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Mayhem (A Mystyx Novel) Paperback – July 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: A Mystyx Novel
  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Kimani; Original edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373229933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373229932
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This story has many of the elements that readers enjoy: three attractive teens, romance and mystery. A quick, rewarding read. MANIFEST is the first in a series and teens will be interested in finding out what happens next." -School Library Journal on MANIFEST

"Smart, well-paced...an auspicious opener...adding a dimension of diversity too rarely seen in the genre." -Kirkus Reviews

"Deeply felt..." -Publishers Weekly on MANIFEST

"This is a fun beginning to the Mystyx series. Teens will easily relate to the feeling of being out of control, with a splash of the paranormal to keep it really interesting." -- RT Book Reviews on MANIFEST

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Fear—to be afraid or apprehensive
Merriam Webster's Dictionary


It's hot as hell out here.

I can't help but focus on the excruciating heat. Beads of sweat are forming long lines and marching down my bare back like a charging army. Late August in Lincoln usually brings heat and humidity, but this is insane.

We—me and the rest of the Mystyx—already researched what scientists are calling "the hottest summer ever." They think they're so smart, such know-it-alls, but they don't have a clue. Blame it on El Nino, a disruption of the ocean's atmosphere in the Pacific, because that's what the experts say. It's what all their computers and charts and graphs say. But it's a lie. A vicious cover-up, or maybe they just don't know the real answers. Maybe this other plane is invisible to normal human beings, and since I'm far from normal I know all about it. I guess that could be an excuse. What I know for sure is that this weather stuff is supernatural. What's going on in Lincoln and possibly all over the world has more to do with good versus evil than science.

Unfortunately my dad isn't trying to hear any of that. He's what they call an ordinary human, I guess. No powers that I know of is what I mean. I guess they skipped him like they did my grandpa. But my great-uncle, William, had them and I have them. Now if I could just figure out how to handle them, then maybe I could be of some help to the Mystyx.

In the meantime, I've got Dad's "to-do list" to deal with. He wants me to take down the back fence, the old, dilapidated piece of crap that should have been taken down long before that tornado swept through town a couple of months ago and ripped it apart. Yeah, Lincoln, Connecticut, had a tornado, and for the first time in all the years that I can remember, the residents of this small town finally recognized the weirdness that goes on around here. They couldn't believe it. The car they'd parked in front of their house ended up three or four blocks down the street. The winds even blew the roofs off some houses. There was a lot of talk around town about global warming and even the world possibly coming to an end. I wanted to tell them that it had nothing to do with global warming, but they'd never believe me. Half of them don't even acknowledge me.

But get this, just a few weeks ago New York was hit by two tornados in the same day. And before that, Maryland had an earthquake. Right in the middle of the hottest summer ever.

Nobody would ever believe it had to do with the supernatural. To be honest, about a year ago I wouldn't have believed it myself. But now I know. Scratch that, I feel the change. I'm different now, the air I breathe, the things I see, everything is different. I don't know if that's for better or worse, but we'll see.

Back to the fence or Dad'll be spittin'-nails mad at me when he gets home. The walk from one end of the yard to the other isn't far, and on any other day this chore would have just been tedious. But today it's downright miserable, with the humidity choking the life out of me. I glance up toward the sky and wonder if there's someone I can communicate with up there— tell them to turn the thermostat down a couple of notches to give me a break. Of course that doesn't work, but the brilliance of the sun burns my eyes. I keep staring though, wondering if somewhere in that big sky there's a place for me—a purpose that only I can fulfill.

Lately my thoughts have been drifting along those lines. Not that I'd tell anybody, because I'm not the philosophical type. Still, I can't help but think about all the changes I've been going through. And I'm not just talking about adolescence. That's to be expected. What I'm mostly concerned with is the freaky stuff, like my physical strength and power, and how it's growing as I get older. I gained a few pounds over the summer, not like fat, but muscle. When I step out of the shower and look into the cracked mirror on the back of the bathroom door, I can see the changes. My arms and legs look like they belong to an athlete, maybe a track star. Except I think I'm a little on the heavy side to be a runner. Still, I look like I've been working out, but I haven't. And the things I can lift are just crazy. I know I'm not supposed to do anything in public, nothing that will draw attention to me. But when Dad was changing a tire last week, the old worn-out jack started to slip and I actually had to hold the front of the car up while he slid from underneath. Had I not done that Dad would be dead. But the look Dad gave me after that incident wasn't good either. However, I've lived with that look of disapproval and confusion for a long time now. I'm used to it.

Me, Dad and Grandpa have been living together forever. My mom left when I was six and Grandma died a couple years after that. So it's just been the three of us, in this old dilapidated house with one raggedy twelve-year-old car and now, no fence. I don't know where my mom Cecelia Ann Kramer is. On good days that thought doesn't bother me. Today, it didn't until this moment.

