is.
Campion Hills, where they all live is a quiet, charming village where nothing much changes except the weather and nothing much bothers them apart from the strange and scary old lady at number 1 who watches them arrive back from school every day from her first floor bedroom window. At home Jacob has two loving, if a little eccentric parents and one highly annoying older sister, Lilly who he delights in winding up at every opportunity. He settles down in his very tidy room and considers new ways of irritating Lilly. He also contemplates the impending arrival of a day he has been doing his best not to get too excited about, his twelfth birthday.
The day before his birthday odd and unusual things begin to occur: Jacob wonders why certain animals are behaving strangely. His parents question the increasingly moody and angry weather and Erica is perplexed by the mysterious disappearance of all the mirrors in hers and Jacob’s houses.
During the very early hours of Jacob’s birthday the inciting incident of the story kicks into action. Ethan dies an agonising death suspended in mid air by a mysterious force. Someone or something is thumping on Jacob’s front door demanding entrance. Suddenly the scary old woman bursts into their home but, far from being the antagonist she reveals herself as an ally and reminds Jacob’s parents of the reason for this turmoil and the danger they are now all in.
The old lady escapes them ‘through a mirror’ in her home to a safe house making sure she smashes the mirror so they can’t be followed. Moments later the murderous men of The Zebaron fire bomb her house and vow to find and eliminate Jacob. The old lady, who is far stranger and far more powerful than Jacob could ever have anticipated, reveals to him the existence of a secret, adjacent world that his parent’s once belonged to. A world where the inhabitants have varied special powers. Powers that Jacob and his sister have yet to detect in themselves. In this adjacent world Jacob has been chosen as one of the new ‘Seven’ leaders elect. An honour that should promise power and respect but in these troubled times offers danger and adversity. Jacob must decide whether to accept the challenge of travelling to this secret world.
The second act rattles into action with a scary ride on a train of lost souls where only children can survive. Jacob, Erica and Lilly face more obstacles and danger before finally locating a castle community protected by high walls and strange, undiscovered creatures. Inside they encounter a magical world of contradictions and differences. For all its magic however this is a vulnerable world, a world that has been waiting for Jacob to arrive, a world that looks to him for its very survival.
Jacob’s quest is explained to him by the leader, Malakiah. He must return to his world and find the hidden Book of Order which lists the identities of the other six chosen to govern their world for the next seven years and whose lives are all now in danger. Malakiah explains that this will be a dangerous and secret journey where they will come up against the existing rogue order who for 21 years have refused to relinquish their power. A power that they will do anything to protect.
Returning to their world they practice and hone their newly discovered secret powers before tracking down the custodian of The Book. However, before he can fully enlighten them about the secrets of the book the Zebaron arrive and eliminate him.
In a frantic and furious third act Jacob and friends descend into the forgotten tunnels of the underground to seek the secret vault where the Book is hidden. They enlist the help of a long dead little girl who searches in vain for her mother.