Nobody who knew him would ever imagine that Tucker Pierce was a hero. In fact, this shy 14-year-old always seemed determined to lay low and avoid confrontation. But there was something about the takeover of his Maine island by a mysterious U.S. military group that aroused his suspicions. The SYLO commander assured the populace that they were being isolated because of a deadly virus, but Tucker sensed that this is just the cover story for a secret agenda. As the situation in his hometown deteriorates, he wonders if he and his friend Tori can somehow outwit their captors, escape the naval blockade, and uncover the real motives of their "friendly" invaders. The launch volume of an action-packed adventure trilogy definitely worth watching.
SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles Series #1)by D. J. MacHale
The ultimate action-fueled end-of-the-world conspiracy trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale
THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.
They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy./b>/i>… See more details below
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The ultimate action-fueled end-of-the-world conspiracy trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale
THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.
They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.
Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.
What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.
LOOK TO THE SKY
because Pemberwick is only the first stop.
Read an Excerpt
I love to travel. Doesn’t everybody? Besides getting a break from the regular old routine, traveling is like going to school. In a good way, I mean. In school you are constantly exposed to new information, shown different ways of thinking, and introduced to people and places that you wouldn’t ordinarily come across. I would love to go back to school for a while. Seriously. As long I could skip the tests and sleep late. But since that isn’t likely, I’ll stick to traveling. Like most writers I enjoy exploring unique places and talking with people who have lives that are totally different than mine. You never know what you might discover. I was once in Venice, Italy, where I met a guy who said, “If you come across small alleyways that look dark and forbidding . . . walk in. That’s where you’ll find the hidden treasures.” I thought that was great advice. (At least in Venice. I’m not so sure it’s wise to go down small, dark alleys just anywhere.) His point was that it’s important to be open to new experiences and to always look beyond the superficial. That’s where the adventure lies.
As a writer it’s critical to explore those dark alleys, and the sunny streets, and everywhere else in between.
Young (and not so young) writers often ask me for writing advice. My number one suggestion for them is to write about things that they know. When you write about the people and places and emotions and conflicts you’re familiar with, you will be writing with authority and readers will respond. The bottom line is that the more you know, the more you’ll have at your disposal to write about. That’s one of the reasons I love to travel. I am intrigued and inspired by the places I’ve been to. Inevitably, they end up playing a role in my books.
It was while sitting on a remote beach in Hawaii shooting my TV show Flight 29 Down that I came up with the idea for the tropical island of Ibara in The Pilgrims of Rayne. A trip to Rome sparked the idea that brought Marsh and Cooper to the Coliseum in the Morpheus Road trilogy. The climax of The Black took place in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal . . . a place I have been through thousands of times. The abandoned subway station where Bobby Pendragon first entered the flume in The Merchant of Death was inspired by an empty subway station that I passed through on the train every day on my way to college classes. I can still remember straining to catch fleeting glimpses of the dark, forgotten platform and imagining what real-life stories might have unfolded there.
Images like those are constantly being gathered up and stored in the hard drive of my memory, waiting patiently for me to come calling in search of ideas.
When I was in college my friends and I would take road trips from our hometown in Connecticut to an island off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard. I’m sure many of you have been there. Those who haven’t might know it because it was where the movie Jaws was filmed. “The Vineyard” (as they call it) is a timeless throwback to a simpler time. I hadn’t been there since 1985 and it’s not an exaggeration to say than when I visited last year I found that it hadn’t changed a bit. I half expected to find the can of Coke I’d left on a fence near the beach in Menemsha twenty-five years earlier.
Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but there was something comforting about visiting a place that has held true to its time-honored traditions in spite of the chaotic changes that have swirled around it. It was like a secluded oasis, stuck in time.
It was perfect . . .
. . . and the perfect setting for a story about ordinary people fighting for their lives while friends are dropping dead all around them on an isolated island that is suddenly invaded by a mysterious, deadly force.
Hey, what did you expect? You didn’t think I was going to write a story about some old farts rocking on a porch by the seashore sipping tea, did you? Give me a break.
A new adventure is about to begin and I’m thrilled that you’ll be joining me. Before heading for the island, I’d like to acknowledge some of the people who have helped bring this book to you.
This is the first book I’m publishing with Razorbill, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The team there has been wonderful from the get-go. Especially my editor, Laura Arnold. Laura embraced the SYLO story as if it were her own and has been its constant champion. She put an incredible effort into wringing the best out of every last word . . . and out of me. Her insight and talent show on every page AND . . . she did it all while pregnant, no less. Amazing. I’ve told her how much I appreciate her work a million times so this isn’t news to her, but it’s always nice for readers to know who deserves a boatload of credit. Thanks to her and to everyone at Razorbill.
