(The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman #1)
Existence is a Balance. Multiple universes and myriads of worlds exist in their own time and space and through each of them threads magic. Seven great Spirits guard the Balance against the forces of evil and chaos. It is time for them to choose new Questors to wield their power and be their mortal advocates.
Charlie Waterman is eighteen and until he is assaulted by a cat figurine and wakes up with a tail, he is boringly normal. Apparently he is supposed to be the Questor of the Cat Spirit, but no one bothered to ask him if he wanted to be. It's not the kind of thing that comes up when you're taking your A Levels at a grammar school in Kent. When destiny catches up with him he's two years late and past some mysterious threshold. Eighteen isn't really old, unless you're dealing with magic for the first time.
On meeting Akari, the man who claims to be his mentor, he is introduced to Between, a magical realm that exists outside normal time and space. Here he is supposed to learn how to fulfill his destiny. Accompanying Akari to Between to explore his new powers, he meets his fellow Questors: dragon; wolf; horse; spider; hawk; dolphin. They all seem to know what they're doing, but, fighting to maintain control, Charlie's causing earthquakes and accidentally turning into a cat while asleep, which is plain embarrassing.
Five sixteen year olds, a young, antisocial vampire and Charlie stand between the Balance and chaos. Nothing on Earth could have prepared Charlie for his destiny and in choosing him, he is sure the Spirits have to be insane.
|Date Pub: March 2011||Length: Novel (~78K words)||Genre: contemporary fantasy, YA|
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Love her work by Anonymous
I've been following this author online long enough to have forgotten when I started. Her style pulls you in gently and takes you on a wonderful ride through well crafted worlds. When the story's done you're ready for more without being left wanting.
Cat's Call is a promising start to a series I will be more than happy to collect and re-read. The characters are likable and have a very human quality to them. This is an author who can help you suspend your disbelief. I highly recommend her, Cat's Call, and suggest tucking yourself into her other works as well. Click here to see all reviews at B&N
Chapter 1. An Inauspicious Beginning
There is a moment in time, a knife edge for every destiny, and in that moment in time, on that knife edge, a destiny is made or broken. Some say when a destiny is broken the gods cry.
Just occasionally destiny has a second chance.
The day Charlie had missed the bus and missed his interview at the magic shop, it had rained. Charlie would never forget it, because it hadn't just rained a little, it had poured, and he had been soaked to his skin by the time he had made it home. Then he had ended up in bed for three days, because of the nasty chill he'd picked up.
Charlie didn't believe in destiny. As far as he was concerned that day had simply involved a summer job before doing his A levels and his dad had got him into his office as a temp instead. It was only when he walked past the old place two years later that he even thought about it again. For once the sign on the door read 'open', so he turned towards it and stepped inside.
"You are not what I was expecting, you are too old," a voice said almost as soon as he walked into the dimly lit shop.
"Sorry," Charlie said, spotting an old woman behind the counter, "I thought you were open."
He was sure the sign had said 'open', but, even in the backwaters of Kent, that was not a normal way to greet a customer.
"I've always meant to come in," he stumbled on, feeling awkward, but not quite knowing what to do; "I almost worked here once, when I was sixteen. Had a letter, but I missed my bus and missed my interview. Um ... I'll be going then, sorry to have disturbed you."
The way the woman was looking at him was unnerving.
"No matter," she said before he could turn away, still eyeing him in a very unsettling manner, "come in, look around, explore where your heart leads you."
Clearly the woman had mysterious and eccentric down to a tee, but Charlie didn't think he could just turn and leave anymore; it would be rude. Trying to look as if he didn't think missing that interview had been a lucky escape, he smiled awkwardly and began to wander around. He had expected the shop to be full of magic tricks and stage stuff, but it actually seemed to be full of crystals and incense and weird statues and generally bizarre things. For a little while he browsed and pretended to be interested, but just as he was working himself up into leaving he saw something towards the back of the shop. It glinted at him from a shelf.
That probably should have been his first clue something odd was going on, because there wasn't enough light in the shop to make anything glint.
Forgetting about his desire to walk out, he stepped over to the shelf and reached out to the object that was hidden at the back. He had no idea what it was, but his hand gripped it and he pulled it out of the shadows. Opening his fingers, he looked down. Disappointment welled through him when all he found was a rather nondescript cat figurine, only about two inches tall. It was all beige, as if it was made out of clay that hadn't been painted. Charlie couldn't even tell what type of cat it was supposed to be. There was no way it could have glinted at him at all; he had to have picked up the wrong thing.
He was going to put it down, but then the tiny statue opened its eyes and looked at him. A piercing green gaze stared straight into his own, glinting in the low light, and he froze. His brain seemed to disconnect from his nervous system and left him helpless in the face of the impossible. Tiny claws daggered into the skin of his palm as the cat stood up and moved, and Charlie could do nothing except watch. The little creature sniffed at his hand, turning around and walking across his palm towards his wrist as he stared on in fascinated bewilderment.
There was no way that what he was seeing could actually be happening; it was simply insane, so he had to be hallucinating. That meant he must have touched something that was contaminated with a weird drug, or the incense that was burning in the shop wasn't really incense. For a crazy second he wondered if the owners were white slavers or something like that. Did they trade in innocent teenagers, was that why the woman had not been expecting someone his age?
The little cat dug its claws into the delicate skin on the inside of his wrist and it hurt, but about all he could do was whimper quietly. It didn't hurt as much as when the cat began to push its paws under the upper level of skin though; at that point agony shot up his arm, up his neck and into his brain. It was as if the small thing had found a direct connection to the pain centres in his skull. The only good that caused was that it broke his paralysis and he cried out, trying to shake the little cat off, but it was as if it was stuck there. Stumbling backwards, he fell into one of the other shelves and pain ripped up his arm again. He felt himself going weak at the knees as his vision tunnelled down so all he could see was the creature burrowing into his wrist and then everything went mercifully black.