Brandon Marlowe And The Spirit Snatcher

( 47 )

Overview

It's hard enough being a teenage boy, let alone a teenage boy with supernatural powers derived from Gods. In ancient times, the Gods warred with the Titans. The Titans fell, but the Gods' need for power never ceased. Soon, they channeled their powers into humans, known as "Demigods," who could fight their fights for them. Brandon Marlowe is among the cherished few, but life is no easier for him than other boys.

He attends school in Tartarus, where a hidden training center exists...

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Overview

It's hard enough being a teenage boy, let alone a teenage boy with supernatural powers derived from Gods. In ancient times, the Gods warred with the Titans. The Titans fell, but the Gods' need for power never ceased. Soon, they channeled their powers into humans, known as "Demigods," who could fight their fights for them. Brandon Marlowe is among the cherished few, but life is no easier for him than other boys.

He attends school in Tartarus, where a hidden training center exists to cater to these special children. There, Brandon is surrounded by other kids, who are raised and trained to fight the remaining evil Gods and their Demon minions. In Brandon's world, threats are always emerging, and he must be prepared. Soon, he will be ready-sent to battle, like so many before him, in a war to save the human race.

However, Brandon's troubles are much closer to home. His older brother has died, and no one knows why. As Brandon prepares to enter the massive battle of God versus man, it becomes his mission to discover the cause of his brother's death and to punish the guilty. But will his quest for vengeance get in the way of his divine battle? And will his world collapse beneath the weight of the truth?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450292207
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/11/2011
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Brandon Marlowe and the Spirit Snatcher


By ERIC LIVINGSTON

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Eric Livingston
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-9220-7


Chapter One

The heat from the sun began to permeate the air. I could feel the dawn pulling me out of my sleep.

I began to put on the school uniform, the white button down shirt followed by the dark blue jacket with matching pants. The piece of cloth called a sash around the waist in lieu of a belt was a uniform requirement. There was some leniency in the uniform concerning shoes, as different abilities require different footwear for combat. Personally, I just use athletic shoes. Overall, the uniforms are designed to be worn in combat. They are designed for free motion, and can be easily torn to form tourniquets. Two parts of the uniform are optional: the hat has always been left to the individual's personal preference, and the tie used to be mandatory, until a student petition started stating that ties made it easier to be strangled, so they were made optional. I passed on both.

Hard to believe this would be the second to last morning I would walk down these stairs. After this, it would be dorm life for me. That wasn't a complaint. The dorms were nice. Of course, I barely spent any time in either. I preferred open spaces. They went with my nature.

Closing the door behind me, I left my house and took a few steps. A sense of nostalgia came to me. I turned around and took a second look at the house.

Must be because of the assignment, I told myself in an attempt to justify the unusual emotion.

Snapping out of it, I disappeared into the air.

I reappeared on the outskirts of the campus. It would be unfortunate to give some student a heart attack by reappearing in the middle of a crowd. It was just as well. I was still trying to put off today for as long as possible. Once I reached the Center Square, in the middle of campus, there was no turning back.

The school in Tartarus had a purpose. It trained Humans who had inherited powers to fight against the Gods and their Demon armies. The first question for every first year student: Who started the war? The answer depended on whom you asked. I felt sure the blame belonged to both sides. The Gods used Humans to fight their wars against other Gods. It wasn't until the unthinkable happened — a Human killed a God — that the Humans decided to rule themselves. So, the Humans rebelled against the Gods, but they only had the chance because the Gods were warring against each other using Humans.

In any case, the rebellion was successful, in so far as it removed direct influence of the Gods over the Human realm. The job of the inhabitants of Tartarus was to keep it that way. Our motto was freedom — Freedom from the Gods.

The war had started some two thousand years ago. Large engagements had not occurred for some time - the war had manifested itself in each side making strategic maneuvers to gain advantage over the other. Gods targeted their main threat — Humans born with powers. Humans like me.

Although you wouldn't think it to look at me, I was a threat to the Gods. I had an average build for a 16 year old boy, my unkempt short brown hair didn't stand out, and my posture was terrible. Slouching with my hands in my pockets, I didn't look like a strong fighter at all. Despite my physical appearance, I was what every squad in the school wanted — an Elemental Titan.

My ability, inherited from Aura, gave me control of the winds. I was an Elemental Titan, which meant that I even had the ability to turn myself into air. There was only one other Elemental Titan in my year, and he was even more dangerous to be around than I.