Big thanks go to my personal team of Richard Curtis, Peter Nelson, and Mark Wetzstein. They have been with me through good times and not-so-good-times. I’m very fortunate to have those guys helping me steer the ship. Or the dingy. Or whatever it is we’ve got. Thanks.
My wife Eve and daughter Keaton are the best support group anyone could ask for. Eve is still my first and best critic, while Keaton is now weighing in with her own opinions about my stories. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s inevitable . . . and I couldn’t be prouder.
Of course a lion’s share of thanks must go to you, oh holder-of- this-book. Whether you’ve been with me since Bobby Pendragon first jumped into the flume or the only reason you picked this up was because you wanted to know what the heck “SYLO” means, I am sincerely grateful that you will be reading my story. I hope you like it.
I’ve made countless friends because of my books. I love answering your letters and corresponding online. Whenever I receive a note that begins, “You must be sick of reading letters like this . . .” I want to shout out, “No! Keep ’em coming!” (Sometimes I do.) Trust me, it’s a great feeling to know that somebody has enjoyed one of my stories. Thank you.
Okay, housekeeping done. Time to kick this off.
It’s an exciting moment when you begin to read a new series. You haven’t met any of the characters yet. You don’t know what they look like or if you’re going to like them or hate them or root for them or hope they die an excruciatingly painful death. Right now you have no idea what kind of challenges they’re going to face. Who will rise to the occasion? Who will crash and burn? Who knows the truth? Who has secrets?
Who will survive?
It’s the same deal when you start to write a story. In the beginning you have no idea of what’s going to happen. You just have to hold on and learn as you go. It’s kind of like taking a trip . . . and I love to travel.
I hope you do too because we’re about to begin another wild ride.
It was the perfect night for a football game. And for death. Not that the two have anything in common. When you hear the term “sudden death,” you normally don’t expect there to be an actual loss of life, sudden or otherwise, but there was nothing normal about that night. It was the night it began. The night of the death. The first death. I was sitting on the end of the team bench, more interested in the cheerleaders than the game. To be honest, I didn’t have much business being on the team. There weren’t many freshmen on the Arbortown High varsity, but with a student population that barely squeaked past two hundred, if you had two legs and didn’t mind being brutally punished by guys who were older, bigger, and faster than you, you were in. I’m not exactly sure why I accepted the role of living tackling dummy, but I liked football and figured that in a few years I’d be the one running over hapless freshmen. So I guess I was paying my dues.
My main duty during a game was to be the sprinter on the kickoff team. That meant I had to run directly for the guy who fielded the kick . . . which made me the first to get taken out by the wall of blockers who were intent on stopping that very thing. It was an ugly job but at least it meant I’d come out of a game with a little dirt on my uniform.
My other duty was to be the backup for our senior tailback, Marty Wiggins. That’s why I spent most of my time on the bench watching the cheerleaders. Marty was a legend. He’d had big-time colleges sniffing around him since he was a sophomore. He was that good.
But on that night, he was just sick.
The stands were packed. For Arbortown High that meant maybe five hundred people. It wasn’t exactly the Rose Bowl but you wouldn’t know that from the excitement Marty was generating. The place went nuts every time he got his hands on the ball because he was running over guys and knocking them aside like bowling pins. When he was tackled, which wasn’t often, it took three players to drag him down. It was like watching a pro beating up on Pop Warner boys. He was in for most every play of the game until, with only a few minutes left, he dropped down next to me on the bench to take a rare breather.
He sat there gulping air, staring back at the field.
I figured his night was over so I held up my fist for a knuckle-bump and said, “Dude. Awesome.”
Marty looked at me . . . and I froze.
He had a fiery, wild look in his eyes that made me think for one terrifying moment that he was going to hit me. The guy was totally charged up with . . . what? Excitement? Anger? Insanity? He didn’t bump knuckles. Just as well, he might have broken my hand. I sat there like a fool with my fist hovering, un-bumped. I didn’t want to say anything else for fear he’d drive his helmet through my face. Instead, he grabbed my forearm in a grip that was so fierce I had black-and-blue marks the next day.
“What’s happening?” he whispered through gasping breaths.
He said it with a disturbing mix of fear and confusion that made me believe he truly didn’t understand what was going on around him. Or with him.
“Uh . . . what do you mean?” I asked tentatively.
“Wiggins!” barked Coach.
Marty jumped to his feet and sprinted back into the game as if he had been launched from a catapult.