I pick up a few two-by-four planks, actually ten. There's nobody out here to see how easily I carry the long, heavy wood and walk with ease across the yard to the big pile accumulating on the other side. It's important that nobody knows about our powers. Besides, it's a known fact that whatever people don't understand they fear, and whatever they fear they kill. Now, I'm not a huge fan of my life right now, but I'd rather keep breathing as long as I can.

Move the boards.

"I am," I respond to the voice as if my dad's behind me giving me grief about taking so long to get this project done. I don't see what the big hurry is. He just has another six or seven things on his list for me to do today. Like I'm the guy version of Cinderella, but a lot less attractive.

Wait a minute, Dad's at work. Turning around, I look to see who's there. Nobody.

Figures.

As I grow stronger, things also get weirder. As if I needed any help in that department. Move the boards!

This time it sounds like a command. I hear it and then I feel it move throughout my body like a long, cold shiver. Instead of responding I drop every board on the ground, jumping back to keep from hitting my toes. Everything around me is still, except my biceps ripple and flex, like something's moving under my skin. I take a tentative step, and there's a pulsating sensation in my thighs that's moving down my legs to my calves. Move them.

A little calmer this time the voice echoes in my head. I know there's nobody there, but then again there is. He's there, in my head, talking directly to me.

Focus on your power and move them.

The words sort of float over me now, like lines of poetry— that is, if I were a poet, I guess. Without thinking I look down at the boards. My goal is to get them stacked on the other side of the yard so the guy that lives down the block can put them on his pickup truck later this afternoon. Inhaling deeply, my eyes remain fixed on the two-by-fours until they levitate off the ground and fall neatly in a pile fifty feet away.

The sun on my back seems to burn with greater intensity, as if its rays are actually fueling my power. I know I'm not alone. I feel another presence, feel it deep inside of me.

Come to me, the voice implores.

The logical response would be no. My lips move to form the word, but my body has other ideas. Before I can make a decision I'm turning around, walking back to the spot where I picked up the last stack of two-by-fours. I know what's going on, at least part of it. This is about my powers. It's about the darkness that's been taunting us—this mission that Fatima, the Messenger, told us about.

It's my turn now.

My feet seem to know exactly where to go, which is good because I don't have a clue. I find myself standing in the corner where the fence forms a right angle and drop down to my knees. There's a hole in the ground, like maybe a dog got into our yard and buried its bone over here again. My hand goes right into that hole. Dirt and whatever is squirming around in my fingers. I feel something—actually, I feel a lot of something around my hand and wrist. But this is something hard, maybe important. I give it a tug, because that's all I really need to do even though my arm's in this hole up to my elbow now. But in seconds I pull it out and stare at what I've retrieved.

What I am holding, besides a bunch of dirt and a couple of worms, looks like a scroll. Tapping it against my thigh the dirt goes flying, worms slither away and I hurriedly pull the thin thread holding it together apart to unwrap it.

"Crap!" Enthusiasm about my find dies quickly as I see that whatever is printed on this scroll is in some language I can't decipher. It's certainly not in English.

In time you will know exactly what it says. It is your destiny, Jake.

"Okay, who are you and what do you want?" I ask aloud, because if I'm going to be haunted by someone or something else I'd like to at least know what it is.

In time. You will know everything in time.

"Yeah. Right."

The first thing you learn in this supernatural world is that people and things are never what they seem. Everything is cryptic. It's like you have to learn everything all over again. I really wish there could just be like one huge manual with all the answers, like a Wikipedia for the paranormal.

Walking toward the house I barely resist the urge to kick something or yell because of the growing impatience that seems so much a part of me now. I'm like ...

More About the Author

I am the first born and only girl in my family, and six and nine years separate me and my two brothers. Needless to say, I was alone quite a bit. But being alone gave me plenty of time to indulge my imagination in the world of books. One of the first novels I read was a young adult series that traced the lives of two teenagers in high school, Sweet Valley High. Reading those novels I thought I could do better, and so my quest to write entertaining stories began.
Being an introvert, it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to let others read my work. How long? Well, the first person to read a story I wrote was my husband. Since then, I've been writing professionally for almost nine years now. But it was my daughter who encouraged me to write a book for teens--just one of the reasons I love her so dearly.
I live in Maryland with my husband and three children. If you take away the opinionated teenagers, family drama, overflowing bookshelves and DVDs, my life is pretty boring. But don't take those things away, since they're my inspiration.
I love to hear from readers and can be contacted at yabyartist@yahoo.com

Customer Reviews

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This book series really is a winner!
ChibiNeko
I loved reading about each character, seeing them from their point of view and of course, watching them grow into their powers.
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Jake is a Vortex, which means he has good and evil power.
I Heart YA Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mayhem by Artist Arthur, the third book in the engrossing Mystyx series focuses on the male member of the team, Jack Kramer, and will delight longtime fans and new readers alike. Jake is shy and does not have friends outside of the Mystyx, which is fine with him as his goal is to study hard so he can get into a good college, and leave his hometown, Lincoln. Jake has a lot of anger within him as life has not always been fair to him. His mother died when he was young and no one will tell him why his father would rather spend more time away from home than with him, he is looked down upon by others as he is a "tracker," a person who lives in the low-income area, and the jocks at school pick on him. But, then things begin to quickly change, and Jake becomes more unsettled. His super powers are growing, the bullying against him escalates, and he can no longer deny his affection for Krystal (another Mystyx). Evil forces pick up on these changes and tempt him to fuel his power and anger to get revenge, and help tip the balance in their favor. But the choice will be up to Jake to either take up with the side of evil, or will the love of the Mystyx keep him on the side of good?

