Olivion's Favorites

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Overview

When Louis Proof collapsed in pain in front of his uncle's store, he thought he was going to die. Instead he awoke in Midlandia, a place of the impossible.

Almost as soon as he arrives, three eNoli — people who look human but are otherworldly — try to kill him. In fact, it seems as if everyone in Midlandia is trying to kill Louis and the other two human teens, Cyndi Victoria Chase and Devon Alexander. The three are Favorites. If they survive ...

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Olivion's Favorites

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Overview

When Louis Proof collapsed in pain in front of his uncle's store, he thought he was going to die. Instead he awoke in Midlandia, a place of the impossible.

Almost as soon as he arrives, three eNoli — people who look human but are otherworldly — try to kill him. In fact, it seems as if everyone in Midlandia is trying to kill Louis and the other two human teens, Cyndi Victoria Chase and Devon Alexander. The three are Favorites. If they survive Midlandia, they will have great powers. That's a big "if," though.

Louis must find Cyndi and Devon, who've been flung to different parts of Midlandia. Only when the three are together will Olivion's Gate appear. Then they will be able to cross the Gate, meet the Olivion, and return home. The three teens must also pay attention to everything on their journey. It is not enough to be a Favorite; they need to learn how to use their newfound abilities. Tremendous challenges await them at home. But as they're about to learn, those challenges are only the beginning. A threat is coming that is greater than anyone — human or eNoli or iLone — can imagine....

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sarah Cofer
In this follow up to The Marvelous Effect (Simon & Schuster, 2007), book one in The Marvelous World saga, the missing levels from the first book have been found and published as Olivion's Favorites. While twelve-year-old Louis Proof's body was in a coma on Earth, he was called to Midlandia along with two other children, Cyndi and Devon, to become Olivion's favorites, the most powerful beings in existence. Midlandia is a sentient, limitless dimension full of the impossible and home to rivals eNoli and iLone, celestial entities involved in an eternal war. The children encounter many enemies attempting to prevent them from finding Olivion's gate and becoming favorites. The children bond during their Midlandian adventures, but once they finally cross the gate, they discover they must choose opposite sides in order to save both Midlandia and Earth. Unfortunately, both sides cannot win. In order to make sense of this sequel, readers must have read the first book, since the action picks up in the middle of book one with little back story. Even readers who are familiar with book one may be confused by the abundance of characters and wild plot twists. The jumpy third person narration is continuously interrupted when both Midlandia and Olivion appear to insert their opinions throughout the book. Themes of staying true to yourself and choosing your own path resonates, but the philosophical questions and statements like "The Olivion is the epitome of is" are distracting and may make this unreadable for struggling readers. This unique fusion of fantasy, science fiction and adventure might appeal to strong avid readers who devour anything similar to J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and Suzanne Collins. Reviewer: Sarah Cofer
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Louis Proof, Cyndi Victoria Chase, and Devon Alexander welcome readers to the crazy and utterly confusing world of Midlandia, the place of the impossible. It seems that the Alorion Treaty was broken when three Midlandian beings crossed into the human world. "The treaty says that for each . . . who manages to leave Midlandia, a (human) child . . . will be transported" to this parallel universe. There is only one way for the teens to go home. They must find one another and together enter Olivion's Gate where they will meet The Olivion and then be able to return to their homes. This task, however, is far easier said than done. In this video game in prose, twisting and looping paths appear and disappear underfoot, soldiers leap from every direction, and spinning blades whirl through the air as the teens move to different levels to make their way through the chaos of Midlandia to find and enter Olivion's Gate. It is a highly imaginative tale that will most likely to be enjoyed by those who have read the first book in the "Marvelous World" series. The glossary at the beginning of the book will be helpful, especially to first-time readers. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This book is billed as "Volume 1.5" in the series, meaning that it provides background for and overlaps with The Marvelous Effect (S & S, 2007). Louis Proof, a 12-year-old African American, finds himself in the magical and confusing world of Midlandia, along with Cyndi and Devon. The children get to know its residents, the often-enigmatic energy beings called Celestial Entities. Conflicts between two warring groups of CEs soon involve the children, who learn that they are to become "Favorites" of the powerful being called Olivion and that they will be divided between the groups of CEs. It becomes apparent that the war between the CEs will soon move to Earth, and that it's up to the children to protect their home planet. Action moves at an almost-dizzying pace as the youngsters travel through Midlandia and meet a variety of friendly and unfriendly CEs—and some who are both. Readers of the first volume might enjoy seeing how Louis gains his magical powers, but the jumpy and conversational narrative style, combined with the large cast of CEs, may confuse readers new to the series. While Cle has created an unusual magical world, his characters remain flat and their quest won't involve readers' emotions.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Kirkus Reviews
At the end of the first book in this series, teenagers Louis, Cyndi and Devon were abducted, their bodies left in this dimension's Earth as their spirits were translated to Midlandia, a world mortally wounded by an unknown source. Now, each of them wants to return home to family and friends, but two armed camps of Midlandian inhabitants battle to prevent this. This sequel explores the makeup of the teens' talents as well as the nature of each one's responsibilities. Structured in levels like a video game, this installment lacks the speed and impetus (and much of the explicit violence) of the first book-there's much more tell here than show. The portrayal of the large cast of secondary characters remains sketchy, sometime adding suspense but just as often creating confusion. The resolution is not totally satisfying, ending as it does on a cliffhanger. Lack of an integrated back story will make this volume challenging for readers new to the series, but fans of the first novel will devour it and wait breathlessly for the next. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416942160
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Series: Marvelous World Series , #2
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Snatched up! Taken! Kidnapped! Borrowed? Whatever you want to call it, this is what happened to Young Louis Proof, Cyndi Victoria Chase, and Devon Alexander. They didn't understand how or why, but they suddenly found themselves on Midlandia.

