Aloshaby Christopher Pike
"Everyone, at some point in life, dreams that they are secretly a king or queen or wizard of a far-off land. Someday their true identity will be revealed, and they will begin a new life of magic and power and love. Teenager Ali Warner has good reason to believe in such a fantasy." "While hiking in the woods behind her house, Ali stumbles across a plot by the… See more details below
"Everyone, at some point in life, dreams that they are secretly a king or queen or wizard of a far-off land. Someday their true identity will be revealed, and they will begin a new life of magic and power and love. Teenager Ali Warner has good reason to believe in such a fantasy." "While hiking in the woods behind her house, Ali stumbles across a plot by the elementals - mysterious creatures who live in a neighboring dimension - to invade and destroy the Earth. Not only that, she discovers that she has been chosen to stop the attack. Why? It is very possible that she may be more than human." "To reclaim her magical abilities and her true identity, Ali sets out on a great adventure. This journey will take her far from home and through a series of dangerous tests that require not only courage and strength but an insight into life itself." Accompanied by a devious leprechaun, a loyal troll, and three close friends, Ali strives to reach the top of a forbidden mountain and lay claim to the Yanti, an ancient talisman of great power that even the elementals cannot control. Ali Warner is Alosha. Join her in her quest to save humanity.
Shane Bell, Teen Reviewer
Sparkling characters . . . a compelling and intellectually satisfying read. Highly creative.
Like any good read, this is a hard book to put down. But more than that, it's hard to let this one come to an end. By the end...you can't stand the anticipation. That feeling in the pit of a reader's stomach must be one of the best compliments we can pay an author.
Will undoubtedly entertain. The backstory is compelling, the action is fast-paced, the danger is real. Sure to be a blockbuster.
A fine tale that hooks the reader . . . [an] exhilarating story.
Read an Excerpt
By Christopher Pike
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2004 Christopher Pike
All rights reserved.
It was the beginning of summer, early morning, and Alison Warner had big plans for the day. A group of lumberjacks were planning to chop down a bunch of trees on the mountains that stretched behind her house, and she was hoping to stop them.
Of course, at thirteen, Ali was old enough to realize she was not going to save a single tree. Her intentions for going were more symbolic. She wanted to make the men who cut down the trees feel bad about what they were doing and, hopefully, force them to think twice about doing it next time. They all knew her. She had been to the site twice to call them barbarians. They had just laughed; they thought she was funny.
Ali hoped to bring her best friend, Cindy Franken, with her on the long road to the logging site. But the problem with Cindy, especially during summer vacation, was getting her out of bed before noon.
Ali braced herself for a struggle as she left her house.
It looked like it was going to rain, she thought, as she stood on her front porch. Gray clouds had blown in from far out at sea. They gathered overhead like a fog bank, filled with menace. Although it was mid June, there was still a chill in the air, a shadow even; it was as if nature herself brooded over what was about to happen to the forest.
Ali had on a sweater her mother had made for her two years ago, and carried an olive-colored waterproof poncho in her daypack. Before she jumped on her bike, she slipped on a pair of black leather gloves. From experience, she knew how the cold air could sting her fingers once she built up speed.
Cindy Franken lived only six blocks away. Ali had known her since kindergarten. They had met over finger paints and sand castles. They told each other everything — well, almost — and always stood up for each other. However, they had completely different personalities. Cindy's mouth was directly tied to her brain. She usually said exactly what was on her mind, which annoyed people. Ali was forever getting her out of trouble. Ali herself seldom spoke without careful consideration. People her age — even two teachers at school — had told her she was more an adult than a kid. That might have been true, but she was still young enough to wonder if that was an insult or a compliment.
Ali did not bother knocking on Cindy's front door, but snuck around the side and poked her head in her friend's window. They had set their plan to ride into the mountains only the night before, but Cindy was fast asleep on her back with her mouth wide open. Watching, Ali saw her closed eyelids twitch, and wondered if her friend dreamed, and if she was there with her in the dreams.
"Wake up sleepyhead," Ali said.
Cindy opened her eyes. "I'm awake," she mumbled.
"Can I come in?"
Cindy rolled over. "You're not a vampire. I don't have to invite you in."
