Children's Urban Fantasy book series about a group of friends who end up going on a series of adventures involving monsters, creatures and magic. Set in the modern world and mixing in some contemporary issues with the fantasy elements.
The four friends are essentially huge nerds, with an interest in comic books and playing card games, and indeed, this is how they met. Early in the first book, they accidentally release creatures from a book called the Codex, and they have to deal with the strange events that soon occur. Eventually, they learn there is a massive plot going on involving a centuries-long war between the Knights Templar (no, not those Knights Templar!) and the forces of Morgan LeFay, an immortal witch. Fortunately, Max, the lead hero and a billionaire, is the descendant of many heroes of the Templar, and many of his servants are also secretly part of this fight.
Although they're the heroes, the kids do not actively fight for the most part, other than occasionally carrying things they need to protect themselves which they need to use. Otherwise, they snoop around, explore, and use their wits to solve problems. Most of the actual fighting is done by adults, and the kids are frequently saved by them when things go wrong. Naturally, as an attempt to get the kids to play the main role in the story, they either end up going on many adventures by themselves or the adults are conveniently separated from them.
The heroes are:
- Max - A rich boy whose parents are billionaires, as well as divorced. He doesn't care much for money, and only wishes for a normal life with his friends. He is also the descendant of the Knights Templar, and has many friends in high places who can help him.
- Harley - A tough kid who lives in a trailer. Despite being intimidating and muscular, he's a good friend to the group, and shares their nerdy interests in comic books and playing card games.
- Ernie - The Load for the most part. Wimpy, asthmatic, and tries to avoid danger as much as he can. He is sometimes forced into heroism.
- Natalia - A smart girl who likes to write down notes and ask questions. She likes to dress up for any occasion possible, and sometimes acts bossy, such as when she tries to help Ernie with his diet. She is rather fearless, occasionally doing suicidal things such as jumping from one balcony to another over a thirty foot drop.
- Brooke - Added to the group in the third book. She is The Chick, with a convenient backstory that allows her to join the action head-on.
Has a lot of potential for fun, but sometimes that potential is ruined by the sheer randomness of the plot (which is part of what makes it fun), Ass Pulls galore (and you gotta love the "at the last moment" rescues), and speech giving.
Starting from the fourth book on, the series becomes The Clockwork Chronicles, as the kids move to a school of magic. This series is in contention, due to the change in dialog and characterization, as well as the new setting.
Not to be confused with Grey Griffin (a.k.a. Grey DeLisle).
This series contains examples of:
- Awesome, but Impractical - Ernie's super speed, which he gains in the third book. Why can't he use it? Because it will speed up his transformation into a fairy.
- Awesome McCoolname - Grayson Maximilian Sumner III, Harley Davidson Eisenstein, Natalia Anastasia Felicia Romanov, and Ernest Blumfeld Tweeney (his name is meant to sound nerdy, to fit the fact that he is a colossal nerd)
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Did you know that the Knights Templar still exist in the modern world, and are protecting it from supernatural evil? Or that Morgan LeFay drives a Ferrari around and has her own arctic base?
- Informed Ability - Natalia is very smart. Or is she? Harley, the tough kid of the group, can't stand up to the bullies, who are bigger than him. Some tough guy he is. Same with all the stuff Max is taught by his bodyguard, Logan. It all goes unused.
- Little Hero, Big War: The adults always engage in big fights against evil while the kids snoop around and go on their own adventures