Seven Wonders Book 2: Lost in Babylon

BOOK: Seven Wonders Book 2: Lost in Babylon
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UNCORRECTED E-PROOF—NOT FOR SALE

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Advance Reader's e-proof

courtesy of
HarperCollins Publishers

This is an advance reader's e-proof made from digital files of the uncorrected proofs. Readers are reminded that changes may be made prior to publication, including to the type, design, layout, or content, that are not reflected in this e-proof, and that this e-pub may not reflect the final edition. Any material to be quoted or excerpted in a review should be checked against the final published edition. Dates, prices, and manufacturing details are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

UNCORRECTED E-PROOF—NOT FOR SALE

HarperCollins Publishers

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A Mighty Foe

UNCORRECTED E-PROOF—NOT FOR SALE

HarperCollins Publishers

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UNCORRECTED E-PROOF—NOT FOR SALE

HarperCollins Publishers

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D
EDICATION

[D
EDICATION
TK?]

C
ONTENTS

Cover

Disclaimer

Title

Dedication

Chapter One: Death Toast

Chapter Two: “The Mistake”

Chapter Three: The Last Time Art Tk

Chapter Four: Egarim

Chapter Five: Together, We Fell into Darkness

Chapter Six: Peaceful

Chapter Seven: Fresh and Dewy

Chapter Eight: It's Aliii-ive!

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten: Arabic or Aramaic?

Chapter Eleven: Matter and Anti-Matter

Chapter Twelve: Deep Doodoo

Chapter Thirteen: Pure Awesome

Chapter Fourteen: Later, Gladiator

Chapter Fifteen: Calculations

Chapter Sixteen: The Dream

Chapter Seventeen: The Test

Chapter Eighteen: The Darkness

Chapter Nineteen: Cooperation

Chapter Twenty: A Tangle of Fangs

Chapter Twenty-One: Heroes

Chapter Twenty-Two: If Only . . .

Chapter Twenty-Three: To the Garden

Chapter Twenty-Four: The Torch and the Vizzeet

Chapter Twenty-Five: Lambda

Chapter Twenty-Six: The Number Seven

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Echoes of Nothing

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Invisible Bars

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Zigzagging

Chapter Thirty: Careful!

Chapter Thirty-One: Don't Let Go

Chapter Thirty-Two: A Whip of Blackness

Chapter Thirty-Three: In the Shadows

Chapter Thirty-Four: Again

Chapter Thirty-Five: Lazarus Rises

Chapter Thirty-Six: Pineapple and Grasshopper

Chapter Thirty-Seven: The Lethargic Lizard

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Air Sick

Chapter Thirty-Nine: His Jackness

Chapter Forty: Missles of Spit

Chapter Forty-One: Falling Back

Chapter Forty-Two: The Mark

Chapter Forty-Three: The Betrayal

Chapter Forty-Four: You Have to Leave

Chapter Forty-Five: An Explanation of Sorts

Chapter Forty-Six: Headquarters

Chapter Forty-Seven: Resurrection

Chapter Forty-Eight: Fragments

Chapter Forty-Nine: The Beast-Tamer

Chapter Fifty: Safe and Comfortable

Chapter Fifty-One: The Phone

Chapter Fifty-Two: Hack Attack

Chapter Fifty-Three: The Exit at the End of the Hall

Chapter Fifty-Four: Deafening Silence

Chapter Fifty-Five: Push Harder

Chapter Fifty-Six: The Safety Catch

Chapter Fifty-Seven: The Sirens

About the Author

Copyright

About the Publisher

UNCORRECTED E-PROOF—NOT FOR SALE

HarperCollins Publishers

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CHAPTER ONE
D
EATH
T
OAST

B
Y THE THIRD
day back from Greece, I no longer smelled of griffin drool. But I still had bruises caused by a bad-tempered bronze statue, a peeling sunburn from a trip around the Mediterranean on a flying ball, and a time bomb inside my body.