Cindy was shorter than Ali, with long blond hair and a hundred curls the size of gold coins. Her face was more appealing than beautiful, but she managed to stay tan even in the dead of winter, and she laughed so easily and often that she had more friends than Ali. Her eyes were a dark blue, quick and bright, and she was a lot smarter than she acted.
Ali climbed inside and sat beside Cindy on the bed. Her friend had closed her eyes again and was threatening to pass out. Ali shook her gently.
"You know the lumberjacks get up before dawn. They're probably already sawing down the pines and firs on Castle Ridge," Ali said.
Cindy kept her eyes shut. "We're not going to stop them by tying yellow ribbons around the trees."
"I brought red this time."
Ali hesitated to explain that she had another reason for visiting the logging site. She wanted to say goodbye to some of her favorite trees. Many of the pines and firs that stood behind their town were the same age as she. They had grown up together; they were like old friends. Even her father did not realize how often she rode her bike into the forest. Since her mother had died in a car accident a year ago — on her twelfth birthday, no less — it had become more home to her than the city.
Being in nature did not allow her to completely escape her loss, yet she often felt at peace as she walked beneath the swaying trees. There she could sing, there she could cry. The trees did not judge, they did not speak back. They only listened.
"We have to try," Ali told Cindy.
Her friend opened her eyes and hugged her pillow. "Write a letter to a senator or something," she mumbled.
"I did that already, to both of them. They didn't write back."
"Write the president."
"I heard the guy can't read."
Cindy yawned. "Do you know what time I went to bed?"
"I don't want to know. You said you'd go with me. You promised."
"I was forced into promising." Cindy suddenly grinned mischievously. "Take Karl with you."
"Don't start that," Ali warned.
"You know you like him."
"I don't like him."
"You don't hate him," Cindy said, as if that were a huge plus.
"Why are you in such a hurry to set me up? We're not even in eighth grade yet."
"Because by high school every guy who is not a total nerd is taken."
"I like nerds. Why do you think you're my best friend?" Ali asked.
Cindy smiled. "Why is it so hard to admit you like him?"
"Okay, I like him! I just don't want to marry him is all."
"It could be romantic staring down the lumberjacks and their chain saws with the boy you love by your side."
Ali sighed. "You know what your problem is?"
"I watch too much TV?"
"Yes. Are you coming or not?"
"Will you go if I don't go?"
Cindy closed her eyes and smiled sleepily. "Have fun."
Ali left the house in disgust.
Breakfast was not a big deal to her — she usually skipped it — but she had a hard climb before her and knew she would be starving by the time she reached the logging site. Before heading out, she decided to stop by Sam's Subs, which had the best sandwiches in town.
Breakwater, the city where she lived, was small, population a measly three thousand, maybe twice that at the height of the tourist season. Its only landmark was a turn-of-the-century steeple church that had recently been painted a tacky green by the new mayor. An article in the local paper said the guy was color-blind.
It was the Interstate — and the cheap motels and all-night diners that lined it — that fed Breakwater. There weren't many jobs in town, and most of them were lousy. That was why her father had to leave the city in his truck to keep a roof over their heads.
Ali rode to the sandwich shop with her hair tied back; it was a good thing. Her maroon hair — her mother used to say it was fine as wine and exactly the same color — reached all the way to her butt. A favorite silver clasp kept it from her eyes. Later in the day, though, on the mad dash down the mountain, she would let it fly like a witch's cape over her shoulders.
Sam Carter — owner and manager of Sam's Subs — looked like one of his sandwiches. A six-foot-long ham and cheese, Cindy called him, although Ali thought he was more of a steak man. The guy was nice and everything — especially to kids — but he ate up all his profits. He weighed four hundred pounds.
Ali ordered a medium-sized turkey, with lettuce, tomato and cheese — and asked for a can of Coke. She would eat it when she was high up on the mountain, and could see up and down the coast, and far out over the ocean. Sam threw in a bag of chips free.
"You don't have to do that," Ali said.
Sam waved his hand. "Your mother always bought you chips."
Sam had gone to high school with her mom, had played football on the team when her mother was a cheerleader. He had cried at her funeral.
She smiled and stuffed the food in her daypack. "Thanks, Sam."
