“My fellow monsters,” said Moreau. “No longer will we hide in the shadows, cringing, cowardly, hiding our true potential. You see, the humans do not view us as people. We must force them to expand their view of personhood to include us. By any means necessary.”
A year ago, Boy, the son of Frankenstein’s monster, had never even met a human. Now he’s living with his human “family,” the descendants of Dr. Frankenstein, in Switzerland. That is, until the maniacal genius Dr. Moreau, long-ago banished to a remote island for his crimes against humanity, asks for Boy's help.
Moreau wants Boy to join his army of animal/human hybrid creatures and help him overthrow human society. Boy will do anything to save this broken, wondrous world from the war that threatens to split it in two. But how much will he have to give up? And is the world worth saving?
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Sold by:||Penguin Group|
|File size:||704 KB|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Freudian Slip
WHEN WE LANDED in Lima, it was humid and cloudy. By the time we got out to the pickup area, I was already sweating from the thick air. I missed the December chill of New York, or better yet, the hard cold of Geneva.
But then, past the taxis and tour buses, I saw a middle-aged, bearded guy in aviator sunglasses leaning against a beat-up old station wagon. He gave a slow, casual wave. There are just some people that, when you see them, you get a little kick of hope. They just have this air about them that makes everything seems a little more possible. Mozart was one of those people.
“There he is,” I said as I started toward him.
“So this Mozart is a friend of yours?” asked Henri as he and Sophie followed me.
“He introduced Boy and me,” said Sophie. “He’s a bit rough around the edges, but underneath it all, he’s a complete sweetheart.”
“Don’t say that to his face, though,” I said. “He is still a werewolf.”
“Well, well, well,” said Mozart, white teeth showing through the brown-and-gray streaks of his beard. “I was hoping I’d get to see you kids. And you’ve got a new guy? Ruthven said there was a third, but he didn’t say who it was.”
“Henri Frankenstein, monsieur,” said Henri, and offered his hand.
Mozart’s bushy eyebrow shot up as he shook Henri’s hand. “A human, huh? And a Frankenstein at that. Interesting.”
“Henri’s cool. I promise,” I said.
Mozart held up his hands. “Hey, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m not a human hater. Never have been. And anyway, this isn’t The Show. Or even the States for that matter. Things are different down here. The lines are . . . blurrier.”
He helped us load our suitcases into the back of the station wagon. Then he took the driver’s seat and Sophie took shotgun, while Henri and I climbed into the back.
“My friend Maria doesn’t live too far from here. If you want we can go there first, have something to eat, and prepare a little. Or we could just cut to the chase and go right for Robert. Your call.”
“Sophie?” I asked.
“You know where he is right now?” she asked.
“The Plaza de Armas. It’s a big open town square area.”
“What’s he doing?” I asked.
“Same thing he’s been doing off and on since I found him a couple of weeks ago. Getting as drunk as possible.”
Sophie’s jaw set. “Let’s just go get him, then.”
Mozart smiled wide. “Atta girl.”
We drove along a coastal highway, but it was too hazy to see much of the Pacific. On the other side of the road were buildings painted in bright yellows, reds, blues, even a few orange or purple. More than language, those colors were what immediately set Lima apart from beige Geneva and gray New York.
“I could get used to this place,” said Henri. “Do you think we’ll be able to stay a while after we take care of Robert?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “It would be nice. But I also want to get back to the city by Christmas.”
“I’m just talking about getting a few days of beach and sampling some good Peruvian food.”
“We’ll have to see how this goes,” I said.
“You’re not worried about Robert, are you?” asked Henri. “They all said he’s harmless.”
“He’s also totally psychotic. I just can’t believe it’s really going to be that easy to bring him in.”
“What till you see him,” Mozart called back from the driver’s seat.
“That bad?” asked Sophie.
“I hardly recognized him. I do think Boy’s right, though. Sometimes the most desperate ones are the most dangerous. Sophie, let’s start off with you trying to talk him into coming along quietly. But if things go bad, I want you and Henri to get behind Boy and me. The two of us can handle anything he’s got. And who knows, maybe after we pound him a few times, he’ll come to his senses.”
“And if not?” asked Henri.
