Good morning you lovely people!
Today, I am doing a post-style that I have never done before. I wanted to be part of the Neverland Blog Tour for this book, but through extenuating circumstances, I was unable to review the book as I originally wanted.
But that doesn’t stop me from joining in! So instead, I thought I would just put together the information about the book and see if it takes your fancy!
Title: Joshua N.Gon: Last Prince of Alkebulahn
Author: Anthony Hewitt
Publisher: Marksman Studios
Date: 5th June 2017
Synopsis: Joshua N’Gon is a Fourteen year old foster child from Africa. He has grown up in a loving home in north London and for all intents and purposes he was an ordinary teenager. The reality though could not be further from the truth. Joshua is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma and he is beginning to understand he has a destiny that is far beyond what he could ever have imagined.
On his tenth birthday he receives a mysterious package from his birth parents. He is given articles of technology that even his young mind realized were so far beyond what he knew and understood that they were almost magical. Joshua straps on a tribal hierloom of obvious alien origin – a miraculous multi-tool he calls his RCT– Real Cool Tool that bonds with his arm and is irremovable. And so begin his physical changes too, the headaches, the flashes of genius, the visions and the amnesia.
With his friends Brick and Mina they slowly help him to unravel the mystery of who he is. In the meantime dark corporate forces are gathering in the horizon as Joshua’s talents and his interest in finding his family has piqued the curiosity of powerful people. Soon as his life and the life of those he loves are threatened he must come to grips with his gifts and the miraculous alien technology that founded his people.
Author: Antony Hewitt
Bio: Anthony has been writing for over 15 years. Mainly writing for mature readers, his genre of choice has always been speculative fiction. The YA category is such an exciting category that he wanted to include a diverse set of character with a different cultural perspective. He’s enjoyed himself so much he intends to keep creating fantastic new stories for a 12+ audience.
Book website: www.thelastprince.co.uk
If you fancy getting to know a little more, keeping reading for an excerpt from the book itself. If you like the sound of it, enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for the chance to win your own copy!
Television Centre, White City, West London
“Let’s get ready to rumbbbbllllle!”
The world-famous catchphrase of Mechanoid Mayhem bellowed around the studio, the promotional video on a loop extolling the virtues of top rated show with explosions, crashes and the shrill cries of excitement from the deep-voiced commentators. Joshua twiddled the stylus, checking his five projects on the screen of his tablet. The second item on the list was a detailed question about ideas and creating concepts from them. It was seventy percent complete he just needed some video footage to add to a two-page report. His drawings would be crappy, but his robot idea was clear enough, and Dr. Ogun would be happy. Anticipating a successful outcome, he ticked it off as complete before it was done. Tucking his tablet in his backpack, he looked out for Brick and Meena who’d walked on ahead of him.
Mechanoid Mayhem sponsored by TechMunch was primetime viewing for geeky teenagers and a growing legion of nerdy adults, most of them unfulfilled engineers. The ITU Studios in Whitechapel buzzed with activity as Team Dominator entered Studio One, their trolley covered in a pristine white sheet pulled proudly by Brick. Meena was happily overwhelmed while Joshua maintained a cool detachment. Unable to resist, Brick took selfies under the Mechanoid Mayhem sign while Joshua and Meena silently observed the frenetic activity.
“Dudes got corporate sponsorship.” Brick pointed to the Optimal Grime Team, winners of last year’s featured clash. “It shows, right?”
Joshua paid no mind more concerned about what he’d let Brick talk him into doing with Dr. Ogun’s blessing. Sure, he was looking forward to seeing one of his creations being publicly tested against others, but he couldn’t help being wary. Brick had hustled up T-shirts for them with Team Dominator printed on the front and Higgin’s Electronic Hut stamped on the back. He was riding high on what the Dominator, as he called it, could do.
A lady in a trademark boiler suit was wearing the name badge of Claire, approached them.
