Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
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One determined girl.
One resourceful boy.
One miracle machine that could destroy everything…
After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.
Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.
Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same goal, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all.
When darkness is safer than light…
“One of the most inventive story worlds I’ve read in years…” Donald Maass, Author of Writing the Breakout Novel, Writing 21st Century Fiction, and The Fire in Fiction
“Such an engaging story featuring witty dialogue, gripping action scenes and a romance that will make your heart melt!” Laurel May
“I liked the mix of reminders I got from authors like Mervyn Peake, L.Frank Baum and Ray Bradbury. I’m sure that every reader will find shades of other famous writers, including or excluding these three.” Richard L. Bunning
“Eyelet and Urlick, the two main characters… There’s so much to love! They are like salt and pepper: totally different, spicy, argumentative, and brilliantly smart.” Rosemary Danielis
“Wait!” I shout, surging forward, shouldering my way through the crowd. I fight my way to the front and pound on the doors of the carriage. “Please!” I shout. “I need to speak to you!” But the stranger doesn’t hear.
He brings his whip down hard over his horse’s back and the carriage leaps forward, parting the angry crowd like soil in a furrowed field. “Wait!” I hoist my skirts and chase after the carriage. “Please!” I shout. “Please! Wait!”
A second crack of the whip and the carriage moves faster. I race on, struggling to keep up to its side. If I lose sight of the carriage, I’ve lost everything. All hope of ever leading a normal life.
I can’t let that happen.
Won’t let that happen.
He will not take my father’s machine.
“Please, I beg you, stop the coach!” I lunge, throwing myself at the back of the coach, barely catching a toe on the edge of the running boards, embedding my nails into the carriage’s seams. The carriage bursts forward through the streets of Gears, the city fast becoming a memory.
“Stop!” I plead as my boot slips from the running boards. I swing out to one side and dangle by one arm.
The stranger at the mount turns his head. “What are you doing?” he shouts. “Get off!”
I kick my way back up onto the platform.
“I said get off!” he shouts again.
“I won’t!” I say, hoisting, myself up higher onto the cab.
My foot slips again and I sink beneath the rooftop, striking my chin hard on the way down. Grasping at the coach’s seams I desperately try to hold on, the toes of my boots burrowing twisted trenches in the dirt road below. My heart lodges in my throat as I lose my grip and swing out again to the opposite side.
“Bloody Hell!” I hear the stranger curse.
His face appears over the top of the cab seconds later. His eyes are lit like flares. I hang by the tips of my fingers, shocked, staring up at him. I don’t know whether to scream or cry.