“Well . . .” Mozart glanced at Sophie. “Like Boy said, we’ll see how it goes.”
MOZART PARKED THE car a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas. We walked the rest of the way through the narrow, crowded streets until we came to a big, open square with sections of grass, and paved walkways that led to a large fountain in the center. The square was surrounded by large, old buildings with decorative balconies, some of them painted a bright yellow, others a faded natural stone.
“There he is.”
Mozart pointed to a massive cathedral on the other side of the square. Splayed out on the steps of the cathedral was a figure clutching something in a brown paper bag. I could make out the familiar curly auburn hair, like Sophie’s. But he looked smaller than I remembered.
“How do you want to do this?” Mozart asked Sophie. “Direct approach or take him by surprise?”
“If we’re going to have any luck getting him to come peacefully, I think we should make sure he sees us coming,” she said.
“What if he runs?”
Mozart shrugged. “Let’s do it, then. You go in front. Show him you’re not afraid.”
With Sophie in the lead, we crossed the street and started walking through the square toward Robert. I really didn’t like how many humans were milling around the square, and I wondered if maybe Robert chose this spot for that reason.
We were about halfway across when Robert slowly lifted his head and seemed to notice us. He didn’t move from his spot, though.
“I don’t like this,” I muttered.
Mozart sniffed the air and his eyes flashed gray and wolfish.
“You’re about to like it a lot less. Something’s coming, and it isn’t human.”
“What?” I turned first one way, then the other. “From where?”
“Everywhere,” he said. “It’s a trap.”
Out of the crowd of humans stepped a bunch of short, stocky people with broad shoulders. They all wore the same black hoodies, and had baseball caps pulled low so we couldn’t see their faces. They closed in around us, not saying a word. Then one of them reached for Sophie. She knocked his hand away. He made a snorting sound and lifted his head enough that I could see his face beneath the bill. He had beady little eyes, and instead of a nose and mouth, he had a pig snout. Big, yellowed tusks jutted up from his lips. A nearby human saw him and screamed.
“I don’t believe this!” Sophie’s face was red and angry. “ROBERT, YOU BASTARD!” But Robert still just sat and watched.
“Back off and nobody gets hurt,” I told the pig men.
One of them squealed harshly and all at once they came at us.
The humans were yelling and running in a panic, but thankfully they all at least seemed to have the sense to run away from us. The one who’d reached for Sophie tried to grab her again. This time I grabbed his wrist and twisted until I felt it break. Then I punched him in the face so hard his tusks broke and he dropped to the ground. I looked around and saw Mozart grappling with another one, his fangs showing as he snarled.
A pig man pinned Henri to the ground. I took a step toward him, but hands grabbed me from behind. I turned just in time to catch the tusk of one before it stabbed me in the side. Another jumped on me and I stumbled. A third one brought me to my knees.
“Mozart! Henri’s in trouble!”
“Busy!” he growled. There were two on him now.
I turned back to Henri. He had managed to get out from under the one pig man, but now there were three of them coming at him from different directions.
“Henri!” I knocked down one pig man after another, but they seemed to just keep coming.
Then a slim figure dressed in black and red ran into the middle of the fight, striking out at the pig men so fast that the movements were only a blur. A moment later, the three pig men dropped to the ground and a woman stood next to Henri. She looked to be in her early twenties, wore a black dress with red
ruffles, and had a single red rose tucked into her long black hair.
Another pig man approached her from behind.
“Look out!” I shouted, still trying to clear a path through the pig men.
She glanced over her shoulder at the pig man and almost casually kicked him square in the chest with her pointed black boot. He dropped to the ground, making short gasping sounds. She turned to me and nodded a terse thanks.
I’d been distracted and let a pair of pig men through. Now they were pawing at Sophie, squealing triumphantly. The sight of it set off something inside me and I reached her in a couple of strides. I slammed my fist down on the closest one’s head and he dropped to the ground. The other one I grabbed by the throat and lifted up high, showing him to Robert as he struggled and squealed.
Robert nodded slowly, but still just sat there.
“You can put him down,” said Sophie, her hand on my arm. “It’s over.”