Midlandia can only be described as a limitless place at the center of all things known and unknown. It's like heaven's electric kiss only better. It's like hell's unrelenting scorn only worse.

They didn't know one another but Louis, Cyndi, and Devon would be bound by their quest to return home. They didn't know it, but first they'd need to find the Olivion, for they were Olivion's Favorites — children of ultimate power and importance.

The three Favorites' pathways seemed to stretch behind them into forever. In front of them was a magnificently large bluish ball of living light. Yet, oddly, within this light they could see only the pathways and one another; the children were surrounded by total darkness.

The light greeted them with all sorts of hellos that could not be heard but sure could be felt. The light was happy to welcome them. They were its hope, because it and all things known and unknown were in grave danger.

"Where are we?" Louis asked.

"I have no idea," Cyndi said.

"Me neither," Devon said.

Well...

Louis, you are a long way from your uncle's store in New Jersey, where you collapsed.

Cyndi, you are a long way from your brother's kitchen floor in California, where you fell silent.

Devon, you are a long way from your attic in Chicago, where you were looking for one of your old toys to give to your sister.

But still you belong here, for now...

The light began to wildly radiate. Blues, yellows, reds, oranges, gold, and platinum plus limitless more colors flashed. The light's power lifted them from the platforms. The three felt like they were dancing in heaven. But this would not last. Everything began to shake, and with that, the light sent the children flying in different directions, far from one another.

Louis. Cyndi. Devon.

Welcome to Midlandia.

Copyright © 2009 by Troy CLE

Chapter Two

So there Louis was, fl ying through the Midlandian sky nowhere near his mom, dad, home, the JunkYard JunkLot, or his beloved radio-controlled cars. Blue and white light radiated from his body, making him look like a human comet. He felt limitless, as if he were being reborn as a god.

The night sky streaking by was like none he had ever seen. Electric shades of violet, deep blues, and rich purples wove together around him. Way off in the distance there was a massive, glistening mountain range and beyond that a large city with shiny buildings blanketed in light. Everything felt vibrant, as if it were all somehow alive.

This had to be a dream. And now he was sure he would wake up, because he was heading straight for a mountain. The collision would kill him and he had never before died in a dream.

