This is a fantasy book about space and time travel for young adults.
Chloé, a sixteen year old teenager, is captured by Theo Rattle and taken to the planet Dorian to help him with his research. There are adventures with space pirates, murderous black holes and a very odd monkish-looking creature called Grutz amongst other humans and animals.
Chloé was angry, extremely angry. She slowly tilted her head back, ran her hands through her thick, wavy, blonde hair and let out a groan. Only several weeks had passed since her parents had been killed when their plane unexpectedly crashed. First of all she had just cried and cried, then she felt very depressed and then she became angry that her parents had been taken from her at such a young age. For after all they had both been forty-five, really not that old, and to think that their last minute decision to spend a week in Morocco could have had this result. She was quite astonished to learn from Justin Grant, her parents’ family solicitor however, just how rich she was going to be, even after paying taxes to the government. She also had mixed feelings about her decision to keep her parents’ home even though she had so many good memories there.
But there was something else bothering Chloé because she knew that her father had been working on a very mysterious project. However, he very rarely discussed it and even Penny laughed at his secretive behaviour when he spent so much time in his observatory, even missing meals, which was unheard of for him. After her parents’ death Chloé tried to find out more about this but so far she hadn’t succeeded.
She had searched the observatory from top to bottom and also the office, even the hangar, crying again when she saw the missing plane, but there was nothing there and so after another futile search in the library, Chloé cried out in frustration, “Oh, I just wish that I could find some information on the project that Dad was working on because I’m convinced that it’s really important.”
The library was normally quiet but on this particular evening, this wasn’t the case. There were rustling noises from the book shelves and Chloé heard the odd sigh and yawning of all things. Startled, she looked around but then the silence returned.
She then heard a rather odd whirring sound and then even more frantic rustlings from the book shelves by the French windows. With her heart thumping, Chloé quickly looked around, wondering where the sound was coming from. She then heard a thud and saw sparks flying up from the floor. What was going on was her immediate thought? Her heart began to pound due to her fear, and then she heard a second thud. Startled, she turned around and looked at the bookcase behind her chair. She could see that a book had fallen onto the floor and had obviously fallen from the top shelf as there was a gap there. Why would that have happened she wondered and then a man’s voice boomed out, tinged with exasperation, “So, finally you’ve found that book. It’s taken you long enough to do so, therefore, go on now, run over like a good girl and pick it up and look at it for we certainly don’t have much time.”
Chloé found that she couldn’t move because she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She felt completely frozen and frightened. In fact her ears were tingling with cold and fright. First of all, a voice out of the blue in the library and then that peculiar whirring sound began again. All of this gave her the creeps. She did notice though that there weren’t any sparks this time.
“Come on now,” urged the mysterious voice. “Go and pick up that book and do it now!”
“Now what’s happening you idiot?” the voice shouted.
Chloé then felt a slight wind in the room and shuddered. There were also more rustling noises from the book shelves and she could have sworn that she heard something muttering incoherently in that direction.
“I’m not an idiot, thank you very much,” retorted Chloé.
“No, I don’t mean you, wretched girl.”
At that she had a momentary vision of what appeared to be a little person, a monk in fact, about three feet in height and with a very large cowl that covered most of his face but then two purple eyes on stalks appeared, and began to spin at an amazing speed accompanied by that dreadful whirring noise. Her eyebrows rose in fear when she saw that he had long silver fingernails that looked extremely nasty. The monk then disappeared as quickly as he had appeared, reappeared again briefly and then faded from sight.
“Hum,” said the voice in a thoroughly irritated way, “so Grutz it appears that you have a problem with showing yourself today. Are you on a go-slow this week? Still as long as you have your magical touch that’s all that matters really I guess. You must admit that you’re not working in an efficient way today. We’ll have to discuss this when we get back.”
Chloé wondered where the ‘get back’ was.
The whirring sound began again and had now reached such a crescendo that Chloé thought her ear drums would burst with the din.
Chloé put her hands over her ears and screamed, “Oh, please stop that wretched sound. I just can’t stand it.” But nothing happened.
“Go on,” the voice repeated. It was now speaking in a soft, urging way. “Go on and pick up that book.” As she stood up, thankfully the dreadful racket ceased.
Finally, thought Chloé, as she slowly walked across the library and gingerly picked up the book. It was large and obviously very old as she noticed the worn out leather binding. The rustling sounds began again from the books but as she quickly turned around, they stopped. The book she was holding was heavy, red in colour with a title in gold that flashed like a Belisha beacon. It was entitled The History of the Unicorn.
Chloé looked at the title of the book in puzzlement. Unicorns? Chloé had often taken books from her father’s library and she thought that she knew all of them but she had never seen this particular one before. She looked at it questioningly and wondered why her father, who was so practical, down to earth and a scientist who tested all theories, should be interested in a book on a mythical creature such as this.
As she slowly opened it and touched the very thin pages made from Bible paper, the voice in the background said in a dreamy way, “Ah, finally, at last. You have the book in your hands and you’re reading it. I never thought that this would happen but it has. It’s a miracle.”
Chloé decided to ignore all of this for the moment. As she turned to the first page, she could see a letter inside addressed to her that was dated four weeks ago. What was this, she wondered? She quickly opened it and read, “Chloé, look at the back of the bookshelf where the book has come from and you’ll find the file. I’m sure that you’ll be surprised that this is a book about unicorns and thus to all intents and purposes unscientific but you’ll not find this to be the case. Also, remember the most important part concerns fallons as they can show the way to the extremely dangerous parallel universe Bewaxa and P…”
To Chloé’s amazement the sheet became smaller and smaller and by the time she had arrived at the letter P, it had completely disappeared. Her immediate thought concerned Bewaxa and what did the P stand for?
The ‘voice’ then shouted, “What was that piece of paper?”
“Paper,” replied Chloé in a very innocent way, “what piece of paper?”
“You’ve hidden it.”