All the humans had run. All the pig men were down. Mozart, Henri, and the mystery woman were fine. I took a deep breath and let the pig man fall.
The mystery woman prodded one of the unconscious pig men with her boot. “Wild pig people,” she said with a Peruvian accent.
“I’ve never seen them venture outside Brazil. Very strange.”
“Who . . .” I said.
“This is our local contact,” said Mozart. “La Perricholi.”
Henri stared almost worshipfully at his rescuer. “Mademoiselle, I cannot express my gratitude for—”
“I’m sure you could, actually,” she said, looking at him appraisingly. “But now is not the time for pleasantries. The Lima police are not of the gentle U.S. variety. An armored car will be here in a few minutes.” She turned to Sophie. “I suggest you collect your brother before they arrive.”
Sophie nodded grimly, then held out her arm to me. “Shall we?” She and I walked slowly across the square to the cathedral.
As we got closer, I could see just how bad off Robert really was. His curly hair hung lank and greasy in his pale, gaunt face. He looked so thin and wasted, I began to wonder if the reason he hadn’t moved was because he couldn’t.
“Robert?” Sophie asked, her voice sad. “What happened to you?”
He didn’t look at us, but instead stared out across the square with watery eyes. “I thought . . . I could fix it. Fix us.” His voice was weak and rasping, like he had trouble breathing. “That’s all I wanted for us, Sophie. Perfection. But it turns out . . . that’s impossible.”
“Course it is,” said Sophie. “Perfection’s for wankers, anyway.”
He smiled faintly and took a long pull on the bottle he still held clutched in one dirty, raw hand.
“So now what?” asked Sophie after a moment. “Will you come with us? We made it through your little trap.”
“Oh, that wasn’t the trap. That was just . . . an assessment. So he would know what he was up against.”
“Who?” I asked.
He looked suddenly at Sophie, his pale blue eyes wide, his expression miserable. “I’m so sorry, Soph. Really, I am.”
“Sorry about what?” she asked.
“I’m the bait, you see,” he said. “And this . . . this is the trap.”
His eyes suddenly switched from pale blue to a dark green, and he began to change. It was a lot like what I’d seen Sophie and Claire go through, only more violent. His hair fell out and his skin split open, like there was something inside forcing its way out. His limbs stretched out unnaturally longer, convulsing as the muscles swelled and bulged. He let out a shriek of pain that went on and on until suddenly it cut off, replaced by a deep groan. Coarse, patchy clumps of black hair appeared on his arms and cheeks. His teeth and fingernails grew long and pointed. He kept growing taller and wider as he slowly staggered to his feet.
Finally, he stood there, towering over both of us, panting, a toothy grin on his massive face. “Hullo, love.”
“Stephen?” said Sophie, her face drained of color.
“The one and only.”
“How did you—”
“My idiot brother thought he’d killed me. But come on. We all know you can’t have one without the other. That’s why your dear old granddad had to kill himself. And Robbie loves himself too much to do the same. No, all he did was repress me for a while.”
“But how did you get so . . . big?”
“Oh, you like this, do ya?” He flexed his arm, the bicep easily splitting what was left of his tattered shirt. “Turns out, when you repress a part of yourself, lock it away in a dark place for years? All you actually do is make it stronger. And possibly homicidal. Now, if you’ll excuse me, love, I think it’s time for your boyfriend and me to knock each other senseless for a bit.”
“No, Stephen,” I said. “There doesn’t have to be any more violence today.”
“Oh, but I insist.” Then, so fast I didn’t even see it coming, he hit me in the chest, hard. I stumbled back, gasping for air that didn’t seem to come.
“You’re strong, I’ll grant you.” He rolled his shoulders to loosen up. “And fairly fast for your size.” He took another swing
at me, almost casually. I barely managed to avoid it. “But you’re completely undisciplined. No training, just raw force pounding clumsily away.” He held up both fists like a boxer. “So consider this your first lesson.”
I had just gotten my wind back when he hit me with the left and I staggered one way, then he hit me with the right and I staggered the other way. I swung and he blocked it, then countered with an uppercut. I reeled, my ears ringing as blood dribbled from the corner of my mouth.
