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The Last Stand (X-Men Series)

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Overview

TAKE A STAND.

The world has acquired a lethal new weapon against X-gene mutants, whose superhuman powers separate them–for better, for worse, forever–from ordinary mortals. Now, for the first time, mutants have a choice: retain their godlike abilities, though their powers may isolate and alienate them, or surrender them and become human. The mutant antibody is called a cure, but its invention may trigger a ...
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Last Stand (X-Men Series)

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Overview

TAKE A STAND.

The world has acquired a lethal new weapon against X-gene mutants, whose superhuman powers separate them–for better, for worse, forever–from ordinary mortals. Now, for the first time, mutants have a choice: retain their godlike abilities, though their powers may isolate and alienate them, or surrender them and become human. The mutant antibody is called a cure, but its invention may trigger a struggle that destroys every living soul on Earth.

As Magneto declares all-out war against humanity and its dreaded cure, the U.S. president mobilizes the military. But it is Charles Xavier and the X-Men who truly must brace for the ultimate battle, for they alone are powerful enough to determine the outcome.

Lessons of the past are useless in the coming life-and-death conflict, as new players–mutants possessing unprecedented, unearthly skills– take center stage. With so many joining forces with Magneto’s evil Brotherhood, the X-Men will face their ultimate test against an enemy whose forces far outnumber their own.

Now, as the world trembles, the Phoenix slowly rises. . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345492111
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/16/2006
  • Series: X-Men Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 696,879
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.85 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Claremont is one of the bestselling comic writers in the world. He wrote The Uncanny X-Men for seventeen years as well as the novelization of the movie X-Men 2. He has been the co-creator of several top-selling series for Marvel Comics, including Excalibur, Wolverine, New Mutants, and, in the United Kingdom, Captain Britain. He wrote the Star Trek twenty-fifth-anniversary graphic novel Debt of Honor and a Next Generation sequel, Cry, Vengeance, for DC Comics, as well as Alien/Predator: The Deadliest of Species for Dark Horse. His debut novel was Firstflight, the story of a young female astronaut in the twenty-first century, to which he wrote two sequels, Grounded and Sundowner. He collaborated with George Lucas on three novels in The Chronicles of the Shadow War, and has delved into fantasy with the publication of Dragon Moon, a dark fantasy novel co-authored with his wife, Beth Fleisher. The couple lives in Brooklyn with their two children.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The moment her best friend died, Jean Grey first dreamed of fire, and dancing among the stars.

Neighbors since they were born, inseparable once they could crawl, she and Annie Malcolm shared toys and sandboxes, secrets and dreams, their parents, their entire lives. They had ten years together.

They never saw the car that brought that to an end.

Blind curve, guy’s in a hurry, Annie feeling competitive, totally focused on the Frisbee Jean had thrown. Reacting, not thinking, no consideration of anything but the prize, as a wayward breeze scooped the plastic disk up just beyond her reach. Tantalizing, infuriating, beyond wicked, to come so close and then fall short. For Annie, that was unacceptable.

She made a spectacular catch. Jean cheered.

Her smile was so special, a flash of pure delight that burned itself indelibly on Jean’s memory.

Then she was gone, wiped away so suddenly, so completely, it was almost as though she’d never been, thrown aside like a sackcloth dummy. There was a flash of shape and color, something big and powerful moving too fast to properly register—afterwards, when Jean tried to describe the vehicle to the police, what came out was more monster than machine. It was the first time—the only time—that her perfect memory ever failed her.

Or perhaps it was just that she didn’t care about the car.

She heard a squeal as the driver fought for control, stomping on his brakes too late to make a difference, then the roar of an accelerating engine rapidly fading in the distance, as shock gave way to panic and he decided to save himself instead.

Jean had eyes only for her friend, draped against the wall of piled fieldstone that formed the property line along River Road. Annie lay unmoving, all crumpled and bloody and broken.

Sobbing, face twisted with denial, Jean dropped to her knees, hands trembling as she reached out, not a sound issuing from her lips save Annie’s name—although every family in the neighborhood claimed later that they heard her piercing scream of anguish and horror. She repeated the name over and over, like a mantra, as if simply by saying the word she could anchor spirit to flesh and keep her friend from slipping away.

Then, she heard Annie call her name.

Instinct guided her to take a hand in both of hers, and Jean cried out again, a hoarse coughing exclamation that gave voice to all the pain balled up inside her friend. There were bursts of ice and fire along one side, scrapes and busted ribs, and a burning within one arm that told Jean it too was broken, and more pain where Annie had cracked her skull against one of the stones. That was the source of a lot of the blood, painting her face and now Jean as well as she stroked Annie’s brow and tried to kiss the pain away. There was a dull ache near the bottom of her back, a gaping hollowness in the center of her chest. With a start, Jean realized she’d forgotten to breathe, and with a frantic gulp of air realized to her horror that Annie couldn’t.

Her back was broken.

She couldn’t bear to look anymore and closed her eyes—only that didn’t help. Instead, it simply took her somewhere else.