Bullying among young people has become more blatant and has received national attention in recent years. In Artist Arthur's capable hands, the subject matter is explored with the seriousness and sincerity it deserves, showing how it affects all parties. The geography of friendship among the Mystyx members is supportive and comforting, and showcases the positive aspects of being part of a group, especially in a town where secrets are as thick as the fog. Once again as in the previous books, the real-life situations are well done without being preachy or naïve, and capture the voice and actions of teenagers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ChibiNeko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book in the series really seemed to strike a chord with me. Maybe it's that I've become a huge fan of this series or perhaps it's because I was bullied in school, albeit not to the extent that Jake was. Maybe it's all of the above, but let me tell you- this was easily the strongest book in the series so far. (No pun on Jake's abilities intended.)

You don't have to have been bullied to appreciate how Arthur approaches it. She doesn't get preachy, nor does she make Jake out to be some frail creature that never reacts or only acts ineffectively. Jake gives as good as he gets. Aside from the obvious addition of supernatural powers & evil forces, this was a pretty honest portrayal of what bullying is & was like for so many of us out there. This part of the book was extremely easy to get into & Jake's emotions were also easy to relate to. I think everyone's been a Jake at some point in their lives.

Now as far as the series as a whole goes, this is literally the turning point in the series for just about everything. We finally get more answers to the questions & although I can't divulge them without spoiling anything for you, this really was fun to read. I just couldn't put it down! We've got about two more books in the series & things are really building up to an explosive finale. I'm more excited to read the finish than ever! (Plus there's awesome Jake/Krystal goodness in this book!)

One thing I do want to note is that while there is cussing in this book, it was censored in my copy via asterisks. This might just be because it's a galley, but it could end up being censored in the final product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I Heart YA Books on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mayhem is the third book in the Mystyx series. Jake is one of four Mystyx--teenagers given supernatural powers by a Greek goddess to fight The Darkness wanting to rule the world in evil. Mayhem has a fantastic strong storyline, and all the characters are well-developed. I fell in love with Jake's character. He is almost sixteen, sweet, shy, and a loner. He has it so bad for Krystal. I was teetering on the edge, rooting for Jake to tell Krystal his feeling for her. I have to say Artist Arthur definitely knows teen guy speak, and also how they think and act. I have to give an example of this with one of Jake's thoughts... "Grabbing a handful of grass, this occupies my hands because I don't want Krystal to think I'm a horny goof always wanting to grope her." Now that's a little insight to Jake's character and why I like him. Jake is a Vortex, which means he has good and evil power. And when Jake is being bullied by two Jocks at school, his dark side grows stronger. The Darkness rages inside Jake, urging him to leave his Mystyx friends to become a dark one and use his powers for evil. Krystal is Jake's calm in this evil storm --her love conquering evil. There's also a playlist of Jake's songs, that adds more insight to his struggles and triumphs, I highly recommend Mayhem, a definite must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Savannah (Books With Bite) on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have followed this series but the very beginning and it has been a great read! I loved reading about each character, seeing them from their point of view and of course, watching them grow into their powers. What I adore about Ms. Arthur is the elements she uses in her books. There not just supernatural powers, but real stuff that people deal with everyday. Take bullying for example. It is now getting out there and more people are stepping up, trying to help the victims out. But what happens when you bully a kid too much? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Jake has always been a quiet guy and has taken in everything. He never said a word and let it boil all inside. He lets his anger grow and when his powers start to go the the bad side, we the reader see it all explode. I just loved Jake. He is so selfless in who he is, he didn't want to bother anyone with the bullying. He thought that he can do it on his own, but could not. I loved that this book has a great view of what bullying does to people. It's not cool and it only creates more problems. Jake, already facing more trouble, had to learn to not only control his powers, but learn to control his anger. Anger that he had every right to have.

What really got me hooked, is the fight that Jake fought. He fought bullying for so long, that he turn around and used his powers to get back. This battle was not only emotional, psychical, but also very spiritual. Fighting anger that has been instilled in your heart for so long is hard. Jake had to learn to let things go, to forgive or else it would take over him.

The plot line of the story is very different from the first two books, but still a great read. I can't express to you how much I loved this book and how I loved getting to know Jake more. If you have not pick up this series, you should. It not only has some great supernatural things going on, but a great story mixed with real life issues.
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