“You guys, lost? Can I help?” She smiled, checking out their cardboard sign which said Entry Number 14.
“We’re lost,” Joshua admitted.
“Enjoying the atmosphere,” Brick said, not wanting to lose face.
“Sightseeing.” Meena chimed in.
“Your schedule tells you when your first contest starts. Fancy your chances?”
“Yeah!” Shouted Brick
“We designed the Dominator by ourselves, no grown-ups. I Just want to get some experience.” Meena said.
“I wanna win.” Brick muttered.
Claire turned to Joshua. “What about you?”
Joshua shrugged, not wanting to sound geeky but he did.
“I get my homework done.”
“Whatever happens, have fun, okay? When you’re done sightseeing your paddock’s over there.” She pointed towards the end of the semi-circle. “Good luck.”
The trio pulled the Dominator towards their enclosure. Joshua took the headphones from around his ears and briefly thought about the Dominators stats. The Bees located his information immediately and retreated into the background. The Data Stream popped into his foreground bright and bold.
- Locomotion – Tick
- Weapons – Tick
- Power – Tick
- Communication – Tick
All systems are go.
As soon as they’d received their acceptance letter from Mechanoid Mayhem offices, the idea for the Dominator had come fully formed and in sparkling detail in Joshua’s mind. The know-how and skill were dumped into his brain along with a compulsion to build it. Fifty percent of the machine was scavenged parts, but the kernel was home-grown super Tech; crystal power modules and the strange liquid metals which were formed into any shape and function within his Resonance Manipulator in the Shed. What scared him the most was how comfortable he was getting with all this crazy stuff.
“We ready to kick some machine tail!” Brick said aloud, hoping that Joshua would use his advantage to wipe the floor with their competition.
“You know this is just a test run to see how it functions under competitive conditions.” Joshua cautioned. “Anyway, we ’bout ready as we gonna be. I just need to transfer mind control to Meena’s remote unit.”
“How?” Meena asked, forgetting that was not the question to ask.
Joshua gave his trademark shrug.
“Why don’t I control it mentally instead?” Meena folded her arms defiantly.
“If anybody can do this Meen’s, it’s you, but I think its somehow linked with my mind and nobody else’s. I don’t know what kind of effect it’ll have on you even if you could control it with your thoughts.”
“Guess it’d be no fun if we knew everything about it, right?” Meena said philosophically.
“Yeah.” Joshua agreed, then said. “Okay, so we’re ready to roll?
“Hell yeah.” Said Brick.
Meena just smiled and nodded.
“Brick you’re the handler and filmmaker. You gotta document everything. Get it in position and do a quick once over to make sure that everything’s in the right place. Meena’s the pilot, so I’m going to run through what I’ve figured out about the controls.”
Joshua reached into the left pocket of his shabby Team Dominator dungarees and took out a crumpled sheet of lined paper. He smoothed it out on a makeshift table. “Okay guys, gather round. This is what I’ve got …”
Half an hour later Team Dominator stood behind the Perspex shield. The arena had been freshly cleared of mechanical parts, the detritus of robots unable to deal with the savageness of the competition. In minutes, it would be Meena’s job to do battle with Mechanoid Mayhems most feared robot, The Scavenger. Brick paced, muttering to himself, he rubbed his hands together, looking around with fear-heightened eyes,
“Bring it on,” he mumbled under his breath.
The referee’s booth, home to live commentators sat high above them. A large digital clock suspended from the ceiling would signal the countdown, each second corresponding with an electronic beep. The live audience consisted of mainly teens screamed the names of their favorite robot warrior. Brick didn’t expect to hear them shouting for the Dominator but who knows. Being the underdog meant that audience expectations were low, which was just how he liked it.
The arena was a character in this drama too. The spotlights in the ceiling were roaming around the surface of the stage like searchlights. The Flamethrowers, trapped doors, snares and hydraulic mallets were all being tested as if it was taunting you.