Of course there were downsides to growing up with power over the winds. I still retained my childhood habit of keeping my hands in my pockets. When I was younger and still not in full control of my abilities, I had a few incidents of swinging my arms as I walked. The resulting gusts sent people flying into the air. To prevent this, I just started walking around with my hands in my pockets. Although I eventually gained more control, it felt natural for me to keep the habit.

I entered the Center Square, the large building in the middle of campus. It was big enough to hold every student in the school so there wouldn't normally be a reason to push your way through. That did not hold true for today, as evidenced by the massive crowd of newly-advanced second year students filling the lower floor. All of them wondering, waiting, and staring at the stone pillar in the center, now with the assignments posted on it. Every student was pushing forward, trying to find their name.

There were three classes to which a student could be assigned: Soldier, Assassin, or Philosopher. Each student here had probably spent all summer wondering what assignment they would get. I had come to my own conclusions about what my assignment would be. Really it wasn't that difficult, because my brother and my father before him had been assigned to the same class.

"Hey, you!" The unknown voice yelled from behind me.

Not a very good entrance, I thought to myself.

I tried to not judge people too much on first impressions, but I was a fan of a good entrance.

There was no reason to turn around. I already knew what the loud student wanted. Now that the new assignments were out, we would all be eligible to join a squad.

Squads were groups of three students, one from each class, and the first line of defense for the school. While squad life was dangerous, the incentives were enticing enough for most students to want to form their own squad, even if they weren't ready. Today, the walls were lined with older students here with that goal in mind.

I remained facing the same direction.

"Hey, you! I'm talking to you!" The yelling continued. There was no ignoring it anymore, so I turned around. The source of the voice was an older student, somewhat larger than average, both in height and width. His size must have given him the confidence to approach me.

"I'm sorry, were you talking to me?" I asked, playing dumb.

"Of course I was!" I didn't know why he was still yelling. "Why didn't you turn around?"

The answer was obvious. I knew what he wanted and wasn't interested. This student was exactly why I dreaded this day.

"How was I supposed to know you were talking to me?" I asked politely. "My name would've worked better, you know."

"Whatever." He brushed off my advice, but at least he had stopped yelling. "I am recruiting you to join my squad."

"No thank you." I responded quickly.

"I challenge you then." His voice and body shook a little as he spoke. "I'll make you join." The nerves had nothing to do with me personally. I had never met this student before, but Titans in general were known to trash unworthy opponents, and Elementals were the worst. I would've preferred to go unnoticed today, but one example might be enough to keep the others at bay.

"Fine," I agreed. "Let's fight it out." The school was a nonviolent place, most of the time, but we were fighters after all. Students had the right to challenge other students to matches. This match would determine whether or not I had to join his squad. If he won, I joined him. If I won, he would not be allowed to recruit me again. The system didn't bother me, I liked to fight. "Okay. Go ahead, I'll stand right here."

The crowd of students around us backed away. They knew they didn't want to get tangled up in this.

The boy rushed at me at what was probably his full speed. As he bounded toward me, I considered his approach. Charging at me head-on was a brave move, but not very bright. I just stood there. There was no reason to move. He brought back his fist and hurled it at my head. His fist came closer and closer to my face. The effort was pointless. I turned into air instantly, disappearing before the oncoming student.

His fist, then arm, followed by the rest of his body caught only air as he stumbled through the place I had been only a second earlier. He lost his balance, falling to his knees. I reappeared in the same location. He looked up as I turned towards him.

"You should give up." I suggested. The crowd around us began to laugh. This only served to enrage him. He pulled himself up, and charged at me again.

I suppose I didn't have a choice anymore. Removing my right hand from my pocket, I brought it across my body. Then I swung my arm to the right.

A gust of wind lifted the large student from his feet and carried him across the floor until he was slammed into the Square's inner wall. His limp body fell to the ground. He didn't look like he would get up soon. Medics hurried over to him.

Medics were always present around the school to treat incidents like this one. The school did not frown on fighting, but did prefer that its students not kill each other.

I felt like the fight was reason enough to leave before anyone else approached me. My goal had been to dissuade offers, but my display might have actually encouraged some who would be even more enthusiastic about recruiting an Elemental to their squad now that I had trashed the older boy so easily in front of everyone. It wasn't really fun for me to beat up on people like him. I preferred more of a challenge in my fights.