A flash of fur blew past me and slammed into Stephen, knocking him to the ground. Mozart, in full wolf mode, stood on his chest, snarling.
Stephen grinned up at him. “Lookin’ a little gray around the muzzle there, Wolfie.” He reached up with both hands to grab him, but Mozart dodged, then latched his teeth onto Stephen’s thick wrist, drawing blood. Stephen grunted as his face screwed up with pain. But then he grinned again.
“Now that’s more like it. A bit of challenge.” He snapped his arm. Mozart’s teeth tore deeper as he held on to Stephen’s wrist, blood coming out in spurts. But then Stephen snapped his arm in the other direction. There was so much blood, and the skin was so torn and ragged, that Mozart couldn’t hold on. He went flying, slammed into the stone wall of the cathedral, and lay still.
“You see?” said Stephen, showing me his torn and bloody wrist. “You can escape from anything as long as you’re willing to pay the price. Are you listening, little Boy? I’m not going to repeat myself.”
“I’m listening,” I muttered, and took a swing at him.
He dodged to one side and brought his knee up into my stomach. Then he brought his fist down on my back and I fell to the ground.
“Now see,” he said, “I saw that one coming a mile away. It’s all in the—”
La Perricholi caught him with a roundhouse kick to the temple.
He stumbled, clutching the side of his face. “Oh, La Perricholi! I feel honored.”
“You should,” she said.
He swung at her, but she ducked under his arm and brought the palm of her hand up into his chin. Then she followed up with a chop to his neck, and a kick to his groin. He backed away, hunched forward and gagging.
“There!” he said hoarsely. “That’s what training can do for you. She’s half your size, half your strength, and she’s already done three times as much damage as you.” Then he slowly straightened up and the grin was back again. “Now imagine what her training and your power could accomplish. It might look something like this!”
Then he unleashed a flurry of blows at her. She dodged and blocked everything he threw at her, but he didn’t let up. After a few minutes she was dripping sweat, and each time she blocked one of his blows, she winced from the sheer force of impact. Slowly, grudgingly, she lost ground.
“I can do this all day, Perricholi,” he said. “Can you? I doubt it. After all, no matter what they say, I think you’re only human.”
She yelled defiantly, jumped straight into the air, and drove both pointed boots into his chest. He fell back, but as he did, he grabbed her ankles and pulled her down with him. She fell on top of him and he wrapped her in a bear hug and squeezed. She slammed her forehead into his nose with a wet crack. But he only laughed as blood poured from his nostrils.
“God, woman, you should have been a monster!” he roared. Then his arms bulged as he squeezed her even tighter. She gasped for breath, flailing desperately.
By that time I’d managed to get to my feet again. “Let her go,” I said as I stumbled toward him. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had to do something.
He looked over at me with surprise, like he’d completely forgotten I was there. Then he shook his head in disgust. “No, no, no!” He tossed La Perricholi aside, and slowly stood up. “You’re not learning anything!”
I threw a punch, but he caught it and twisted my arm behind my back. Then with his bloody, wolf-bitten hand, he just started waling on me.
“I thought you were”—punch—“supposed to be smart!”— punch—“But you blew it!”—punch—“That would have been”—punch—“the perfect time”—punch—“to catch me unawares!”
“Oh, like this?” said Claire. She grabbed his torn, bloody wrist, spun him around, and punched him in his broken nose.
“Hurrah!” He smiled through the mass of blood. “Claire Bear came out to play!”
“You still talk too much,” she said, and hit him again.
As I struggled to get back on my feet, brother and sister fought. He was bigger and stronger, but the injuries and blood loss had slowed him down. Still, he was landing almost as many punches as she was, and his did a lot more damage. After a minute or two, it looked pretty clear who had the advantage.
“You could be this powerful, too, you know,” he said to her between harsh, bubbly gasps of air. “Don’t ask for permission, just take it from her. There’s nothing she can do about it.”
“Never,” she said, also breathing hard. “We do it together or not at all.”
His lips curled down into a sneer. “And that’s why I win.”
Then with a sudden burst of energy, he knocked her arms aside and slammed his fist into her face so hard she pitched back and fell to the ground. Inside me I felt something snap. The pain, the dizziness, the exhaustion, all disappeared along with everything else. There was only him and how I was going to crush every bone in his body.
