J.S. Frankel: Our Indie Book Source Author of the Week
July 29, 2021
Strange, haunting, and magical journeys through the mind of a Young Adult author whose imagination is wild and unpredictable.
J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up there, receiving his tertiary education from the University of Toronto and graduating with a double major in English Literature and Political Science.
After working at Gray Coach Lines for a grand total of three years, he came to Japan at the age of twenty-six and has been there ever since, teaching English to any and all students who enter his hallowed school of learning.
In 1997, he married Akiko Koike. He, his wife, and his two children, Kai and Ray, currently reside in Osaka. His hobbies include weight training, watching movies when his writing schedule allows, and listening to various kinds of music.
His novels, all for the YA set, include Twisted, Lindsay Versus the Marauders and its sequels, Lindsay, Jo, and the Tree of Forever, and Lindsay, Jo and the Well of Nevermore, all courtesy of Regal Crest Enterprises. He has also written the Catnip series (five novels), Mr. Taxi, The Titans of Ardana, and its sequel, The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield, along with Picture (Im)perfect and more novels, courtesy of DevineDestinies.com.
Future projects for Devine Destinies include the final novel in the Titans trilogy, the final novel in the Just Another Quiet… trilogy, The Undernet, the re-release of Star Maps, and more. He is also the author of The Menagerie and The Nightmare Crew trilogy, all courtesy of Finch Books.
The Hundredth Floor
Kyle Toombs, seventeen, is about to walk the race of his life. Suffering from the mental and physical aftereffects of a terrible accident that almost took his life, bullied at school, he enters a contest in order to show that he’s capable of doing the impossible.
The contest is at a local hotel, and the rules are simple—walk up to the fifty-ninth floor and then down again.
Rule number two is that he must have a partner, and his partner comes in the form of Marina Ohanian, another student who has secrets and scars of her own.
Along the way, things go from the mundane to the unsettling to the truly horrifying, as a demon named Ankrus makes an appearance, toying with their minds as well as the reality they are in.
Various scenarios, some that are amusing in a grotesque way, and some that are simply grotesque, beset the duo, and they offer challenges to the mind and spirit.
It’s up to Kyle and Marina to concentrate on the task at hand-finishing the race—before Ankrus can accomplish his own task, one that is too terrifying to contemplate.
A choice to be made, and a price to be paid. Sometimes, doing the right thing means paying the ultimate price.
Linden Lampkin, fifteen, ignored by an uncaring father, bullied and harassed by his peers, almost meets his end one night in an alleyway. The victim of a random mugging, he enters a portal into a parallel universe, a universe very much like ours.
Linden ends up at the Tower, a hangout where a group of very unusual people—the Ultras—live and work. With advanced technology and medicine, they heal his injuries.
The procedure ages him to that of someone almost twenty years old, and he begins a new life working with his mentors, a group of enhanced individuals who help out those on Earth whenever help is needed.
Fitting in is difficult at first, but through hard work, Linden copes, succeeds, finds a girlfriend, and thinks he’s found happiness.
However, a chance meeting with someone on Earth leads him to think that the Ultras aren’t really who they say they are.
His search also pits him against a super-villain who has no qualms about killing, and when Linden finally learns the truth about who he’s been living with, he also has to make the choice between saving his life and doing the right thing.
Marvin (Marv) Frontier, eighteen, a housebound hemophiliac of the worst sort, lives a lonely existence in Tacoma, Washington. He spends his hours reading and computer surfing until one day when he is contacted by someone who calls herself Sara.
Sara assures Marv that she means him no harm, and then she reveals that she lives far away—over twenty-thousand miles away—straight up.
Sara is a satellite with a sentient computer program aboard, but she needs one more bit of code to complete her. That means Marv has to help her track down her creator, Leonard Tilderman, formerly a professor and then an employee at NASA. He’s gone off the grid and no one can find him.
As Marv searches and learns more about Sara, he also finds himself falling for her, which seems to be an impossible relationship. Oddly enough, Sara shows the same amount of interest in him, and their friendship ripens into love.
Eventually, Marv manages to get the missing bit of code from the professor, just before he’s killed in an accident. Marv inputs it, but NASA’s representative, Major Grayson, also has plans for Sara, and Marv finds himself on the run from the major.
Things come to a head when Sara holds the world hostage by controlling every satellite still functioning, including the secret orbital weapons platforms that NASA and the other countries possess.
Marv is eventually captured by Grayson and tortured, and his only hope is that Sara will be able to continue her journey, whether he lives or not.
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