Her own heart was a trip-hammer, pounding too hard and fast for her to separate the beats, her breath coming in shallow gasps that matched its cadence, like an animal in a terror trance, standing helpless before the predator who seeks its life. That made Jean angry; she hated being afraid and refused to be a victim, even of fate itself.

She thought at first she’d blacked out, because around her all was darkness. And then, of course, she assumed hallucinations as images rolled towards her out of that darkness, blurry in the distance, resolving as they moved closer into visions of people and places. She saw herself, arms thrown straight up as though signaling a touchdown, thought (absurdly) how familiar those clothes looked, until she realized she was wearing them now and she was looking at herself only moments ago, celebrating Annie’s catch.

Her mind took the connection a step further; she looked more closely at the other images floating past her and she knew that they were Annie’s memories.

They seemed to be coming from a central source, like stars being spun clear of the core of a spiral galaxy. Without hesitation she plunged into the heart of that glorious radiance, face transfixed with awe and wonder at the unimaginable myriad of colors and shapes that represented all of her friend’s life-experience. She couldn’t help grinning at the recognition of how many of them seemed to relate to her, and how richly textured they were.

She was still thinking in purely human terms and assumed that when she reached the heart of the radiance, she’d be this incredibly tiny dust mote facing some unimaginably huge representation of Annie. Instead, she came to her as an equal—only her body appeared wholly solid, whereas Annie’s was boiling away at the edges.

Aghast, Jean watched a string of memories—some birthday or other, a trip to grandma’s, boring days at school—tumble off into the distance until they were gone, swallowed up in darkness. Again operating from an instinct she didn’t understand, Jean reached out to try to catch them, but she might as well have been a ghost herself, grabbing at the wind. They wouldn’t be snared, couldn’t be held.

She heard Annie call her name.

They both knew what was happening; neither dared say it aloud.

“Don’t be scared, Annie,” Jean said.

“Show me how, ’kay?”

“You’ve got to hold on, Annie, you can’t give up.”

“I’m broken, Jean. There’s nothing I can do.”

“Stop it! Don’t you dare talk like that, I won’t let you go!”

The passion surprised them both, a fierce rage that outlined Jean, just for a moment, in a corona of fire, like a star casting forth a solar flare. The fire plunged into Annie, making her gasp with surprise as her fading radiance glowed more brightly.

“See,” Jean cried triumphantly. “See! I can help! I can save you!”

But Annie knew better.

“It isn’t making a difference, Jean, not so it matters.”

“Shut up, I’m working here.”

“Do you have a clue what you’re doing?” Annie asked.

“Making it up as I go. What do you care, so long as you come out all right?”

“Ain’t gonna happen.”

“Watch me.”

“No, Jean,” Annie said, “watch me.”

Jean didn’t want to, but Annie was by far the more determined of the two, always had been, with a focus (stubbornness, some said) that was legendary. They were still of the same size, a pair of galaxies, islands of breathtaking light and color, all by themselves against the backdrop of infinity. Now though, while Jean remained essentially coherent, Annie had spun off so much quantum substance that she was translucent. Yet she was visibly the more dynamic of the two—the part of her that remained burned far more brightly than it should, because Jean was sustaining it with her own energies. The consequence was that Jean’s own life-glow had dimmed considerably.

“Let me go,” Annie said quietly.

“No.” Jean could be just as muleheaded.

“Please.”

“You’re my best friend.”

“Can you make me better?”

“What do you mean?”

“Can you fix the all of me that’s broken? Can you find the all of me that’s lost?” Annie waved a barely corporeal arm to indicate what remained of her body, the mass of imagery cascading ever faster into oblivion.

Jean’s face twisted with a grief she’d never imagined, didn’t think could possibly be endured.

“I. Don’t. Know. How!” And with that terrible admission, her face went still with resolve. She would find a way, no matter what it took. She refused to accept that she couldn’t.

“You can’t stay,” Annie told her.

“I won’t leave you.”

“Do you want to die, too? Look at yourself, Jean.”

“I’m fine.”

“I can barely see you. You’ve poured so much light into me, yours is almost gone. If you give me all your strength, how will you find your way home?”

“We’re going home together.”

“No.”

With that, Annie lunged forward, catching Jean by surprise in an embrace that carried with it every bit of love and affection, every remaining aspect of their shared lives. She thrust both hands into the core of Jean’s being and returned the strength Jean had given her.

Too much power, too fast! It burst outward like a star going supernova, impossibly—for that single flash of time—turning a totality of darkness into an absolute of light. Against such a display, Annie was too small to even quantify.

For Jean, this was beyond revelation. She understood none of it, on any level. The emotions were too primal for a child’s mind to comprehend, and she had no resources of intellect or spirit that could give her even a hope of coping. She’d been cast into a maelstrom and knew only enough to hold fast to herself until it ran its course, praying fate was smiling on her enough to survive.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(58)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Awesome book, worth the money!

