Nothing exciting ever happened to fifteen-year-old orphans Eliot and Fiona, who are trapped in the strict, oppressive household of their grandmother. A chance visit, however, reveals that the twins are the offspring of a goddess and Lucifer, Prince of Darkness.
To settle the epic custody battle between these two families, the fallen angels create three diabolical temptations and the gods fashion three heroic trials to test Eliot and Fiona. The twins need to quickly learn how to use their budding supernatural abilities . . . for family allegiances are ever-shifting in the ancient, secret world they have entered, and only by sticking together will they be able to survive!
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Eric Nylund is the author of the epic fantasy series that began with Mortal Coils and continues in All That Lives Must Die. He is also the author of several books in the bestselling Halo series--Halo: The Fall of Reach, Halo: First Strike, and Halo: Ghosts of Onyxand--and The Resistors series for middle grade readers. Nylund earned degrees in chemistry at U.C. Santa Barbara and U.C. San Diego before leaving his Ph.D. program to become a writer. Besides writing his novels, he is the Director of Narrative Design at Microsoft Game Studios. He lives near Seattle on a rain-drenched mountain with his wife, Syne Mitchell, and their son.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Due to the controversial nature of all Post Family stories, and recent revelations that some popular "nonfiction" titles are slightly less than accurate, the editorial board at TOR Books has at this time decided to classify Mortal Coils as "fiction." We have no interest in entering the debate over the authenticity of Post Family stories in the popular press.
Footnotes to pertinent resources have, however, been added throughout, so enthusiasts and scholars of modern mythology may follow up with their own research and draw their own conclusions to what is the most exciting contemporary legend of our time.
Editor, TOR Books
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love....
Hamlet act 3, scene 1
TWO LITTLE NOBODIES
Eliot Post and his sister, Fiona, would be fifteen tomorrow and nothing interesting had ever happened to them. They lived with their grandmother and great-grandmother, who, with their iron-fist-in-velvet-glove ways, held them captive from anything exciting. Eliot slid a plastic milk crate to his dresser and stepped up to see into the mirror. He frowned at his mop of unruly black hair; the bowl cut had grown shaggy. At least it covered his ears, which stuck out. He looked like a dork. He smoothed his fingers through the mess and it fell into place...then the cowlicks sprang up. If only he had some hair gel. There was, however, a rule banning brand-name shampoo, soap, and other "luxury" items. His great-grandmother concocted homemade versions instead. They cleaned (occasionally stripping off the first layer of skin) but left something to be desired in the fashion department. Eliot glanced at the pages taped to the back of his bedroom door: Grandmother’s 106 rules that governed every breath he took. The lack of hair gel was covered by RULE 89.
RULE 89: No extravagant household products—including, but not limited to, store-bought soaps, shampoos, paper towels, and other unnecessary disposable goods.
Fortunately this did not include toilet paper.
The clock on his dresser made a rusty "ping." It was ten o’clock. The lunch shift started at Ringo’s All American Pizza Palace in forty minutes. He suppressed a shudder, already tasting the sweet dough and pepperoni grease that would permeate his skin.
Eliot grabbed his homework off his desk. He flexed his hand, working free the stiffness from writing all night. It’d been worth it. He was proud of his report on the War of 1812. Grandmother would have to give him an A.
His thoughts of the Chesapeake campaign and "The Star-Spangled Banner" vanished as a car drove past outside. Three stories on the street below, its radio thumped and bumped into Eliot’s room.
The music washed through him, swept aside all thoughts of homework, pizza, rules, and for one moment he was somewhere else: a hero on the high seas, cannons blasting, and wind screaming through the sails.
The car passed and the music faded.
Eliot would have done anything for a radio of his own. "Music is a distraction," Grandmother had told him over and over. There was, naturally, a rule for it, too.
RULE 34: No music, including the playing of any instruments (actual or improvised), singing, humming, electronically or by any means producing or reproducing a rhythmic melodic form.
It sucked. All of Grandmother’s rules did. He never got to do anything he wanted... except, of course, read.
Three entire walls of his room were not walls at all, but floor-toceiling bookshelves installed sometime in the Precambrian era by Great-Grandmother.
Two thousand fifty-nine volumes lined his tiny bedroom: red spines, gray cloth covers, faded paper jackets, and gleaming gold letters, all exuding a scent of moldering paper and well-worn leather, the entirety a solid mass of age and authority.1
Eliot ran a hand over their vertebrae—Jane Austen...Plato...Walt Whitman. He loved his books. How many times had he escaped to differ
1. Excavation of what experts believe was the Oakwood Apartments building (the alleged Post Family residence) revealed the remains of more than one hundred thousand books on all floors: leather bindings, partial pages, literally tons of parchment ash, and a handful of intact volumes. These fueled the intense blaze that eventually caused the entire town of Del Sombra to burn to the ground. Gods of the First and Twenty-first Century, Volume 11: The Post Family Mythology, 8th ed. (Zypheron Press Ltd.).
ent countries, centuries long past, with colorful characters as his companions?
He just wished his life could be as interesting.
Eliot went to open his bedroom door, but halted before the pages of Grandmother’s rules. He glared at them, knowing the biggest rule of all was unwritten. RULE 0: No escaping the rules.
He sighed, twisted the doorknob, and pushed open his door.
Light spilled into the darkened corridor. At the same instant a second rectangle of light appeared as his sister’s door opened. Fiona wore a green gingham dress, a tattered suede belt, and sandals that laced up her calves.
People said they looked alike, but she was five foot five inches, while Eliot was still only five foot three inches. For being his twin sister, she didn’t really look anything like him. Her posture was wet-noodle limp, hair in her eyes except when it wasn’t pulled into a tail of frizz, and she chewed on her nails.
She stepped into the hallway at the exact same second as Eliot. She was always pretending this synchronicity thing to annoy him. The myth was that twins always thought the same thing, mirrored each other’s motions— were practically the same person.
She must have been waiting at her door, listening for his to open. Well, he wasn’t buying it.
"You look sick," Fiona said, her voice dripping with mock sympathy. "Naegleria fowleri?"
"Haven’t been swimming," he replied. "So maybe you’re the one with brain-eating amoebas."
He’d read Rare Incurable Parasites, volume 3, as well.
This was their favorite game: vocabulary insult.
"Lochsmere," he said, and eyed her contemptuously.
Her brow scrunched in concentration.
That was a tough one—a character from the thirteenth-century Twixtbury Chronicles by Vanden Du Bur. Lochsmere was a plague-ridden dwarf, evil and puppy-drowning vile.
The Twixtbury text lay on the top shelf of the hallway bookcase, covered in a layer of dust. No way she had read it.
Fiona caught his look, followed it, and smiled.
"You have me confused for noble G’meetello," she said, "master of Lochsmere... who is obviously you."
So she had read it. Okay. The score was still nothing to nothing.
Fiona half-closed her eyes and murmured, "Sometimes, little brother, I think your wit so tantalizing it would be better for everyone if you were at Tristan da Cunha."
Tristan da Cunha? He didn’t know that one.
"No fair using foreign words."
Fiona had a talent for languages, while he did not. They had a pact, though: no foreign words from her and no made-up words from him in their games of vocabula
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Descripción Tor Fantasy, 2010. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0765357542
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