Okay, wake up! Louis thought. But nothing changed. Panic set in. Louis screamed and crossed his forearms in front of his face as if that would ease the impact. Yeah right! Blam! He blasted straight into the mountain with such force that his twelve-year-old body tore a twenty-foot-wide, sixty-yard-deep hole through it. Surprisingly, slamming through rock reminded him of the cool, wet, and exhilarating sensation of traveling down the water slide that led to the JunkYard JunkLot, but this time it was much more intense and all over his body. He was still screaming, but it was amazing!

Then he crashed hard on his right shoulder, hitting the lush, grassy Midlandian ground and tearing a chasm six feet wide and hundreds of feet long. He lay still and silent but not unconscious. Finally, he pressed his palms to the earth and rested on his knees. He slowly stood, unharmed. There was a quiet power growing inside him.

Louis Proof's Celestial Infection Rate = 8%

Louis looked up at the sturdy mountain hundreds of feet away. It seemed like nothing would be able to shake it, but there it was: a twenty-foot hole that he had made. He could see the night sky on the other side.

The mountain...didn't hurt me?! This is a dream? It doesn't feel like a dream, Louis thought. He didn't have a scratch. Plus, he couldn't recall ever being more alert. Everything was so vivid.

There was no moon, yet light radiated from the odd violet, star-kissed sky. Louis began to walk. In the last five minutes, he'd collapsed in front of his uncle's store in frantic pain, stood before a bluish light with two other children, and blown through a mountain, and now here he was wandering in this strangely bright night. Where was he?

Suddenly, a voice grabbed Louis's attention. It had a vibration that he'd never heard before but he could understand it clearly. "Perilynn, it tore through the sky; it must be one of the children. You have to hurry. Reign is on his way to destroy this child — and you, if you get in his way. Why are you so eager to reach this child alone anyway?" the voice said.

Louis looked everywhere but saw no one. He couldn't even tell what direction the voice was coming from. It was like it was being transmitted directly into his head, as if he was meant to hear it. Louis figured the city he had seen was the best place to go for help. Destroy this child. He had to be the child, so he began to run, but there was no place to hide from whoever was speaking.

"aZRon, when I find all three children, Olivion's Gate will reappear to welcome them. And if I cross the Gate with them, Olivion will make me a Favorite," a second voice said.

Where are they? Where am I? Louis thought as he ran, frantically looking around.

"You fool! You're going to battle all of Midlandia, fighting both eNoli and iLone to become a Favorite? Of course, I can't wait to see such an exciting show. Things have been boring even with Galonious, Trife, and Arminion escaping. But you do know there's no way you can win, right?" aZRon said before barging right on with hardly a pause. "I'm not taking any falls for you, though! And when you're caught, I want to be the one to cast you into the Infinite Abyss. I've always wanted to do that to someone."

"Fine, if I get caught, you can be the one to throw me into the Infinite Abyss, but I won't lose. Thanks for telling me about the child," Perilynn said.

"The next time we meet, we may not be on the same side, my friend. Don't take it personally." aZRon laughed, and the laugh slowly faded, as if aZRon was flying away.

The sound was swift, compact, and deafening. It came right before the three spheres of red and yellow light hit the ground in front of and to the sides of Louis. He could feel heat and was blasted off his feet and onto his back. Quickly, he rose to see the spheres of light turn into imposing figures. At first they were electric outlines, then solid beings of light, and finally three people who seemed human but were unlike anyone Louis had ever seen before. They moved with an air of superiority and flawless perfection. Their blue-gray eyes seemed otherworldly. They wore slick, fitted clothing and each clutched dual glowing blades as if they intended to slice Louis in half.

"You need to be more careful. You created such a sight when you got here. It was not hard to find you at all," said the one in front of Louis. Red light briefly rose from his body like mist.

This was not one of the voices Louis had been hearing.

"Know me as the eNoli Reign, and we are here to...well, you'll soon find out." He nodded to the others. Their blades hummed as they moved through the air toward Louis.