I headed out through the main entrance of the Square. Mom would be waiting at home for me so I had a reason to return home early. This was the last day I would be staying at home for a while. A breeze passed me. I stopped to listen to it.

"What did it tell you?" A mysterious voice came from behind me.

Impossible, I thought to myself. I hadn't felt any movement behind me. Who could have snuck up on me like that?

My question was answered as soon as I turned around. The words belonged to Stark Abramson, the fourth ranked student in the school.

He towered over me by at least half a foot. He was more muscular as well. Of course, that wasn't saying much, since I looked too scrawny to fight, but that never bothered me. My strength didn't come from my body, but then again, neither did his. In any case, he looked more like a fighter than I did.

But his attire told me that he wasn't here to intimidate me. He wore a casual t-shirt and pants. The only way you could tell he was a student was by the standard dark blue military hat he wore that all the students were issued. The Roman numeral 'I' on his hat told me that he was in the Soldier class. The hat also had lightning bolt decals on either side of the number, a reminder of his power.

"Nice entrance." I had to compliment an entrance like that. Normally, I could detect movements around me by changes in air currents. Even though I had this ability, I was unable to detect his approach. This guy had found a way through my defenses.

"Thanks." He replied. "Congratulations on the Philosopher assignment by the way." I didn't know how to feel about the random compliment. "You know who I am, don't you?" I nodded. The first year students had learned quickly to identify the top students at the school. No one wanted to accidentally get in a fight with one of them. "Then you know why I'm here?" He asked.

"Sorry." I responded. "Should I know why you're here?" I didn't know. I knew of him, but to my knowledge we had not met before now.

"I thought you said that you knew who I was." He seemed surprised by my answer. "If you know that then you should know why I'm here."

"You're Stark Abramson, fourth-ranked student in the school. If I'm not mistaken you're an Elemental Titan, like myself."

"Just call me Zap," He replied. "Everyone else does." He gave his statement some thought. "Well, almost everybody."

"Okay Zap. Why are you here?"

"I'm here to recruit you to join my squad of course." He again spoke as if I should have expected this, but to me the statement was odd. Zap was a known loner, and had been one for some time. He made sport out of humiliating students who asked him to join their squad. He was the only top student without a squad.

"Why would you do that?" I asked.

"You really don't know." He appeared to finally believe me. "Well, it was Kevin who first recruited me. I thought it was only natural that I recruit you."

"Kevin ..." My voice trailed off. There was a name I didn't expect to hear today. Kevin was my older brother who died four years ago. Not many people at the school still remembered him, but apparently Zap did. Not only that, but he was in my brother's squad. His offer was even more interesting.

"Think about my offer, then." Zap broke the silence. "I'll check back in with you tomorrow for an answer." With that he walked back into the Square. In the shadows, I could see the silhouette of a woman waiting inside the Square. I couldn't make out her face and she didn't seem familiar to me. As Zap walked past her, she joined him. She must be the third member of the squad he was trying to form. So if I accepted the offer, the squad would form with no waiting period.

Now I had definitely had enough excitement for one day. I took a few more steps and went Elemental, disappearing into the wind.

I reappeared outside my house. We lived on the outskirts of the Tartarus realm, but still well within the protection of the school. I walked through the door into the house. Mom was baking cookies.

"Who are the cookies for?" I asked, hoping the answer was "for you."

"They're for my students," She answered with a smile, "but you can have some if you want." Mom taught a class of children too young to enter the school. Although she had no abilities of her own, mom had been able to raise both Kevin and me just fine. This made her perfect for dealing with younger children, including several who were not yet in full control of their powers.

"Cookies do sound good." I walked over to them and grabbed a couple from the freshest batch. They were delicious.

"So how was your first day back?" Mom asked. "Any news?"

"Well they put me into the Philosopher class." I responded.

"I'm happy for you, dear, but that's not really news, is it? We were pretty sure that's where you would be placed." She had been just as sure about my assignment as I was. "I want 'news' news. Like, did you get any recruitment offers?"

Sometimes it seemed like she knew these things before I even told her. Since it was only the two of us living together, she could read me too easily.

"I did have one interesting offer actually." She stopped her baking for a moment to listen. "Do you know a student named Stark Abramson?" I asked. She struck her thinking pose, one arm on her chin and the other arm holding the first one up.

