The Expatriates #1 by Corinne O’Flynn
(Song of the Sending)
Publication date: October 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.
Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar—someone who can manipulate energy using magic—and he has no idea.
When a message arrives from Jim’s father—who supposedly died twelve years ago—Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.
But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.
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"Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action."
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“Shh!” Charlie stepped toward the midway, her head cocked to listen. “What in the world?”
I followed her gaze across the fairgrounds where the big top towered over the smaller event tents. Festive red, white, and blue flags atop each of them blew in the morning breeze.
“Do you guys hear that?” she asked.
“Hear what?” Hollis said, wiping sweat from his face. He held the swaddled bird against his chest.
The peaked canopy of the big top stood tall over the row of concession stands. The old marquee twinkled faintly in the sunlight, its red and yellow light bulbs spelling out Sweetwater’s Traveling Show. Everything was quiet.
“Charlie?” I knew better than to question her ears.
“What is it?” Sam asked.
“Shhh.” She closed her eyes and cupped her hands around her ears.
“I don’t hear anything,” I said. “Actually I don’t hear anything at all.”
Usually, on the day we arrived in a town, the fairgrounds were so noisy you could barely have a conversation without shouting. The roustabouts and canvasmen made a terrible racket erecting the tents and hammering the steel spikes into the ground. Then there was the constant hum of generators and cranes and trucks permeating everything as we all got things ready for the weeklong stay. Not to mention the animals screeching and squawking and the regular people noise. But from where we stood, it was eerily quiet. The whole place felt like a ghost town.
A mushroom of black smoke billowed above the big top in the distance. A rolling boom reached us a moment later.
“Whoa,” Sam whispered.
“Sweet Sisters. They’re here,” Hollis said.
When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter @CorinneOFlynn.