Louis knew he had no answer for the oncoming attack. He was ready to run when he felt a tug at his center that pulled him back into a wave of radiant golden energy. The energy moved toward his attackers. It was now solidifying in the spot where Louis had been less than a fraction of a second ago. It became a man with a silver mask that radiated a fluorescent blue light from its eyes and carved patterns.

This masked man moved faster than Louis could follow. His hands held two glowing blades that caught the attackers off guard. He sliced through the one on the left while flipping backward, evading the attack of the one on the right. In midair, behind his enemy, he delivered a well-targeted blow. Two beings had turned into energy bursts that violently faded away before Louis could twitch. No blade had met this young masked man as he landed.

Only Reign was left, and Louis and the masked man both knew he would not be beaten as quickly as the others.

"Stay behind me. Don't run! I'm the only one who will keep you safe," the masked man said. This was one of the voices Louis had heard earlier.

Reign charged the masked man. They exchanged a few blows, but everything stopped when Reign's fist shattered the man's mask, revealing his identity. In a second, the mask had rebuilt itself as if it had never been broken.

"Perilynn, I should have known. Why do you fight for this iLone child? You and your brother are traitors," Reign said as he grabbed Perilynn by the throat. Perilynn released a shock of energy from his body that forced Reign to free him.

However, Reign was no longer the problem. Hundreds of beams of light rocketed to the ground like meteors. Hot white sparks flew wildly from each impact before the lights turned into figures like Perilynn and Reign. Perilynn grabbed Louis by the wrist and ran, guiding him through the falling lights.

"You have to trust me; I'll lead you out of here," Perilynn said.

"Fine!" Louis said.

"Fine?" Perilynn was surprised he didn't have to do more persuading. "Okay, stay close!"

In front of them.

In back of them.

To the left of them.

To the right them.

The vicious lights hit everywhere.

Perilynn stopped all of a sudden in the midst of this.

"Come on, let's go!" Louis yelled, trying to pull Perilynn forward.

"We can escape here," Perilynn said as he stomped twice at the ground. The land was bending under his foot.

"Are you crazy?" Louis asked.

"All things considered, I guess I am! We're going to break through, and there's only one way we can do that." Perilynn answered. He had a plan.

"Do something!" Louis yelled as Perilynn started his plan.

Step One!

Perilynn kneeled and punched the ground. The punch created a circle; written symbols spiraled from it and a ripple of jagged red light traveled outward along the ground, forcing back everyone near them. But it wouldn't take the fallen long to regroup, and more were coming from the sky.

Step Two!

Perilynn threw Louis hundreds of feet straight up into the air. Louis looked like a perfect target. But Perilynn jumped right after him, turning to pure energy and traveling almost instantly to meet each Celestial Entity (CE) that was closing in. When he reached one, he would take on his human form with sword in hand, strike, then turn into energy again, twisting to rush to the next target. Every movement left a trail of streaking light. He struck the first in its chest, the second in its abdomen, the third in its head, the fourth in its neck. He was in human form again as he darted toward Louis, who was still flying up. Perilynn grabbed Louis by his hand and threw him even farther into the sky. He could see Reign speeding after them. It was time to go.

Step Three!

Perilynn caught up to Louis, snatched his arm, and pulled him close. He flipped backward so they were aimed headfirst toward the ground. They began to spin as they plummeted.

Louis could see the many following them, but he and Perilynn were moving too fast; there was no way they could be caught. It didn't matter, though, because the ground was about to make a quick mess of them both. Screaming was not going to help. Louis didn't think he even had the air to scream. So he closed his eyes.

There was no impact. They pushed right through the surface. A clean exit!

They were gone with no telling where they would appear next. That was the way of Midlandia; if you knew where to look and how to access it, just about anything could be an entrance or exit. It was up to Midlandia, though, where you would turn up. Copyright © 2009 by Troy CLE

Chapter Three

Pushing through Midlandia was a great thing if you knew how to do it. Some had to force their way through as Perilynn just had, but it was believed that some could make the ground open up and welcome them.

