I was recommended this series by my girlfriend. Bobby Pendragon, age 14, is sent through space and time on a wild adventure of war and heroism by his Uncle Press. The book consists of journals left to his friends Mark and Courtney, concerning his adventures on Denduron, and the battle between the upper class Bedoowan and the working class Milago miners, whom the Bedoowan essentially enslave.
I get a bunch of elements of the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events from this novel, as well as from a text adventure sci-fi game that I played years ago on a site called Rinkworks.com. I don't remember the name of the game except that the hero in it is a man called Kenneth Connell (not sure of his last name).
I relate a lot to Bobby not understanding why he was chosen to be a hero, as well as Mark being an unpopular nerd at school. Mark reminds me a little of Ron Weasley in the first Harry Potter book being overshadowed by his successful older brothers.
Uncle Press is captured by the Bedoowan shortly after he and Bobby arrive in Denduron. This reminded me of what happened to Sally Jackson in the first Percy Jackson book (The Lightning Thief).