I was left on the bench, not knowing what had just happened.
The play was called and the team went to the line. Marty was pitched the ball and he rumbled around left end for another fifteen yards. All was well. Marty was fine. I chalked up his odd behavior to adrenaline and the excitement of the game and went back to my all-important cheerleader review.
Arbortown is a pretty small place, so going to a high school football game was the best thing to do on Friday nights in the fall. Okay, the only thing to do. As I scanned the crowd, I saw many people I knew, including my mother and father. Dad gave me a big smile and a thumbs-up. Mom wasn’t as enthusiastic. She hated that I played football. Her deep frown meant she was expecting me to get injured just by sitting on the bench.
I gave them a small wave, then looked away . . . to notice a strange face in the crowd. It belonged to a man with longish blond hair wearing a hoodie. He looked like a surfer dude, complete with beard stubble and a single earring. He stood out amid the sea of fans because he was the only one not cheering. Instead, he wrote furiously in a small notebook. I figured he might have been a college scout. It would explain why Marty was playing like he was possessed. This could be a scholarship showcase for him.
“Button up!” Coach ordered as he strode past. “We’re going to score again.”
That meant all the wretched scrubs, like me, had to be ready for another kickoff. We were on the ten yard line and about to go in. There were only a few seconds left in the game and I was surprised that, seeing it was a blowout, Coach hadn’t pulled Marty. Maybe he knew there was a scout in the crowd taking notes. Or maybe he didn’t trust Marty’s backup—me.
I stood up with the rest of the team and cheered for the offense. It felt cheesy to be screaming for another score since the game had been over since halftime, but what can you do? It’s football.
The team came up to the line, the QB called signals, and the ball was snapped. Marty took the handoff—no big surprise—and blasted into the line off right tackle. The defense had had enough. They didn’t want any part of him. There were a few halfhearted arm tackles that didn’t even slow him down as he burst into the end zone.
The crowd exploded once again, cheering ecstatically while the band kicked in with our fight song, “Jericho.” The cheerleaders jumped around and hugged each other like we’d just won a championship when all we’d done was add pad to an already lopsided score.
Marty sprinted to the back of the end zone, turned to the stands, threw his arms up in triumph . . .
. . . and dropped dead.
Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. All I saw was Marty fall over and land on his back. At first I thought it was some new kind of celebration dance, like spiking himself instead of the ball. Our players were jumping on each other, chest-bumping and highfiving. When they finally got around to focusing on the guy who was the cause of the celebration, they pulled on his arms to help him up . . . but Marty didn’t respond.
In seconds the emotion of the moment flipped from elation to concern.
“Hey!” our guys yelled while waving to the sideline for help. “He’s hurt!”
The crowd noise died instantly. It was a rude jolt to experience the sudden and dramatic change from joyous cheers and music to absolute silence.
Coach sprinted onto the field, waving at the other players to back away. He was quickly joined by a paramedic. With the rest of our offense huddled nearby, watching expectantly, the paramedic knelt down to examine Marty.
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that something serious had happened to our superstar. As he lay still on the grass, two more paramedics ran onto the field with a fracture board.
I turned around to look at my parents. Dad’s expression now matched Mom’s. They knew something horrible had happened. Everyone knew. A few seconds later we heard the urgent scream of a far-off siren.
I didn’t look back to the field right away because I was mesmerized by the communal look of anxiety and horror on the faces of each and every person in the stands. All eyes were on the end zone and the guy who lay on his back, not moving.
People cleared a path for Marty’s dad, who pushed his way through to get to the field. The poor guy was about to find out that his son had just gone from playing the game of his life to taking the final breath of his life.
Every last person feared that they were witnessing something horrific. Something they would never forget. Nobody moved as they waited for the news they knew wouldn’t be good.
Almost nobody, that is. As I stared at the stands, I noticed that one person had already left. He hadn’t even stuck around long enough for the ambulance to arrive.
The surfer dude with the notebook was gone.
It was the night of the death.
The first death.
And it was only the beginning.
