Free-Wrench

Free-Wrench

Book 1
Joseph R. Lallo
133

The islands of Caldera are a shining jewel in a rather bleak world. A terrible calamity in the past had blanketed much of the world with a toxic "fug." Those who survived were forced to take to the mountains and the skies in wondrous airships. Life has since been a struggle, with only the most ruthless and crafty able to survive. To spare themselves the same fate, the Calderans erected a battery of guns to fend off the airships of the mainland. They isolated themselves from the madness of the world, choosing instead to focus on the pursuits of art and creativity. Few believe the technologically advanced but socially barbarous outsiders have anything to offer. Amanita Graus, though, is hoping that they do.

Nita's mother has lost her livelihood and perhaps soon her life to a terrible disease. Already the black sheep of the family for embracing engineering rather than art, Nita resolves to leave the safety of her home and do whatever it takes to find a cure. For a price, the bizarre crew of an airship called The Wind Breaker are willing to grant her a meeting with their mysterious benefactors, and thus a chance to procure the one thing with a chance to save her mother.

Free-Wrench follows Nita’s adventures in a steampunk world of airships and lunatics. Helping her in her journey are an eccentric crew of smugglers; the gruff Cap’n Mack, the simple but enthusiastic Lil and Coop, the arrogant marksman Gunner, the surly surgeon Butch, and the irritable mascot Wink. To survive and find what she seeks she’ll need to earn their trust, follow their rules, and meet face to face with the people who pull the strings of their society.


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About the author

Joseph Lallo, though having written several novels, was slow to consider himself an author. Educated at NJIT, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering, the world of Information Technology is where most of his bills were paid until Sept of 2014 when he finally became a full-time author. When not writing, he owns and operates BrainLazy.com along with two friends. There he posts random rants and editorials regarding the world of humor, entertainment, and technology. He made his home in Bayonne, NJ, where he had lived all of his life until the success of his books allowed him to buy a home in Colonia, NJ.

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4.6
133 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Joseph R. Lallo
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Published on
Jul 16, 2014
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Pages
152
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ISBN
9781310340673
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Steampunk
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Kidnapped as infant, raised in a menagerie by a mad doctor was Jan escaped into the jungle...ExcerptThis boy, the innocent victim of the doctor's insane hatred for a woman, had never seen a human being other than the physician. Nor had he glimpsed any more of the outside world than might be observed through the small, high windows of the menagerie, or above the tall stockade just outside it, where he was exercised.Dr. Bracken had loved the boy's mother, Georgia Adams, a titian-haired Southern beauty, with a fiery passion of which few men are capable. A sudden declaration before his departure on a trip to Africa had won what he thought was a promise from her--a half-hearted assent she had evidently regretted the moment he had gone; but it was the one thing on which he had counted during all his weary months of tramping in the jungles. Her face had smiled at him in the light of many a camp fire; her voice had soothed his troubled sleep as he lay in his net-covered hammock while fierce beasts of prey roamed just outside. For him the red-gold sunsets had reflected the glory of her titian hair. Bits of the blue vault of heaven visible at times through rents in the forest canopy, had hinted of the more wondrous blue of her eyes.But he had returned to America only to have the cup of happiness dashed rudely from his lips--for she had married Harry Trevor.True, she had told him, when they had a few moments alone, of writing a letter breaking the engagement only a week after his departure. He had accepted the statement politely, yet deep in his heart he doubted it. She had broken faith, and in his estimation a woman capable of that was capable of anything. The letter, if indeed there had been a letter, had never reached him.So love had turned to hate--an abnormally intense hate that filled his waking hours and made his nights restless and hideous-a passionate, unreasoning hate that engendered a desire which soon became a fixed purpose and the sole end toward which he planned and strove--revenge.But Dr. Bracken's warped mind had cunningly pretended friendship, so cunningly that he served the Trevors as their family physician in Florida. And the birth of a son and heir gave him his long-awaited opportunity for a revenge which would be no trifling retribution from which Georgia Trevor would soon recover.The kidnapping of the day-old boy had been ridiculously easy. At first the doctor's diabolical plan had been to mutilate and cripple the child, turn his face into a hideous monstrosity, and return him, to be a living curse to his parents. But an event had occurred in the menagerie which changed his plans and gave him the germ of an even more diabolical scheme.For the male chimpanzee, Tichuk, at that time caged with his mate Chicma, had slain their little one in a fit of fury and was attacking her, when the doctor returned with the stolen baby. Dr. Bracken had quieted both chimpanzees with hypodermics and removed the unconscious Tichuk to another cage. Then, a terrible smile upon his face; he had skinned the baby chimpanzee, treated its hide with an odorless preservative--and sewed the cotton-padded skin about the human baby. As Chicma came out of her drugged sleep he placed the child in her arms.The chimpanzee, dazed and foggy of perception, had sniffed the hairy hide of her own child. She recognized the scent and feel; yet the tensely waiting doctor, club and whip in hand, saw her hesitate in puzzlement, as if on the verge of flinging away this somehow suspiciously changed child of hers. But nature and mother-instinct conquered, and she fed the hungry infant.
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