Although they had crashed through dirt, grass, and rock, Louis and Perilynn were now falling gracefully through air, and Louis felt this place all around him, as if it were embracing him like it cared about and needed him. A few glowing colorful lights took a moment to travel in front of Louis's face and examine him. They took off after saying unspoken hellos and good-byes.

Soon, Louis and Perilynn landed on a path, and it was like they were underground but not. They were in a huge expanse, yet Louis sensed that everything ended just beyond his range of vision. There were many other pathways around them — some interwoven, some not.

There were upways ascending and downways descending.

There were sideways winding on their sides and slantedways on a zigzag.

There were oldways coming apart and newways being built.

There were frontways in full sight and backways somewhat hidden.

There were rightways leading to good places and wrongways leading to bad places.

There were all sorts of ways but oddly there were no doorways...

Perilynn found a way, grabbed Louis, and they were off.

"Where are we? Where are we going?" Louis asked, staring at everything around him.

"This is Midlandia and I have to get you to Olivion's Gate, but before that can happen we must find the other children...," Perilynn said from behind his silver mask, which reflected all as he led Louis with quick steps down a shiny metal pathway.

Each time their feet touched the ground, tiny glowing sparks flew up. They were moving through what could only be explained as "it all." They were actually inside of Midlandia, traveling through the fabric of existence. It was if they were walking through an invisible fog, pushing through something that was tightly woven yet contained loose patches at the same time, and it gave Louis an odd, prickly feeling. Marvelous!

"Other children...like me? I saw them when I first got here. There's another boy and a girl," Louis said, trying to keep up with Perilynn's pace.

"You were with them? Why did you separate? That was the worst thing you could've done."

"We didn't separate on purpose. I was with them one minute, and the next I was flying through the sky and you know what happened after that.... You saved me. Thanks."

"We're not safe, so there's no need to thank me yet." Perilynn was trying to figure out where they should be going among the many paths surrounding them. Louis realized now that he'd been hearing a faint background noise ever since he'd arrived on Midlandia. The sounds were becoming louder in Louis's ears as he was becoming more accustomed to this place. It seemed as if everything had a sound as identifiable as its appearance. The interwoven melodies comforted Louis.

"Always remember that the best and only way is your own way and you should never be afraid to take it." Perilynn had hardly finished speaking when he leaped, pulling Louis with him, to land on a platform that met his feet as if it were called to him. There were more, and Perilynn was leaping from one to the next with Louis in tow. Upon each landing a shock tore through Louis's body, vibrating his insides with an exciting, energizing tingle. Louis didn't know it but the effects of a celestial virus were being accelerated. He was becoming more in tune with Midlandia and it was becoming a part of him both here and in his body back home.

Louis Proof's Celestial Infection Rate = 19% and Rising

Louis didn't notice but he was also becoming thinner and more muscular. He was distracted by the realization that colors were different here. They seemed to be living entities that chose to bring color to objects as sort of a cool job. They radiated this place with patterns that were unpredictable yet complementary, as if this were a wondrous painting accented with blackness.

The platforms read each of Perilynn's moves, pivoting with his steps. Some even catapulted him forward when the next one looked too far to be reached by just jumping. Of course Perilynn could clear just about any jump, but nonetheless he always appreciated assistance.

There were no more platforms, and they came to a complete stop. There seemed to be no way to go forward in the darkness. "Hold on," Perilynn said. Louis braced himself for Perilynn to leap into the unknown but he didn't jump.

Hearing the sound of running water, Louis looked down to see a stream of illuminated water rise up in front of them. Perilynn smiled. The water took on the shape of a woman's face, which had to be over ten feet tall. It didn't speak as it looked Louis and Perilynn over. Finally it smiled and opened its mouth. Instead of a tongue a stairway rolled out and met the platform. The woman's mouth kept opening wider and wider until there was no more face left. There was only a massive liquid passageway. It beamed with light and Louis could feel its warm invitation.

"I'm pretty sure this is the way, but if not...well, hey, we won't worry about that!" Perilynn said as they began to climb the stairs that led to an illuminated waterway.

It seems that Louis and Perilynn did indeed find their doorway. Copyright © 2009 by Troy CLE

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