    Its an awesome book, it has very good details and its a 100% worth the money. I highly recommend this book for all ages and anyone who likes the movie, only con is that it skips pages sometimes and that the proffessor dies but altogether i love the book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 19, 2006

    A Leash On Claremont?

    I love the story, and the plotline is phenomenal, and it is obvious that the movie will be fantastic. The novel, however, was as enjoyable as it was, on a certain level, dissapointing. After reading X2 by Claremont, I had come to expect a greater depth in the characters (particularly Jean as the Phoenix), and also a lot of extras and references to the comics. Apparently someone leashed in Claremont's inspired storytelling and forced him to not deviate at all from the original story. Compared to the novel of X2, you will be somewhat dissapointed, as I was, but it still remains an enjoyable read to add to your library - definitley worth the $6.50 that I had to pay for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 15, 2006

    Explosive X-men

    I loved this book! Read the entire thing in one day. From the first page it kept me enthralled waiting to see what turn the plot would take. The depth of character is great, the growth of Rouge and Rouge's and Logan's relationship. Can not wait to see the movie, nor to see what they write next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 31, 2014

    Been looking for this!

    Thanks! And if you happen to come across X-Men: First Class let me know! (been wanting that to if there is one!)

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

    Posted October 29, 2014

    URGENT TO ALL-CANT FIND BOOK

    I really want to join but i cant find the main camp/book.please leave a post saying the title and who its by...thanks so much.-Maggie,age 13,Power:can control metal like Magneto.

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

    Posted October 29, 2014

    Bae

    Hi im rick and i want a bae

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

    Posted October 28, 2014

    NAJAKO TORDRES

    Codename: emfamous flame
    Age: 16

    Power type: fire

    Althetcs: took karate and mixed arts and boxing

    Has three eyes. The third eye is cursed. All of the eys are covered up

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

    Posted October 28, 2014

    MD

    Name: MD
    Looks: blue eyes ,brown hair, strong, has six pack and really tall i usaully were nike/under armour

    Powers: can turn into anything i touch if i want and can control water and ice

    Personal:im single i play football for my school team im nice funny and caring

    Anything else: ask!!!!!

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

    Posted October 27, 2014

    Kay

    Steps in, attempting to introduce herself. Her formality is a gift of hers, but enjoys slaughtering something that gets in her way just as easily with no mercy. Her blue eyes glimmer and she turns. "I'm Kay. Code name, Nymph. Don't judge me," she says, baring her teeth. Her pale skin seems ghostly, but her elvish features compliment her eyes. Her long flowing white hair easily brushes her waste, d her pointed ears are key for hearing. "My powers," she pauses and takes a breath. "I'm good with water. I can walk on it, l can control it, blah blah blah, etcetera etcetera." She turns away and sits down quietly.

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

    Posted October 25, 2014

    Henry

    Skin.Blue <p> Gender.Male <p> Powers.Really strong can do mixed martail arts and can fly and tun invisible. <p> Name.Henry <p> Code name.Blue wonder. <p> Crush.idk

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

    Posted October 25, 2014

    VicMars

    Name: Victor Mars <br> Age: 14 <br> Power: l have the power to control heat; l can make lt hot on specifically one person, or l can make it cold for any amount of people. Also l took karate so l can flip and kick and punch.

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

    Posted October 24, 2014

    Tyler

    Im a 13 yearold boy. My muntant power is that i can shoot and control already burning fire so i carry a few lighters around just in case also very strong(not a muntant power)

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

    Posted October 17, 2014

    Lulu n

    What is a seer

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

    Posted October 24, 2014

    Leader of mutants of the future

    My name is Tommy and i am a boy 13 years old and i am a shapeshifter that can change into anyone and i am very acrobatic and flexible

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

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Rose

    She rolls our

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

    Posted May 31, 2014

    My power

    I saw days of furture past an i have white eyes (im herobrine)
    Black armor,black raven wings, and i shoot fireballs that explode. I say thats pretty badass, just like deadpool

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

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Alana's bio

    I've seen X-Men: Days of Future Past. Its awesome! Anyway, my bio. || Looks: blonde hair usally in a pony tail, greenish-bluish eyes, a slim body, and usally wears a tight black leather jacket. Leather pants. And black boots that go up to my knees. Powers: My mutation is I have force field and I can throw force field balls that feel like your running into a solid wall. It won't kill you but you will be unconscence. I also know ti-kwan-do. Age: 14. I hope thats enough!

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

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Lolddfffjfjfjcnfjfjjcncnnfnfgnfnnfnnfnfffjccchfbfbfbbfncfcfffhzfndffffgggggghjffffdddfjgjgngjgjtjejcddbxccbdfhdywassdhrhyhrhrjj asryfgfggggjfnfjrbbffccjjdddndjddjfjfjdndnenejejejnnredddddhccfghfuurrkruriurrffjfffgrcfss

    Doodoo ball is ceo

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Boy

    First name: Elliott, middle name: John. Congradulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 24, 2014

    Boy

    He should be called jordan and middle name isaac good luck from anonymunis

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews

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