"Any time, Ali."
She had just left the store when she ran into a strange little man. He was hanging around the parking lot, looking either lost or up to no good. He was dressed in a green coat and a yellow bow tie, and wore a green wool cap over his head, covering his ears. He must be a midget, she thought, he couldn't have been three feet tall.
Yet his proportions were odd. His head was bigger than her father's and his hands were long and bony like a skeleton's; never mind his hook nose, which was shaped like a bent hanger and dotted with dozens of tiny bumps.
He appeared to be wearing women's makeup; the stuff was thick and poorly applied. It gave his skin a sickly yellow color, or else, she thought, that was his natural color and he was trying to cover it up.
Whatever, she didn't like the look of him and tried getting on her bike when she saw him staring at her. But he called and came running over, and she felt she had to stop. She did not like being rude to people.
Still, she glanced around for support, and was relieved to see Sam watching her from inside his sandwich shop. She preferred to trust people, but she was not careless. If the tiny man tried to harm her, she would shout out, and Sam would be there in a second.
"A second, Missy. Need to ask you a few questions," he said as he approached. Close up his eyes were as weird as the rest of him. Large and deep set, they were bright green but splintered with gold streaks that seemed to swim around black pupils. Peering at her from beneath brown eyebrows that were so bushy he could have combed them like mustaches, his big eyes seemed to glow. She wondered if he was nuts, if he had decided to dress up for Halloween a few months early. In his left hand he carried a white pillowcase that appeared loaded with goodies.
"Yes?" she said.
He glanced at her sandwich that stuck halfway out of the pack on her back. "What's that?" he asked, interested.
"Lunch. What can I do for you, sir?"
He offered his right hand. "Paddy O'Connell, a pleasure to meet you, Missy. It is I who would like to serve you."
She shook his hand quickly; it was hairy on top of everything else. "I'm sorry, I don't need any service today, thank you."
She turned to go. He blocked her path.
"A moment, Missy. I have here items I know you're going to like. Items I'd be willing to part with — for you — for less than a fair price."
He lifted his pillowcase, drew forth an elegant gold watch and held it out for her to inspect. "Note the fine workmanship, the gold band and the many diamonds set in the exquisite face. This watch must be worth a thousand dollars. But I'd be more than happy to give it to a young lady such as yourself for ... oh, three hundred dollars." He stopped and grinned; his crooked teeth were as yellow as his weird skin. He added, "What do you say, Missy?"
"I don't have three hundred dollars," she said.
He stopped, scratched his big head. "How much do you have?"
"None of your business. If I had a thousand dollars, I wouldn't buy that watch. It's obviously stolen."
He drew back, shocked. "Stolen? How dare you say such a thing? Paddy may be new to these parts, but that gives you no reason to judge me so harshly."
Ali felt a pang of guilt. He might be telling the truth. It was possible he made his living selling stuff out of his bag. She couldn't see him working in a normal store.
"I'm sorry," she replied. "I shouldn't have said that. But I don't need a watch and I couldn't afford one even if I did." She turned to walk away, but once more he stopped her. He brought a Walkman out of his bag, held it out for her to study.
"I'm sure you could use one of these," he said. "I'd be willing to part with this for a much smaller amount."
Ali was curt. "I already have a Walkman."
"But this is a brand-new ... Walkman." He added, "I wager it could help you walk your man much better than the one you own."
At first she thought he was joking. "Walk your man?" But then she realized the little guy had no idea what a CD player was. He continued to stare at her eagerly. Once again it made her think the items were stolen.
"Where are you from?" she asked.
He was cautious. "Why do you ask?"
"You said you were new to these parts. Where are you from?"
He slipped the Walkman in his bag and averted his eyes. "The old country. I only just arrived a few days ago. I mean you no harm." He paused and stared at her sandwich again, adding, "I haven't had lunch today."
"You're hungry?" she asked.
"Very hungry. I've not had breakfast yet, either. I'm sure a bite or two of your bread would satisfy me." He added hopefully, "If Missy wishes to share it?"
Ali handed him the sandwich. She could always buy another before she left town. "Take it, that's fine," she said.
