So This Is How It Ends (Avatars Series #1)by Tui T. Sutherland
The end of the world is only the beginning
From New York to Los Angeles, Chile to Egypt, five teens awake to find their cities eerily deserted. Why have they survived when so many others haven't? What force connects them to one another? Moving north, south, east, and west, they are pulled together to fight the ultimate battle in a war they never knew
The end of the world is only the beginning
From New York to Los Angeles, Chile to Egypt, five teens awake to find their cities eerily deserted. Why have they survived when so many others haven't? What force connects them to one another? Moving north, south, east, and west, they are pulled together to fight the ultimate battle in a war they never knew about—a war that has been raging since the dawn of time.
Read an Excerpt
Avatars, Book One: So This Is How It Ends
By Tui Sutherland
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Tui Sutherland
All right reserved.
Nine years ago . . .
By the time he got there, the hair salon was a smoking hole in the ground. Flames darted toward nearby buildings and then back as if they were alive. Strangely, nothing else nearby had caught on fire. It was as if the salon had spontaneously combusted inside a bubble.
Officer Bill Nichols pushed back his hat and rubbed the bridge of his nose with a sigh. A contained fire was good news, certainly, but it was going to be tough to explain in the report.
"Where's the girl?" he said.
The fire chief pointed to a small shape huddled near one of the ambulances. The area was crawling with activity—people shouting, stretchers rolling, emergency lights flashing. Around the girl, however, was an island of empty space. The emergency workers were giving her a wide berth, whether deliberately or subconsciously, Nichols couldn't tell.
"Why isn't someone taking care of her?" he asked angrily.
The fire chief shrugged, his face pale. "She didn't need taking care of," he said.
"A nine-year-old survives a fire like this and she doesn't need taking care of?" Nichols shook his head and walked away before the other man could answer.
All he could see of the girl was a long curl of dark hair snaking out from under the orange blanket.
"Hi there," he said, crouching beside her. "I'm Police Officer Bill."
"Can you tell me something about yourself? What's your name?"
Still she said nothing. The poor child was clearly traumatized.
"Listen," he said, "we're going to take care of you. You don't have to be scared."
Slowly her head lifted, and he felt a chill run through him. Her eyes were deep, pools of darkness.
Shock, he told himself. She's in shock.
"I'm not scared," she said. "My mom is coming."
Was her mom on one of the stretchers? On her way to the hospital right now? How could he begin to explain this tragedy to a nine-year-old?
"Sweetheart," he started.
"There," she said, pointing.
At that exact moment, a panicked voice called, "Kali! Kali!" Nichols turned and saw a woman fighting her way through the crowd. "My daughter was in there!" she screamed, shoving two of the perimeter officers aside.
He leaped up as she stumbled over to them. She was petite, blond, and delicate, nothing like the wiry Indian girl in the blanket. But she seized the child and clung to her, with a gasp of terror. Something about the woman made him want to protect her, even more than her daughter.
The girl wrapped her arms around her mother's shoulders. He barely caught the words as she whispered, "They were mean. I told you I didn't want a haircut."
"I know, darling, I'm sorry," the woman said, stroking her daughter's hair. "I came right back, didn't I?"
Kali buried her face in her mother's neck and nodded. The tiny woman lifted her as if she weighed nothing and turned to face Officer Nichols.
"Thank you so much," she said, her eyes huge and blue. His heart did a strange little backflip. "Thank you for taking care of Kali."
The fire chief's words popped into his head: She didn't need taking care of.
"I'm afraid we're going to have to ask your daughter a few questions," he said. "Once she's had time to recover from the shock, of course."
"Of course," Kali's mother said, smiling. "But I'm sure she doesn't remember much. And we wouldn't want to make her suffer through it all again. She's so young."
There was something oddly rehearsed about the words, as if she had said them before, but he barely registered it. He felt like he could dissolve in the blue of her eyes. Cheesy metaphors now, he thought. I wonder if she's single. I wonder if she would date a cop. I wonder how long I have to wait before it's appropriate to ask.
"Could I take her home now?" she said. "I could give you our phone number and you could come by to talk to her anytime you wanted."
It wasn't quite protocol, but it was the opportunity he'd been hoping for. He could talk to the child later, find out what she saw, and also see the mother again.
As the two of them walked away through the smoke, he caught a glimpse of dark eyes watching him over her mother's shoulder. Uneasily, he turned back to his job.
It was time to count the dead.
Six years ago . . .
The tray of instruments clattered to the floor, and Dr. Harris let out a frustrated sigh.
"Vicky, go find Tigre and have him come in here."
"No, Dad, I can help, really I can." She crouched and began picking up the scalpals, but one slipped out of her hand again with a crash. The patient on the table whimpered.
"Vicky." Dr. Harris gently took her shoulders and moved her aside. "I need Tigre."
