Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering (C. S. Johnson) in One Thousand Words

The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering by C. S. Johnson is today's featured book on One Thousand Worlds.


Sixteen-year-old Hamilton Dinger is an above-average teenager. 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 as he enters into tenth grade at Apollo Central High School. Everything, that is, until a meteor crashes into the city, unleashing a whirlwind of evil and awakening a deep, hidden power as the long battle between good and evil continues. Bringing an abrupt halt to the easygoing pace of Hamilton’s life, he and his longtime dormant supernatural powers are caught up in the middle of things when his comfort zone is turned into a war zone. On top of everything else, there’s the homecoming game, the school play, and the history test to worry about. 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?

About this author-

C. S. Johnson is the author of Slumbering, book one of The Starlight Chronicles series for young adults. With a gift of sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family, cats, and caffeine addiction.

Chapter 1

The winter winds were cold and harsh, laced with particles of hail and snow. The air was dry, the sun was hidden, and just from looking at it, I could tell Lake Erie was in the freezing temperatures. Apollo City, along with northern Ohio, was covered in a blanket of gray-white snow/slush, but city inhabitants were still trying to go about their humdrum lives with as little interruption as possible. 
I had to say, the eela – shadow monster – rampaging all around the city wasn’t helping. Not in the least, if you can imagine it. 
Hovering in midair, the day’s choice for monster giggled as he attacked another crowd of people. He’d shown up a few times this past week, but this was the first time I’ve gotten this close to getting him without breaking curfew or skipping out of class (Not that I minded those things; I just minded getting in trouble for them.) 
This sinister-ling is Daikan; he ‘specializes’ in cruel humor, but not the kind I liked or agreed with (Some of his material was really lame.) He’d been nicknamed ‘The Jester’ by the local press – anything to get sales up without infringing on Batman’s legal rights. 
While he certainly reminded me of some kind of ex-con carnie, there was a villainous twinkle in his eye all too reminiscent of his many demon predecessors and his fearless Sinister leaders. Not to mention there was the same cringe-worthy delusion laced in his laughter. 
“Ha-ha, I told you I would have you rolling with delight sooner or later,” he cried out mockingly, as indeed, the crowds rolled over, though in pain. “Daikan always has a trick up his sleeve!”
Who knew who he thought he was talking to? Some people were snapping photos, while others were running away screaming. All of this chaos was happening, of course, while I was attempting to destroy him. 
Unfortunately, this was nothing out of the ordinary. It was just a typical day in the life of the superhero known as 'Wingdinger'. Me. 
My fingers gave an icy snap as I clenched my fists. “No one's laughing down here!” I retorted angrily. 
Just so you know, I had a right to be angry. Daikan had largely ignored me that day, and only paid attention long enough to laugh at me. And the third-person referencing was getting old.
“Watch your back, kid!” Elysian, my 'pet' changeling dragon, thundered at me as he swooped down and curled protectively around me as Daikan slashed out his attack; spindles of power trickled through the sky, swiping over us as Elysian ducked and I dodged. 
There’s a sudden break as a nearby tree fell and I heard something else – probably a building – crumbling behind us. 
“Let's go,” Elysian muttered, ignoring the glare I gave him as he leaned down to let me up on his back. But I (reluctantly) climbed on; I wanted nothing more than to fly on my own two, irritatingly useless, wings.  
The wind bit at my face, matching the bite in my tone. “Look who's laughing now!” I taunted, tackling the laughing trickster right out of the air. Something puffy and squishy gooped through my gloves as I no doubt punched through a lung, knocking the wind (along with other substances) out of his body. 
“Ugh…Gross.” If only this were some kind of video game, I thought ruefully. Me and the guys would be all over it. 
Split seconds later, I was thrust back into the fight. Several events blurred through my mind as the end of the battle became eminent:
- Flinging the pus off of my fist -
- Elysian’s brief approving sneer -  
Falling from the sky, tangled up with the demon body (Ah, the welcoming rush of adrenaline. I’d become quite the junkie since this started.)  
I grinned to myself. I liked this trick. After several months of fighting off these monsters, I no longer had any fear of falling. 
Instead of freaking out like I used to, I clawed my way on top of the evil eela, my feet forcing my enemy into the ground even more as we slammed into the ground. 
Jolted but still standing, I victoriously wiped a spray of dirt off my face. “Ha. Got you!” 
Elysian scuttled over. “Good work, kid. I think we did great today.” 
We? I silently rolled my eyes. 
He’d spoken too soon. Or maybe he jinxed me, because the next moment, Daikan propelled himself upright with more power than I’d thought possible, sending me flying back through the air. “Play time's over!”
“Ugh...” I grunted in frustration; of all the places to land, it had to be in a pile of frozen dog poo. “Gross!” Why did I always have to land in something slimy!? 
I looked up at Elysian, just in time to see him unleash an attack of his own; my dragon’s bright celestial fire hit its mark as I stood up and hurriedly tried to clean myself up. Being a superhero is not as important as looking like one, in my opinion.  
“Augh!” Daikan cried, the dragon fire slowly eating away at his colorful clothes and sizzling into his wrinkly skin. Even though I love my barbeque, it was a gruesome sight to watch him flap and burn. It probably would have been more enjoyable if he was dead. And plucked. 
“Finish him!” Elysian called out. 
“No one defeats me,” I murmured, letting myself smile. For once, we are going to get along all right without -
A hot, blazing arrow of light suddenly soared out of nowhere. It struck the demonic creature in the head, unleashing a small bright explosion and bombing out brain residue. I jumped back and shielded my face. When I peeked over seconds later, Daikan was gone. 
I groaned; I'd thought too soon. She was here. 
Following the trajectory of the arrow, I looked up. And there she was.  

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