What People are saying about this
“SYLO will have your pulse racing and your head spinning. Make plans to stay up all night finishing it." Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series
"SYLO is D.J. MacHale at his finest he's crafted a book full of friendship, mystery and heart-pounding, spine-tingling adventure." Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author
“Packed with thrilling chases, daring escapes, and breathtaking action sequences, SYLO will grab the reader's attention from the first page and not let go until the final, stunning conclusion!”—Michael Carroll, author of The Quantum Prophecy
“I have no fingernails left! I chewed off every last one of them while I fretted over the fate of Tucker and his friends. Well done, Mr. MacHale."—PJ Haarsma, author of the Softwire series
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After reading D.J. Machale's series "Pendragon" (all 10 books) and absolutely loving it, when I found out that he had a new book out I was quick to purchase it. The synopsis seemed decent but I didn't expect the book to live up to the greatness that was Pendragon but I decided to read it anyways. Not only did this book pass my expectations but it blew them away. If you enjoy mystery and suspense then you will absolutely love this book. Each page left you wanting to read the next. You will not be disappointed, must purchase from the most underrated author out.
The great thing about science fiction is that you can create something youre not completely sure is possible and give it an explanation of your own design. In the SYLO chronicles DJ McHale jst lost my interest at points by nit utilizing the ability sci fi gives you and letting te story drag. Three forths of the way through nothing is much of a surpise and the characters become almost overly predictable. The book does, however acurately tell a solid story with the twist of leaving the entire responsibility ti kids nd throwing in humor hrre and there. Oberall a good read though morpheeus road would be a preference for me over this seiries.
Once again, D.J. Machale has blown all my expectations out of the water. Pendragon fans will not be disappointed. Conspiracy, action, adventure. Mr. MacHale truly has an amazing handle on the daily plight of teenagers and they really talk and feel. High recommend!
This book was one of the best books i have read and i have read a variety of good books. My two favorite writera are Rick Riordan and DJ MacHale so its hard to find books that compare their writing but i think this book is a great experience and obviously helps pass the time.
Would make a great action movie
Okay, I'm a bit iffy on this one. I picked it up from the library earlier this one, because I had some down time coming up. I even started another book and put it down because this one just kept calling to me. Unfortunately, even though parts grabbed me, there was a whole lot of the book that just didn't. The book starts off just fine. You are introduced to your characters, you get a feel for them. There is mystery, than BAM, quarantine. From there it feels like the author was just kind of tossing this and that into the story, a lot that could have been left out and instead of veering around, gotten straight into it. I haven't read anything else from him, so I don't know if this is his writing style or not. The story itself is interesting, I really liked the idea the author had and parts of the follow-thru with it. But so much is touched on than just let go. The parents...I know there is more to them, but what? I look forward to the second book in the SYLO series, because the author has grabbed my interest, especially in the last chapter of this book and I want to know more. I feel that some cutting down on this book would have really made it shine. I recommend this book to anyone 12+. It's a great mystery with a hint of dystopia and more of that to come in the next installment.
Sylo was not the type of book I usually read and, I was excited about that. I was written in a boy's POV, featured the military, and wasn't dystopian or post-apocalyptic. In other words, I'd never really read a book like this before. Our story begins with a football game and an ordinary boy who wanted to be anything but extraordinary. Tucker Pierce is the worst player on the team and doesn't mind sitting on the bench for most of every game. Tucker has no problem staying on Pemberwick Island for the rest of his life. And that was the plan, before the U.S. Navy invaded. But something isn't quite right, even if they were quarantined, they should still have communication with the main land.... I liked Tucker well enough. He's just your average fourteen year old boy, so the fact that he wanted nothing more than to never leave Pemberwick didn't bother me. However, to be honest, Tori got on my nerves a little bit. Why she wouldn't talk for half the book is beyond me. I felt like there was actually a reason behind her reluctance but, apparently, there isn't. Kent was a jerk. When push came to shove, and he was required to do something life-threatening, he turned out to be nothing more than a wimp. Tucker, who had never wanted to something big in his life, bucked up and was brave. Kent turned into a wimp who only kept helping because of a girl. Pathetic. I was actually hoping Kent would become a good friend of Tucker's but he remained the same scumbag presented to us in the first chapter. I have no respect for him whatsoever. Sylo was well-written and the story kept moving at a consistent pace - not slow but not fast. This book did make me angry though. From the moment the military invaded, I was filled with complete outrage and just having to read about the soldiers made my blood boil. But, Sylo wasn't the tense, bomb-dropping book I expected, which was disappointing. And while I can't say the pacing was slow, I wish there hadn't been as much down time. Even in the midst of action it felt like the events were still moving at the same pace Tucker would use to walk down the street. The ending wasn't all that surprising. I mean, when they finally did get to the main land, we were supposed to somehow be surprised that it was all torn up. Honestly, I expected it to be ruined. Unlike the characters, I didn't expect people to be there so the ending was a little meh, for me. All in all, Sylo was good but I wouldn't say it was amazing either.