"Fine," she spat. She slammed out of the operating room and stomped down the stairs as loudly as she could. She didn't care if she woke the whole place up. It would serve her dad right. And that stupid kid who helped him. Tigre (and what kind of name was that?) was only eleven too, just like her. He wasn't smarter than her or better than her. He was just the first kid they'd met in Chile, and now he got twenty bucks a week to help translate into Spanish for the clients.
"TEEEEE-GRAYYY!" she hollered, banging into the back room. Sure enough, all the boarders leaped to their feet and started barking. Stupid dogs. She didn't even like animals. She had to be, like, the worst veterinarian's daughter ever.
At the end of the rows of cages she could see Tigre lying on the couch, snoring away. The two feral cats that had been brought in yesterday were curled around his head . . .
Excerpted from Avatars, Book One: So This Is How It Ends by Tui Sutherland Copyright © 2007 by Tui Sutherland. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland are sisters and best friends, and if you can't tell by looking at them which one is older, Tui certainly isn't going to tell you. They grew up in South America, traveling a lot and moving several times (and they're still only about 80 percent certain that their parents weren't secret agents). Kari now lives in New Jersey, while Tui lives in Boston, but they use every excuse they can to see each other (like, say, writing a book together).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wow............what a difficult read. Had some good parts but there were too many stories going on at the same time that it made it hard to really enjoy any of them.
This book was amazing! It is hard to find a really creative and one of a kind book these days- but I found one! Avatars So This Is How It Ends is creative and engaging. It has all the aspects of a fantastic book- romance, mystery, action/adventure- and some other cool aspects- mythology, and sci-fi. This book kept me turning the pages until the very end. A fantastic book.
As an adult who loves to read sci-fi and fantasy and who also dabbles in YA lit, I found "So This Is How It Ends" to be an enticing and exciting start to what is sure to be a series filled with adventure, self-discovery, and vivid imagery. Sutherland writes so that you can really picture the places and characters: they are your friends and the places you've traveled and the fantastical elements are the stuff of your dreams. She doesn't talk down to her readers but instead challenges them with mysteries, puzzles, and moral dilemmas.
Kali lives in New York, and has a tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe. Tigre lives in Chile. He likes animals better then people, but rainstorms make him a little twitchy and he usually ends up running in them. Sort-of. Venus is a perfect teenage pop-star that everyone adores. Almost. Amon is an Egyptian boy who thinks he's got it all figured out. And Gus is a normal teenager who lives in LA with his older brother.
You'd never imagine that any of them would ever have anything to do with each other. Much less something in common. Or that there was any way that most of them would ever meet. Most of them would agree with you.
But when the world seems to end, they are the ones left standing.
I just have to say, this was a really good book. In fact, the main reason I didn't give it a Gold Award was because the ending cliffhanger was so huge and dramatic and cliffhangery that I threw the book. It's just mean to do that when I don't have access to the next book! So, I suppose I'm being selfish in withholding the Gold Award, but it's frustrating! That, however, is a horrible reason to not read this book. Just be forewarned, and maybe have the next book coming soon.
Two more things:
Aside from the fact that there is a TV show called Avatar, and a movie in production called The Avatar, neither of which have anything to do with this story, I could totally see this as a movie. *Hint, Hint*
Tui Sutherland's website is adorable and hilarious, and I definitely recommend checking it out.
And no, I don't know her, but I bet she's cool.
I really enjoyed this book. There were some good moments of action and the ideas are very promising. I truly hope she can live up to it. I can't wait for the second book!
This is an outstanding tale of 5 teens who learn that they are the mortal versions of immortal gods. This book is an incredible and imaginative way to show how the world will end. This book leads of towards the second. It is a must read. I cannot wait to read the next one.
This book is a nice set up for what should be a really entertaining series. We're getting sci-fi, fantasy, and what should add up to a lot of mythology in a sweet little road trip scenario, with great big battle scenes in store. Although one is ever aware that this book will only begin the story, its a pleasant serving of characters and exposition that never resorts to monologue-esque narrative, and moves honestly through environment and emotion at a pace and depth that makes it a great story on its own. I think it's a great read for about eleven yrs old through adult (accepting that the adult is a scifi/mythology fan), and is perfect for road trips, commuters (nice subway references for New Yorkers), and summer vacation. It's very tempting to read it in a weekend, you don't want to leave the characters for long.
This novel gripped me from the first page and I don't think it ever released me even when I finished it because I'm now eagerly anticipating Book Two: Shadow Falling. Parts of the book are hauntingly realistic and it made me wonder what lays in store in our real future. It's easy to identify with the characters and I really felt their angst as they were thrown into a horrifying and twisted situation that kept getting stranger and more captivating by the page. Along with the characters, I became more and more uneasy as they tried to piece together all they knew to figure out what had happened. I don't know how Tui T. Sutherland did it, but I was slapped in the face with an unbelievable, shocking surprise near the end of the book, that I was definitely not expecting, so I think she did a great job of having slight foreshadowing throughout the book, that kept me guessing and didn't give away anything vital. To me, So This Is How It Ends was the perfect blend of fantasy and science fiction.