Joshua watched Meena maneuver the Dominator with improvised routines she’d devised on the spot, playing out possible scenarios in her mind. Eventually, she guided the machine to the opening in the paddock underneath her, the video feed on her small screen showing the Dominator in black and white.
Team Scavenger ran diagnostics on their killing machine-in-waiting which was twice the size of the Dominator. The rotary saw that made up its teeth buzzed obscenely. The pincers along its sides made fierce-some sniping sounds. Its superstructure was made from bits of repurposed victim’s parts, rendering it almost cannibalistic.
Six smaller, busy-body robots scurried around the arena floor. They were programmed both to be a nuisance and to input random chaos into the battle.
The countdown hit zero with the ear-splitting blast of a Klaxon horn. Referee/host Damian Hicks belted out his famous words to the enthusiastic audience.
“Robot Warriors. Let’s get ready to rumblllllle!”
The Klaxon blasted again.
Brick, his heart pounding, began recording. Joshua walked closer to the Perspex boundary intently watching the action below. Meena channeled her nervousness into her fingers as she did when performing and guided the Dominator out into the Arena using the video feed. On seeing it clearly, she maneuvered it into the middle of the killing grounds and waited.
The Scavenger was unseen but clearly heard, its motors growling like a bear prematurely woken from hibernation. Joshua held his breath as the mighty machine burst into the arena like a tornado of metal and swirling sharp edges, intent on wholesale destruction. Immediately the Scavenger clipped the Dominator’s flank sending it spinning towards the boundary zone.
Meena tried to stay composed but struggled to regain control of her machine. Her brow furrowed, the tip of her tongue on her lips she deftly swerved the machine away from the boundary and immediate disqualification, positioning it behind the lumbering Scavenger.
Joshua admired how quickly she had mastered its movements, even adopting a best practice position for herself.
Meena rested the lever in the crux of her thumb, applying pressure according to the angle of movement. The Dominator shot forward, slowing behind the Scavenger’s rear. She depressed a green button activating the scooper under the Scavengers undercarriage then releasing it. In theory, the Scavenger should have toppled over onto its side allowing the Dominator to attack the vulnerable parts of its structure.
Instead, the Scavenger extended its pincers preventing itself from landing sideways. Meena continued with the procedure, sure that the Dominator would overcome. Out of nowhere a small busy-body robot slammed into its side dislodging it from the Scavenger which spun to right itself. It then grabbed the Dominator viciously with its extra-large pincers and began revolving faster and faster, holding the Dominator high in the air, until finally sending it flying across the arena floor, the result of a hefty, Olympic medal winning hammer throw.
The audience went nuts.
Meena had no control while it sailed through the air, only when it hit the floor, did she gently and skillfully coax the controls. Somehow, impossibly the Dominator responded! The audience rose from their seats, whooping in amazement. The Dominator, with drill bits whirring, prepared itself for an attack on the giant Scavenger’s flank. Like an angry wasp, it stung again and again, but the mighty Scavenger robot superstructure was just too thick.
The landscape of the Mechanoid Mayhem Arena was in a state of change. Traps formed on the floor issuing blue and red smoke. Pistons pumped up and down on the ground, shiny cylindrical columns spiked, impaling or toppling anything unfortunate enough to be above it. Through it all, the Busy-Body Robots, like unwanted circus clowns, continued their merry dance of chaos. Flame-throwers positioned behind ordinary looking ad boards spat infernos of liquid hell into the arena.
