Sixteen-year-old Hamilton Dinger leads a charmed life. He’s got the grades for the top of the class, the abilities of a star athlete and Tetris player, and the charisma to get away with anything. Everything seems to be going along perfectly, including his plans to ask out Gwen Kessler, as he enters into tenth grade at Apollo Central High School. Everything, that is, until a meteor crashes into the city, releasing the Seven Deadly Sinisters and their leader, Orpheus, from their celestial prison, and awakening Hamilton’s longtime dormant supernatural abilities. Suddenly Hamilton finds reluctantly allied with his self-declared mentor, Elysian, a changeling dragon, and Starry Knight, a beautiful but dangerous warrior, as they seek to protect the souls of Apollo City from the Sinisters and their evil intentions. Can Hamilton overcome his ignorance and narrow-mindedness to see what is truly real? Can he give up his self-proclaimed entitlement to happiness in order to follow the call of a duty he doesn’t want? More importantly, will he willingly sacrifice all he has to find out the truth?
Hamilton struggles with the choice to step back or embrace his supernatural powers.
“Kid!” Elysian was calling out for me. “Where are you?”
Trapped in the dark corners of my mind, I barely heard Elysian calling, but there was nothing I could do or say. It’s happening, I thought.
My powers, even though I’d never known them or even really wanted them, were surely leaving, taking hope of ever knowing the truth. My own truth was about to become a lie that would be the truth to me forever—my last defense against the relentless pursuer, the ghost who haunts me even as I try to run from him …
I don’t want this, I thought again, as I sunk further into despair. I don’t want this at all.
And yet …
There was a part of me that wished I could. I wished I could’ve wanted this. But I couldn’t. I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do. There was nothing that I could do. I couldn’t do this.
It’s all right, something inside of me whispered. I felt the lies tangling around me, settling into my skin like new clothes. I felt my consciousness further slipping away from me, as though I were suddenly watching myself sleep. The voices, at the heart of the emptiness inside continued to whisper—comforting me, soothing me, telling me my happiness was the most important thing, the only thing …
“Kid!” Elysian called out again; this time it was louder.
Don’t listen to that ugly dragon, the voices insisted. He is full of nonsense, stories and fairy tales …
I heard Gwen scream for help again, but my relentless hesitancy refused to let me move. Time seemed to stand still, as though I was frozen. I couldn’t help it; nothing was more important to me than myself.
“Hamilton! Your friends need you!”
I cringed, torn between retreating further and going back.
Couldn’t they understand? I didn’t know who to listen to anymore! All my life, the world had said everything was relative, there were no absolutes, certainly no good or evil, there were no miracles, fate was a delusion, humans were here by accident, science was the way to see what was really true, I was in control … all these things, I’d believed, and heard, and experienced for myself … but now … now it was all circumstantial.
Either choice I went with would call for sacrifice on my part.
I started to breathe more heavily. “I … can’t do this … ”
Thank you, C. S. Johnson and R&R Book Tours.
About the author
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me
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