Everyone is different, so in a sense we’re all similar. At least that is what Melinda and Felix Hutton thought until changes started to unravel their world. When they are told that their ancestry is not human but Athenite and that Athenites share human characteristics, but can transform into animals, their world is forever changed. To ten-year-old Melinda it’s literally a dream come true. Melinda wants to explore her talents and transform into everything, but she often lacks the concentration to do so effectively and might end up as a creature with a rat’s tail on a feathered body with her own freckled face on its head. But twelve-year-old Felix doesn’t greet this new reality as something to celebrate. Being related to creatures of myths and fables is not Felix’s idea of normal.
Their parents, Elaine and Jake explain the nature of their secret heritage. To avoid discrimination and persecution, Athenites began cloaking themselves in secrecy centuries ago when humans began inventing stories to explain the unexplainable things that they saw. Myths about men with bull’s heads, Nordic princesses who would became swans, and Celtic seals who would shed their skin to become human women are all stories designed to camouflage the Athenite existence. But it wasn’t always that way and if Elaine and Jake can prove that Athenites once co-existed with humans and lived as a valuable members of society then Athenites might again live openly.
Professor Stumpworthy (also secretly Athenite) wants to prevent any project that jeopardizes the secrecy of Athenite existence. He has built his personal fortune using his transformation abilities. Charismatic and brilliantly evil, Stumpworthy eliminates any Athenite he deems a threat to his way of life.
But it is Aesop’s secret that will unravel Stumpworthy’s plans. Melinda’s rabbit, Aesop, was once a man named Joe Whiltshire and a close Athenite friend of Stumpworthy. Whiltshire discovered artifacts that would help identify Athenites as valuable members of society and planned to share his discovery with the world. To prevent the publication of this discovery, Stumpworthy used a virus to render Whiltshire helpless. Involuntarily transformed into an animal that could combat the virus, Whiltshire was permanently transformed into a rabbit. With the antidote known only to Stumpworthy, it seems that Whiltshire would remain Aesop for the rest of his life.
But antidotes don’t always come in test tubes, as Aesop discovers. His return to the form of Joe Whiltshire surprises his old friend.
Stumpworthy is a master of deception and manipulation. Now seen as threatening, the Huttons are destined for the same fate as Whiltshire. But Athenites are not easy victims. Exploiting their transformation ability and immunity to the virus, Melinda, Felix and Joe lead the rescue of the others by using Stumpworthy’s own methods against him.
Claudia White wrote her three novels while living in Oxfordshire, England and Oakville, Ontario. A recognized expert in daydreaming, she has at last been prodded by her young audiences to record her imagined worlds on paper. White has written professionally for more than 20 years.
About Claudia White
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Published September 30, 2012
by MP Publishing Limited.
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Nature & Wildlife.