"The name — it sounds familiar." She was remembering. "Could you be talking about Zap?"

"Yep, that's who I'm talking about." I responded. "He gave me an offer today to join his squad."

"Well that does make some sense." Mom did not sound as surprised as I expected. Maybe she had some insight into the situation that I was missing. "You know, he was recruited by your brother. That had to be — well that had to be almost six years ago, now." Mom looked surprised. "He must be all grown up now," She counted on her fingers. "Twenty-two by my count."

"I don't know about the age part, but he mentioned being recruited by Kevin," I replied. "I don't remember anything about him though. Anything you can tell me?" The lack of memory wasn't really surprising. Kevin was nine years my senior. I was only around ten when he formed his squad. Who remembers what happened when they were ten?

"I guess you wouldn't remember much," Mom responded. "You were really young then, and your brother tried to keep that part of his life away from you." She resumed her cooking. "He came around a few times. How is he doing now?"

"Well he's the fourth ranked student in the school," I told her. "So I would say he's doing pretty well."

"Only fourth, huh?" Mom sounded surprised. "I always imagined him being a Prime one day. I know your brother spoke about him as if that would be the case."

"No," I responded. "The Prime is still Tyler Franklin." Prime was the name given to the top student at the school. Tyler had been the Prime ever since Kevin's death.

"Well I don't really know him." Mom told me.

"But you did know Zap." That was the more helpful part for me right now. "What can you tell me about him? I'd like to have something to go on if I am going to consider joining his squad after all."

"Well as I recall, he was an odd little kid." She began, "but your brother believed he had a good heart. I know he looked up to your brother as some type of role model, but I only really talked to him once."

"When was that?"

"It was a couple days after your brother's funeral I believe." Mom answered. "He stopped by here to talk to me."

"After his funeral? That's kind of odd, isn't it?"

"Yeah, I thought so at first, but after he talked to me, I felt a lot better." Mom responded. "I'm glad he came by that day."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Brandon Marlowe and the Spirit Snatcher by ERIC LIVINGSTON Copyright © 2011 by Eric Livingston. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. 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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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A great series that hooks you and never lets go!!!

    A great series that hooks you and never lets go!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    EXCELLENT SERIES . . . SO FAR . . .

    Enjoyed the first 3 books IMMENSELY! But there HAS to be more. So many things left unanswered! WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK? Please don't leave us hanging!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Very Fun

    When I first read the book description, I thought this was going to be a Percy Jackson clone. However, it was much different. Brandon Marlowe is an elemental titan, and he has power over the wind. He attends a school in Tartarus where he is learning to fight. When we first meet Brandon, he is starting a new school year where he is sorted into a class. When Brandon joins a "squad" with two other students, his adventure really begins.

    I enjoyed this book very much. Brandon is very sure of himself and his abilities, and this makes for a lot of action. Brandon, his friends, and his squad are great fun. Scene changes could seem a bit abrupt at times, but they certainly kept the action going at a quick pace. There were a few mysteries that were never quite answered, and I desperately want to know the answers to them. This book had some very interesting concepts that felt original and fun. I hope the author keeps writing, because I definitely want to see what happens next!

    Copy of book won in online contest.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    recommend if you enjoy percey jackson books, harry potter

    I enjoyed the book. at first glance it reminded me of percey jackson books, but it was not. It had a school for kids with powers to fight the Gods and demons to protect the freedom of humans. Brandon on his second year or training was picked to join a team of three. Also saw him learn somethings quite fast. He was loyal to his team and friends. It was adventures and entertaining book. I look forward to more books with these characters. Thier is plenty of space to grow for more books. I was given the book in exchange for honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    This is a great read, def recomend

    This is a great read, def recomend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Exceptional.

    Exceptional.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Yay Mythology!!!

    Yay Mythology!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    This book was so much fun to read. I really liked Brandon Marlow

    This book was so much fun to read. I really liked Brandon Marlowe. The story has lots of adventures and the mythological creatures were fun to read about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    This book was an amazing!!!

    This book was an amazing!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    This book was funny, action packed and had a lot of Greek Mythol

    This book was funny, action packed and had a lot of Greek Mythology in it. I didn't want to stop reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    A definite recommendation. Give it a read, you won't regret it.

    A definite recommendation. Give it a read, you won't regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    A lot of fun!!!

    A lot of fun!!!

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    Posted January 15, 2013

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    Posted January 14, 2013

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