This the best book i have ever read in my entire life!!! The ending is a clif hanger so watchout! This is a must read if you love fiction and survival books. (*0*)
SYLO is the first book I've read from D.J MacHale, and I was not disappointed. A fantastic book with a surprising twist at the end. I cannot wait to find out what happens next. I'm so excited for the next installment!
SYLO by D.J. MacHale was one of those books that I was totally pumped to read! Can you imagine being stranded on an island, segregated from the rest of civilization? No communication with the outside world, and basically being quarantined on an island with no possible exit. And being told that it’s because people are dropping dead, and they don’t want the cause of these deaths to spread? That’s basically what happens to Tucker, the other residents of Pemberwick Island, and vacationers. One day, all is well and everyone is enjoying a great game of football, or a day on vacation, and the next minute, a whole feel of US military, who go by the name SYLO, invades the quiet island leaving this island not so peaceful and quiet. But after Tucker and his friends witness a singing, shadowy type aircraft fly overhead, not only do they fear for their own safety, but the safety of their friends and family as well. It appears that SYLO knows just what it is they are dealing with, but they are not too keen on sharing the information they have. So Tucker and his gang take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of the singing aircraft, the reason for the appearance of SYLO, and what exactly the mysterious red crystals are that have washed up on their shores. Like I said earlier, SYLO was a read that I was totally looking forward to. I was ready for sci-fi goodness. But what I was hoping for didn’t exactly meet my expectations. Don’t get me wrong! There were many parts in the book where I was completely engrossed and couldn’t tear my eyes away. But then there were points where the story dragged for me, and I was having a difficult time in continuing with the book. I will admit, there is quite a bit of action found within the pages. Author, D.J. MacHale, does a great job in catching the reader’s attention. Dangling just enough bait to suck you in, and don’t even get me started on the cliff hanger of an ending. Even though this book had me tempted to put it down and not finish, the ending basically sealed the deal for me in wanting to find out what will happen next. And even though there was no definite confirmation that there is anything to do with aliens (more like guesses and what if’s), there was enough left to keep the reader wondering if there was, in fact, some sci-fi action happening. The characters found in SYLO were wonderfully written and all had their own individual personality. Readers will have one they, I’m sure, will find a connection to. There was a lot of humour found as well! Whether it be conversations between the characters, or even the inner monologues, I did find myself chuckling quite a bit. And yes, there were some emotional parts in SYLO for me to. Okay yes, I’ll admit it! I did tear up. How could I not! I can’t tell you what happened, nor disclose who it involved! It would give away some of the build-up in the beginning to midway of the story. But you’ll know what I mean when you get to it! All in all, SYLO by D.J. MacHale was a decent read. Although my main argument would have to be the pacing in some parts of the story, I for one am looking forward to the second installment in this book. I need to know what exactly is going on!
Its really slow and i wish the author was more creative. I love the idea but it was not a good book but about the book. Its a distiopan kind of thing. People die and the military come and take over. I would not recomend it. NOT A GOOD BOOK( to me)
This one seems like it's received some mixed reviews. Some people don't appear to like it, but I loved it. I thought the premise was very interesting, and the entire book was just very exciting to read. There is a lot of action in this book, which makes kind of difficult to get bored or lose interest. Things just seem to be happening the entire time. I was worried at first that I wouldn't connect to the main character Tucker because he was so young. This is the first time I've really read a story where the character was fourteen and not at least sixteen or seventeen, but I needn't have worried. He was a great narrator, and I loved how smart and brave he was. He didn't start that way, but you do get to see the progression and evolution of his character in a very gratifying way. I also adored Tori. This is one tough girl who is no nonsense. She was brave, yes, but also smart. There's nothing stupid or over-emotional about her, which I found very refreshing. She was a firecracker. I just liked the dynamic between all the characters. I never expected the story's mystery to be what it turned out to be. That really was a surprised, and one I was pleasantly surprised with. I'm usually able to figure things out, but this was one really did shock me. My brain had been going a completely other direction. Yet, even at the end, I still don't know the whole story and not everything has been revealed. It had quite the cliffhanger to it. The writing was fast-paced and very engaging. I really liked this one.
This is the first book, and i thought i was okay. The third book is much better. but read this book to understand things. This book is not terrible. its okay.
THEY MIGHT MAKE THIS STORY INTO A MOVIE!!!
One of the Greatest Books I have ever read! I love the action, and alt-history stories! Good join D.J.
SYLO is a great book and d. J. Machale is a great author have read all his books. 10 book series pendragon and 3 book series morpheus road all great books cant wait for the next bokk in the sylo series to come out :)
Write to taylor love on result one of katy perry thanx!