Okay, not an actual physical bomb. I have this gene that basically cuts off a person's life at age fourteen. It's called G7W and all of us have it—Aly Black, Cass Williams, Marco Ramsay. Fortunately there's a cure. Unfortunately it has seven ingredients that are almost impossible to find. And Marco had flown off with the first one.

So we were on a desperate mission to find him. Which was why we were stuck in a sweaty Jeep driven by a red-bearded giant known as Torquin, who had a particular talent for joyously running over potholes.

“Picking skin off your face, Jack? Really?” said Aly from the backseat, as our Jeep jounced down a jungle path. She pushed aside a lock of pink hair from her forehead. I don't know where she gets hair dye on this crazy island, but one of these days I'll ask her. Cass Williams sat next to her, his eyes closed and his head resting against the seat back. His hair is normally curly and brown, but today it looked like squid-ink spaghetti, all blackened and stringy.

Cass had had a much worse time with the griffin than any of us.

I stared at the shred of skin between my fingers. I hadn't even known I was picking it. “Oops.”

Torquin's eyes were trained on a dashboard GPS device that showed a map of the Atlantic Ocean. Across the top were the words
RAMSAY TRACKER
. Under it, no signal at all. Zip. We each had a tracker surgically implanted inside us, but Marco's was broken.

“Frame it,” Torquin said distractedly.

“Wait. Frame a piece of
sunburned skin
?” asked Aly, shielding her head as the Jeep bounced again.

“Collect. Make collage.” If I didn't know Torquin, I would think he had misunderstood Aly's question. I mean, the four of us kids are misfits, let's face it, but Torquin is in a class by himself. He's about seven and a half feet tall in bare feet. And he is
always
in bare feet. (Honestly, no shoe could possibly contain those two whoppers.) What he lacks in conversation skills he makes up for in weirdness. “I give you some of mine. Remind me.”

Aly's already pale face grew practically ash white. “Remind me not to remind you.”

“What I wouldn't give for this just to be a sunburn,” Cass said.

“You don't have to come with us this time, you know,” Aly said.

Cass frowned without opening his eyes. “Don't even think of doing this mission without me. I'm a little tired, but otherwise perfect.”

“Are you sure?” Aly said.

“I had my treatment,” Cass replied. “It worked. We have to find Marco. We're a family.”

Aly and I exchanged a glance. It was bad enough that Cass had to deal with the aftereffects of being flown across an ocean by a griffin, who then prepped him for lunch. But we also knew how long it took to recover from these so-called treatments.

We'd all had them. We needed them to survive. They held off our symptoms temporarily so we go on this crazy quest to find a permanent cure. The treatments had been developed here on this island. In fact, the Karai Institute's first job is to help us cope with the effects of the G7W. We are, to be honest, a big deal.

Not to brag or anything, but having G7W means you're descended from the royal family of the ancient kingdom of Atlantis. Which is probably the coolest thing about incredibly ordinary, shockingly talent-free me, aka Jack McKinley. On the positive side, G7W takes the things you're already good at—like sports for Marco, computer geekiness for Aly, and photographic memory for Cass—and turns those qualities into superpowers.

On the negative side, the cure involves finding the stolen Loculi of Atlantis, which were hidden centuries ago in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

And if that wasn't hard enough: six of those Wonders don't exist anymore.

A Loculus, by the way, is a fancy Atlantean word for “orb with cool magic power.” And we did find one. The story involves a hole in time and space (which I made by accident), a griffin (disgusting half eagle, half lion that came through the hole), a trip to Rhodes (where said griffin tried to lunch on Cass), some crazy monks (Greek), and the Colossus of Rhodes (which came to life and tried to kill us). There's more to it, but all you need to know is that I was the one who let the griffin through so the whole thing was basically my fault.

“Hey . . .” Aly said, looking at me through squinty eyes.

BOOK: Seven Wonders Book 2: Lost in Babylon
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