Today is my stop on PR By the Book’s Tour for the thrilling new release Prodigy Quest by Verlin Darrow. This tale of the esoteric and unknown is a wonderful blend of YA speculative fiction and mystery at its most complex.
A flood of two-hundred-year-old memories from a past life knocks boy-genius Tris right off his stool at the TV quiz show he was winning. Then a letter arrives from a fifty-year-old time capsule that sends him on a quest to find a book of wisdom his karmic ancestors have been compiling for centuries.
Really? Sure, he’s smarter than all the adults around him, but how’s he supposed to navigate an interstate scavenger hunt and elude a group of fanatic lowlifes?
Tris has to grow into someone beyond his years to get the job done. He learns the hard way that the smartest boy in the world…isn’t.
A minute later, I spied Chat and Marc sprinting toward me. Chet sported an oversized pistol in his hand, while Marc held a bundle of white fur—Mildred, I presumed. Just before they got to the car, a burly man in overalls emerged from the building behind them and fired a handgun into the air. Sitting up now, I jumped in my seat, adrenaline surging through me.
“Stop!” he shouted. “Stop in the name of the law!”
Chet and Marc piled in the car, and if it hadn’t been an elderly Prius, we would’ve screamed away from the curb, leaving rubber in our wake. As it was, we could only hope our head start would keep us safe.
My heart pounded the hardest it ever had, and energy shot down my limbs. It was hard to sit still, so I didn’t. I swiveled to watch the gunman sprint away from us toward a black van. Then I rocked back and forth, wishing there was something I could do to influence how the next few minutes would turn out.
“That was a police officer?” I asked after we turned the first corner.
“Hell, no,” Chet said. “That’s just what he wants us to believe. How’s Mildred doing?”
Marc replied, “Not great. I think her canine epilepsy kicked in.”
I turned around to face the front seat, where Marc cradled her gently in his arms as Chet built up a head of steam. Hot air rushed through the open windows, along with the tang of barbecue.
“Hell, she’s better off if she doesn’t have to be here for a car chase,” our driver replied. He veered onto a side street, almost going up on two wheels. We passed a sad-looking cemetery with no visible grass or landscaping, a strip mall with a gaudily decorated massage parlor and a chain convenience store, and then turned again down a long alley between a row of board and batten homes.
I watched through the rear window again and didn’t see anyone following us, which made it easier to calm down, even as adrenaline continued to flood my system. “At least we’re likely to be getting better gas mileage than our pursuer,” I pointed out.
Chet laughed out loud. “You’ve got balls, Tris. You’re all right. You don’t see anyone chasing us, do you? I don’t.”
“No, I don’t either.”
Marc turned and glanced at me. “Humor in the midst of crisis, Tris. Good for you.”
We never saw whomever we’d escaped from. On the way back to Chet’s house, Mildred regained awareness, and Marc passed her back to me. Then he filled me in on what had happened back at the synagogue while I stroked her incredibly soft, white fur. I liked her right away, and I think she liked me too. My parents kept me away from animals. They said animals had diseases.
The top five things you didn’t know about Prodigy Quest
Before bowing to the need for higher education, a much younger Verlin ran a punch press in a sheetmetal factory, drove a taxi, worked as a night janitor, shoveled asphalt on a road crew, and installed wood floors. He barely missed being blown up by Mt. St. Helens, survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and (so far) he’s successfully weathered his own internal disasters.
Connect with Verlin Darrow
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Buy Prodigy Quest
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