He took a step forward and grabbed it, ripped off the wrapper in a second. His mouth, when he opened it all the way, was gigantic. He put an entire end of the sandwich in his mouth and chewed hungrily. Then he started to sniff her daypack.
"You have chips?" he asked.
He set down his own bag. "May I have some, please?" Before she could answer, he grabbed the bag of potato chips — and the Coke — and began to stuff himself. Ali had never seen anyone eat so fast. "What else do you have?" he asked between mouthfuls.
"I'm not giving you any more food."
He waved the sandwich. "Now, now, Missy, I meant no offense. Just a starving traveler, I am." He reached for his bag. "Could I interest you in a wallet or purse? I have a fine selection."
"No. Take that stuff to the pawnshop if you want to get rid of it."
He paused, interested. "A pawnshop? Where is that?"
"On Hadley. That's around the block from here."
"They buy things there? They pay go ... cash?"
"Yes. Don't you know what a pawnshop is?"
"I do indeed," he said, putting the remainder of the sandwich in his pillowcase. "It's been a long day for me and I really must be on my way. Thanks for your time, Missy."
"No problem," Ali muttered as she watched him disappear in the direction of the pawnshop. Even the way he moved was odd; he was like a squirrel on two legs. What a strange fellow! He almost didn't look human.
Ali turned and walked back toward Sam's Subs, reaching in her pockets for her money. She had brought a twenty with her, and knew she had over fifteen in change.
But her pockets were empty.
It took her a moment to realize what had happened.
"That guy stole my money!" she exclaimed.
She fumed. Fifteen bucks — that was a lot of money to her. Paddy had probably swiped it when he had grabbed the sandwich. For sure, he must have stolen all the watches and wallets he had in his pillowcase. She wondered if she should call the police.
In the end, though, she did nothing. She didn't even bother asking Sam for a free lunch, although she knew he would have given it to her in a second. The day was wearing on, trees were dying. Suddenly, she was anxious to get up in the woods.
Turning her bike in the direction of the forest, Ali rode out of town.CHAPTER 2
Later, high on the mountain, she found herself surrounded by trees so green they seemed to breathe fresh air, and a silence so deep her thoughts sounded like spoken words in her head. Already, the forest was working its magic on her; she felt much happier.
Yet she had come to an obstacle, a roadblock. A wooden bar — yellow as that weird man's putrid makeup, and high as her neck — stretched all the way across the road. The roadblock had not been there before, and she wondered if the logging company had put it up to keep her out. The sign on the bar said no trespassing, go away nosy girl, stop hassling us with your stupid guilt trips. Well, not exactly, but something like that. It sure wasn't a friendly sign.
Ali stopped and got off her bike to catch her breath. She had been about to take a break anyway, but was disturbed by the roadblock. She realized she could get in trouble if she went on, yet she was not in the mood to give up. She had always been headstrong and, ever since her mother had died, had made it a point not to quit anything she started.
The sign was a square of hard cardboard, not metal. Feeling rebellious, she tore it off the bar and folded it and stuffed it in her daypack. If she got caught, she could always deny she had seen the sign. She hated to lie to anyone, but these were the same guys who were murdering her forest. It was not like they would arrest her or anything.
"They might," she said aloud. They might do exactly that. Then she would have to call her father, raise bail, appear before a judge, and maybe have her picture on the front page of the local newspaper. Worse things could happen, she decided.
Excerpted from Alosha by Christopher Pike. Copyright © 2004 Christopher Pike. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Alosha is the 1st of three books by Christopher pike about a young girl, Ali, and her friends (both human and not). I questioned purchasing this book at first. It seemed very young and too simple for the books I enjoy reading. In truth one of the reasons I did decide to get it was because I am an avid Christopher pike fan, and I saw on one of his fan web sites that there is talk of a movie. The book began very slow, climbing through thickness concerning nothing I was interested in. or so I thought. And then it bloomed, and the words were something I couldn't stop reading. The story is very well thought out and imaginative. I must say my favorite character happens to be a troll, and that sometimes I find Ali, the main character a little annoying, as well as her best friend Cindy. There are quite a few parts where you are given a little taste of something but not explained it at all. I like this in books, but at times there seems to be one too many in this book. And since some of my questions were not answered in the first book, I am assuming that they will be answered at the conclusion of the entire story, or as we go along. This is a great book of discovery. Discovering who Ali is, and perhaps a little of yourself as you journey with her to save the world.
