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The Island Prison [MultiFormat]
eBook by K.G. McAbee

eBook Category: Young Adult/Fantasy
eBook Description: Holli is trapped in time, trapped in the evil Captain's house, and trapped in a strange world full of talking animals and walking skeletons.She wants to go home, and she's counting on her brother Noah to come back and save her. But before she can search for a way back she has to honor a promise made to a friend in need.

eBook Publisher: Calderwood Books, Published: 2009, 2009
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2009




4 STARS!

"This book picks up where the first (The Dark Legacy) left off. Holli Macgregor is now the prisoner of the evil Captain Ambrose Craven. Holli meets another prisoner, Lady Isobel. Lady Isobel and her ocelot, Ozberto, have been Craven's unwilling guests for over six months. Shortly after meeting each other, Captain Craven escorts them to his infamous Island Prison, where rescue will be even more difficult. Noah, Holli's brother, is determined to rescue Holli and then set off to rescue G-Bert, their dog, from Craven's secret fortress. (Located elsewhere.) He has no idea where the island or the fortress is, but with the help of several talking animal friends Noah will find out. All the most enjoyable characters from the first book, The Dark Legacy, return for an encore. Readers are also treated to some new characters. This time the story is not only from Noah's point-of-view, but Holli's as well. I would estimate that ages nine and up will enjoy this installment of the series. There is never any time for boredom. Readers must keep up with many character names, but I do not believe that will be difficult at all. A few certain talking animals tend to steal the spot light often. The chivalrous raccoon is my personal favorite, but I could be persuaded to change my mind to a certain skunk. Of course, this ends with some loose strings for the next book to deal with; however, it stops at the perfect place so you will not be left with no closure. It looks as though G-Bert and the secret fortress will be the focus of the third book. I can hardly wait. McAbee's imagination is infinite."  

Reviewed by Detra Fitch for HUNTRESS REVIEWS


CHAPTER ONE

Trapped!

Holli leaned over her younger brother Noah. Her arms were aching and scratched from fighting her way out of the rough rope net, and poor Noey was still entangled in it. She wanted to get him out of that nasty trap and then the two of them go home with their wonderful dog Gilbert. She wanted it more than anything she'd ever wanted before in her whole life.

But she couldn't, not right now. She had something else that she had to do first. She just hoped she had enough strength--and courage--to do it.

"I've got to help them, Noey," Holli said, and even to her, her voice sounded desperate. She knew Noah had never heard her speak that way. Heck, she'd never heard herself speak that way, not that she could remember.

She sawed away at the rough ropes wrapped around her little brother. The knife wasn't very sharp. She must have dulled it when she sawed through her own bonds, and the ropes were thick. One piece of rope lay across Noah's mouth, so he couldn't say anything. Holli knew that look in his eyes, though. She stopped the sawing for a second to shake her finger at him.

"Don't you dare wait for me, you hear? Go on through the painting, get back home. You know Mom and Dad are worried. They've probably called out the sheriff, the Coast Guard and the Army by now. I'll follow you, if ... when I can. If I can't ... if I can't, I know you'll bring help and come back after me."

The ropes parted at last. Holli took a deep breath, dropped the knife in Noah's hand, and reached down to give him a quick pat on the head. That didn't seem enough, somehow; she wanted to lean over and hug him, but there just wasn't time. She took another deep breath, this one quite a bit shakier than the first, then she turned and started across the wide landing, towards the glittering crystal staircase, where Captain Ambrose Craven stood at the top step.

I don't have time to think about Noah or Gilbert or Barnabas or anyone or anything else right now. The important thing is to save Byrtel. I will never, ever forgive myself if I can't stop the Captain from murdering Barclay's mom.

The Captain's back was to her. It was obvious that he saw nothing and no one around him as he held out one long arm and sighted his pistol. Craven's arm was straight as he took careful aim.

From the hallway below, Byrtel's growls and howls mingled with screams and thumps and crashes--and the creepy sounds of cracking, crushing, crunching bones.

Holli chanced one last glance over her shoulder. Good. Noah was free of the remnants of net at last. G-Bert was gone, already through the painting and back to--with any luck, and if Noah's information and knowledge he'd got from those old journals was right--their own Rest-And-Be-Thankful. Barnabas, that little sneak, was standing over Noah; the tavern boy looked dazed and confused as he cradled his damaged hand in his other arm. Rowley had really taken a bite out of him, not to mention that blow Enkoo had given him. Good for Rowley and good for Enkoo!

Holli wanted to be back home with her Mom and Dad, with Noah and Gilbert beside her, and away from this weird, mixed-up world with talking animals and walking skeletons.

She couldn't, though. She had promised Barclay, back at the cave last night when they were planning their assault on the Captain's lair, that she'd take care of him. That meant making sure his mom was okay, too.

Holli took a deep breath, let it out, took another. Then she held out her hands with palms outspread, locked her arms straight, and took off at a dead run--right at the Captain's back.

When she thought about those moments later, everything was sort of a blur, but Holli was pretty sure that three things happened one right after the other, quick as heartbeats.

The Captain's pistol went off with a loud bang, a flash and a puff of lazy gray smoke that curled upward in the still air.

Byrtel screamed in anger ... and agony.

And Holli's outspread hands slammed hard into the Captain's back.

Holli skidded to a stop, panting after her mad dash. At the same time, she watched as Craven struggled to keep his balance. But her blow had been too strong. He teetered on the topmost crystal step, his high-heeled black boots sliding and scrabbling across the slippery surface, desperate to keep from falling.

But he couldn't right himself. One foot slipped, then the other.

He began to topple forward, down the staircase.

Then one long arm reached out--and a hand grabbed Holli's wrist.

Holli's mouth opened and she screamed.

An instant later, she and the Captain were tumbling down the staircase together, rolling over and over. She got a mouthful of blue coat and spit it out. She tried to grab hold of something, anything. but the slippery glass offered nothing to grab hold of, and the banisters flipped past her eyes as she turned over and over and over...


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