“Oh, ready for more?” he said when he saw me coming. “I thought you were do—”
I slammed into him. Maybe he was hitting me but I couldn’t feel it. The only thing I could feel was how good it sounded when the meat of my fists rammed into his face over and over again.
“Yes!” I heard him yell. “Why have you been holding back? Here is a monster! At last, a true monster among you!” Then he laughed joyfully.
It only pissed me off more. I clasped both my hands together, ready to bring them down and smash his skull. But then he shifted and shrank, and suddenly the object of my rage was gone and I was staring down at Robert, just as wrecked and bloody, but less than half the size.
“You . . . win . . .” he said, then passed out.
He was so small and broken and pathetic that all the fight drained out of me. Then all the pain came flooding back in and I almost passed out myself. But I heard police sirens and someone calling my name. I looked up and La Perricholi was shaking me. There was a massive bruise on her forehead.
“We have to go now!” she shouted. “I’ve got the old wolf. You get the others, then follow me.” I nodded dumbly and looked down at the bloody lump of Robert.
“I’ve got him, cousin,” said Henri.
“Henri . . .” I said, trying to keep my thoughts together. “You’re okay . . .”
“I wish I could have helped more. All I could think to do was get Vi to delay the police for a while.” He put his hand on my shoulder. “It was awful seeing him hurt you all.”
I shook my head. “It’s okay. We . . . did it. I think. Didn’t we?”
“Yes, but Vi has held the police off as long as she could.” He picked up Robert and hoisted him over his shoulder. “Get Claire
and let’s go!” I nodded stupidly and stumbled over to where Claire was struggling to rise.
“I got you,” I said as I picked her up and cradled her in my arms.
She looked at me with glassy eyes. A gash on her forehead dribbled blood. “You look like shite.”
“You look beautiful,” I said.
“Lovebirds, you can kiss later!” called La Perricholi. She held Mozart in her arms. He was still unconscious, now in human form and naked. “This way!”
With Claire held tight to my chest, I followed her and Henri down a side street, where a large, dusty red van with tinted windows waited. La Perricholi threw open the back double doors.
The inside was empty. She carefully laid Mozart inside. A lot less carefully, Henri tossed in Robert. Then he helped me with Claire. I sat down heavily on the floor of the van, still cradling Claire in my arms, as Henri closed the doors. I was vaguely aware of them both climbing into the front of the van and starting the engines.
As the van began to move, I slipped slowly into unconsciousness.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Man Made Boy
“Love monsters? If you do, Jon Skovron’s Man Made Boy is for you. If you don’t, why not?”— Kelly Link, award-winning author of Magic for Beginners and Pretty Monsters
“Skovron weaves all things creepy and strange into a tale that is heartwarming, hilarious, and full of memorable characters.”— John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Where Things Come Back
“Skovron has mastered the beauty, tragedy, and hilarity of the fine line between monsters and men. Read this book and marvel at his creation.”— Andrea Cremer, bestselling author of the Nightshade series
“If Man Made Boy hasn’t been optioned for a film or at least a CW series by the end of the year, we can be assured that Hollywood has actually forgotten how to read. Because Boy, for all his used parts, is an original.”—i09.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This Broken Wonderous World is one of the best novels I will ever read. The twists and turns of the novel sends you through a rollercoaster of emotion. Losing his friends and family, but growing Boy Frankenstein every step of the way with new friends and learning sensibility. Armed only with many monster friends, an AI and humans with a real-life superhero that has protected a South American city for centuries. They now face a new enemy that threatens monster life for good. The book has done much more than explain how life would be for a super-smart, overpowering and obvious monster going through new periods in his life. Going through the book, you will receive heartbreaking sense, uncomfortably eerie scenes, exciting scenes that leave you pumped for more. Although This Broken Wonderous World, is a second book of the series, the author makes very few references to the first book, and makes this book it’s own story. My two favorite parts of the novel are the description of character, their feelings and actions, and the scenery. You could touch the water, feel the breeze and smell the smells of each scene and you feel what the characters are feeling.
O.o I will get nightmares perhaps.