The Scavenger’s handlers intended to use all of this to their advantage to scorch, topple and pummel the Dominator at every opportunity. Meena was determined to maintain control until there were only scraps of metal and bolts left of their machine on the oil soaked artificial turf. Joshua sensed the growing frustration of the Scavenger team as the controllers prowled their paddock like caged tigers. Their reputation was on the line bringing a shift in their approach. Brick was unaware, intently watching every movement, while Meena was doing battle mentally and physically. Joshua didn’t know what else to call it. Team Scavenger had changed their pattern, a subtle upgrade of action that telegraphed their intention. It would be swift and violent, they could tell. The Scavenger slammed into the Dominator hooking firmly into it. Subdued by superior size the Dominator, it was forced back. Meena wrangled the controls, but the power of the Scavenger was overwhelming. She pulled back, but the Scavenger moved toe to toe with it and Meena was unable to shake it. Amazingly she somehow managed to stop within a hair’s breadth of the inferno pit.
The audience shrieked.
Blasts of heat and flame leaped from the interior in melodramatic fashion and although the threat was contrived the consequence of falling in wasn’t. Brick groaned. Meena swore. Joshua’s heart raced, and his mouth went dry. Centimeter by painful centimeter the Dominator was giving way being slammed, pinched and battered into submission. Joshua couldn’t take his eyes off Meena’s fingers. Her movements were sometimes balletic and beautiful, sometimes clunky but never stopped.
His focus was tangled up in her hypnotic actions; the flexing of her joints, the twitches of her muscles under her brown skin as she held the Dominator in position. Joshua felt himself slipping away, his arms slackening, the rest of him quickly following.
Reality altered along with time and space. Joshua was there, but he wasn’t. Meena had disappeared, and he was looking at an alien architecture that was strangely familiar. He is surrounded by buzzes, sizzles, beeps and pops. He should have been scared, but he is more annoyed at the inconvenience. He wanted to demand that he be sent back to the tournament and back to his friends. But who would he complain to?
Something caught his attention, and it clicked, somewhere far away from where his brain was. Suddenly he was aware of the wiring, circuit boards, motors and the glowing liquid energy output of his alien power supply.
For an instant, Joshua was inside the Dominator then he wasn’t.
Brick hovered over Meena’s shoulder. The crowds bayed. The Dominator was giving way. An angry surge of flame rose from the pits guts, and the Dominator fell in. Meena’s hands fell to her side in a show of exhaustion and frustration. The live audience roared with approval, the commentators at the zenith of their excitement, losing their voices, ecstatic at the dramatic end to a battle well fought. Brick tried to get closer to the pit but could see nothing more. Joshua meanwhile looked wobbly.
“Josh!” Meena cried rushing over. Brick was already there helping Joshua to the floor.
“Feel woozy.” Joshua said.”
“Too much excitement?” Meena asked.
“You all right, Prince?”
“I don’t think so,” Joshua answered.
A shrill and persistent squeal echoed through the arena. Meena and Brick looked sideways at Joshua before helping him up. All eyes were on the pit. Something could be seen within the swirling smoke. The squealing became louder and louder. Something was shifting within the cloud of exhaust.
Like a phoenix, the Dominator rose from the flames. Twin turbines issued a hot sheet of shimmering exhaust which kept it aloft. A sharp silence was quickly followed by applause, whoops and whistles. The commentators exploded into excited babble.
Brick, Meena, and Joshua stared in slack-jawed wonder as the Dominator Mark II came up from the depths looking somewhat different than before. The turbines causing effortless lift had snapped out of their housing brackets. Its body was elongated giving it a streamlined appearance. The Dominator had changed and had its own mission. Meena put the now useless control to one side. Hovering over the heat of the pit and still metamorphosing, the Dominator turned slowly to face the Scavenger in the distance.
Gun turrets slid smoothly out of both sides of the Dominator’s aft and without warning the weapons glowed and spat dual streams of white pulsed energy towards the Scavenger. The impact was weird and spectacular as for one second it was trapped in a hazy blue bubble and the next it exploded into a pyrotechnics fireball of mechanical parts.
“Damn!” Brick said covering his eyes.
“What happened?” Meena spluttered.
Joshua looked at them sheepishly.
“I think I pressed something I shouldn’t have.”
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