This book was amazing! I read in 1 day, I jut couldn't let it go! The plot was interesting and full of twists that often times I was left with my jaw on the floor. It is amazing the experiences and tests that Ali 'the main character' went throught to undrstand her past, present, and future.
when i picked this book out, i didnt realize how addicted i would become to this series! although the biginning started out slowly, with this girl who doesnt want the trees to be cut down and all these strange things happening to her, aftershe begins climbing the mountian and the story unravles,i becomes the most entertaining book you will ever read! I honestly sat reading and laughing and crying along with the book! it was so amzing you will have to have the next books with you right when you finish because all you will want to do is just finish reading to know what happens next! ....i know it sounds weird but i spent my whole day reading and i know you will too because it brings so much suspence! i so recommend this book to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I could not call this book good, or even entertaining. Its part generic 'kid adventure' and 'paint by numbers fantasy' with some uniquely Pike touches. You've got the prepubescent heroine and her group of friends going on an adventure which they cant tell the adults about, and all the grown ups file under 'big jerk' or 'reasonable authority figure'. The fantasy elements are generic. you've got the quest, the tests, elves, dwarves and trolls. It's okay to use common literary elements, but Pike does nothing interesting with any of these. I would say that these elves and dwarves are some of the most generic in all of literature, and the fairies deserve a trophy for "Most boring and uninspired fantasy creature. Of all the things Pike could have done with the, he just makes them red haired, green eyed super powered hippies. The dark fairies were so lazily described that they sounded like a rubber suit monster from a cheap sci fi movie. Now for the characters. I'm not lying when I saw Ali has to be one of the worst characters I've ever read about. She's a lying, whinny, obnoxious brat, who puts her friends in danger, and treats people like things. Worse, the prose keeps telling us about how mature and responsible Ali is, and how she gets her power from her 'endless empathy'. She also becomes ridiculously overpowered but keeps forgetting about her powers so there can still be some sense of 'conflict'. Pike just loves this character too much, and is blind to what a monster he's created. During the 'climax' Ali shows what an awful character she is. The other characters aren't much better. Cindy is Ali's friend whose suppose to be rude, but she just comes off as the voice of reason. Ali ignores what she says most of the time. Steve is Ali's love interest, and another one of Pike's darlings eve though he's completely uninteresting. You also have the token supernatural characters, and the traitor. This book is trite and unpleasant, and the only way you could get any joy from it, is if you like train wrecks. Bellow I have several recommendations that are similar to this book, but infinity better.
Any tie ins to The Starlight Crystal? Alosha is a character; Alosha is creation
Buying it for my nieces and nephews. He is such a wonderful writer. I have enjoyed every book I have purchased by him.
To tell you the truth I loved this book to death, to me it was amazing and to all thoose who didn't like it is because they do not have an imagination! The bigger the imagination the more you understand the book and to thoose who don't have one just try it, all you have to do is picture what it would look like and whaa laa you have a movie in your head. To me I could also see what was going on and have bought the sequels and is currently reading the Yanti and I must say it is pretty darn good! I hope when you Purchase this that you enjoy it because I sure did.
This book was magnificent. Though at the beginning I was slightly confused, it gradually became more clear, and the slight cloudiness only made me want to learn more. Alosha was a brilliant character, and I really appreciated the way that she was fought for her friends. Most books and movies have such weak female characters - mostly because the authors are so chauvinistic, but Christopher Pike really did a good job with this!
Alosha was a wonderfully magical book. I loved every minute of it. I couldnt put it down because I wanted to know what happens next. This is a great book that anyone would enjoy reading.
Alosha had all the elements (literally) needed to have a wonderful fantasy. It had the customary elves, faries, dwarfs, good/bad guys, but Alosha went farther and brought out more of the forgotten fantasy creatures. Alosha resurected the elusive bigfoot along with the simple but loyal trolls. And with a bold move even brought along the rarely portrayed leprechaun. In Alosha all the exciting aspects of fantasy were brought together to create the greatest tale of another world right around the corner. I'm not sure how the next one, Shaktra, will be able to compete.