Good afternoon everyone I’m pleased to finally share my extract from Space Dragons by Robin Bennett today. Huge apologies to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for missing my spot last week due to poorly kids.
Before I share my extract with you here is a little bit about the book.
If Stan Pollux had known he would be spending his summer holidays in the outer reaches of our solar system, he would have put on different underpants.
But when he gets kidnapped by the Planet Dragon Mercury, most things suddenly seem small and insignificant. Stan finds himself in a universe of dragons who had once ruled the skies as gods: Mars, Venus, Saturn and even Uranus way out back. This is shaping up to be the best summer holiday in the history of the cosmos until Stan discovers his stupid sister is missing and that Pluto (AKA Hades) is trying to use her to destroy the Solar System. And it will be all Stan’s fault if he doesn’t get Poppy back.
So, all Stan has to do is learn how to fight like a hero in space armour, defeat the dragon god of the Underworld, Hades, rescue his sister and save the world. All before his parents realise she is missing.
Space Dragons is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.
In this passage, Stan travels with Space Dragons Mercury and Venus to meet Mars, for the first time. They have come to Mars to try and convince him to help them on their quest to stop Pluto and his hound of Hades, Cerberus … and to rescue his sister – even though (as far as Stan is concerned) most of this mess is all her fault.
‘Annihilate them, I say, smash ’em to bits with big rocks ’n’ stuff, corkscrew their eyeballs, spit in their food!’
Mars, like the planet he lived on, was red and rocky. He looked like he had been carved out of roughly cut granite and spray painted the same colour as a postbox.
‘Get two thunderbolts, tie them to their pants when they’re sleeping and blast them into Outa Space. It’ll get rid of ’em and give them a wedgie at the same time.’
‘Well, someone’s definitely mellowed,’ said Mercury, giving Venus a look.
‘Dahhrrling,’ Venus ignored the silver Dragon, striding forward, her wings stretched out behind her giving her the look of a brightly-coloured ship in full sail. ‘You look as magnificent as ever … oh, my! Have you been working out? MWAAH!’
‘Hmpphhrr,’ and Mars went even redder, if that was possible, and stream poured from his ears. ‘Yes, well … like to keep meself in shape … so, tell me about this problem you’ve got and why you’ve come to me.’ He clearly was more comfortable discussing monsters and maniacs than being kissed by Venus. So far, they’d only told Mars there was a bit of trouble brewing, to explain why they had turned up uninvited, and he’d jumped on a large rock and started to rant.
So, Mercury told him the whole story, whilst Stan looked around the planet, hoping to see signs of one of the Mars Rovers from Earth. After Mercury had finished there was a long silence. They all watched in alarm as Mars’ face sort of bunched up and his cheeks went purple. The steam coming out of his ears started to whistle just like a kettle.
‘WHAAAAAATT!!!!! Stealing little girls, meddling with forces greater than the Cosmos, threatening the future of all life, breaking telescopes…’
‘Poppy did that,’ Stan felt obliged to set the record straight.
‘Poppy!!! Who is this foul creature in league with the forces of darkness?’
‘That’s my sister,’ replied Stan, glad that finally someone was taking the whole business about coming into his room seriously.
‘The one Cerberus snatched up in his jaws and took somewhere in the Outer Reaches? You don’t look too worried, if you ask me.’
‘— he internalises,’ Mercury stepped in, ‘unlike someone else,’ he added under his breath.
‘What’s that? Can’t hear you.’ Evidently having piping hot water coming out of your ears did nothing for your hearing.
Venus felt the need to put them back on track. ‘Anyway, the fact remains, we’ve got a huge problem and it involves us all. We’re off to see Him. Will you come?’
‘What Him, him?’ asked Mars who looked worried, all of a sudden.
‘Quite, but we need your help to get there.’
‘Er …’ Mars had gone from red to pale pink. ‘Well, um … been a bit under the weather recently …’
‘What’s wrong with Mars?’ Stan whispered to Mercury, pretty sure the red Dragon would not overhear. ‘Isn’t Mars supposed to be the god of war? He shouldn’t be scared of anything.’
‘Lots to do around here…’ Mars seemed to be trying to think up excuses, ‘… there’s some stray meteorites off Capricorn that need crushing and there’s been talk of Gorgons – they don’t smite themselves, you know …’
‘Jupiter makes him nervous,’ Mercury whispered back, ‘always has. And as well he should – Jupiter is the most powerful one of us, but it’s not really that – old Mars here will fight anyone, but he’s not exactly clever. Jupiter makes him feel stupid – the old boy can be a bit superior, it has to be said. Bit of an intellectual snob is Jupiter. So, poor old Mars here has always avoided him.’
‘Pleeeaaase, Daddy will be delighted to see you,’ said Venus fluttering her lashes at the small but muscular Dragon, ‘we need your help to cross the Asteroid Belt and if Cerberus is about, who knows what else is wandering around the system?’
‘Well, I …um … I … suppose I might be able …’
‘Great, so that settles it, then!’ said Mercury brightly.
Mars looked alarmed but recovered quickly. He grinned at Stan with teeth like a mouthful of guillotines. ‘Not quite … What say you, young Human? I’m sure my brother and sister here are all for dropping you off at the next habitable planet, where you’ll be safe.’
‘Already tried that,’ Mercury interjected. ‘It seems his Summer Holidays – whatever they are – were a bit too boring, so he could do with the excitement. Say what you like about Humans: for a species that dies over virtually every little thing, some of them don’t half look for trouble.’
‘Well, then,’ Mars continued, ‘then you have a destiny to save your world! All humans will be counting on you. By gods, if I wasn’t completely red, I’d be green with jealousy! Crossing the River of Rock will be full of peril – a great adventure! Will you fight with us?’
‘Yes?’ Stan looked at the sanest person he could think of, but Mercury just shrugged.
‘We told you it would be dangerous.’
‘But your parents will be proud of you.’ Venus added with a smile.
Stan thought about it. Not so much proud but coming home with his sister still meant a lot less explaining than without. And Stan was all for keeping explaining to a minimum. ‘I guess I can do a tiny bit of fighting,’ he said doubtfully
‘OUTSTANDING!’ cried Mars, ‘That’s good enough for me, what are we waiting for?’
About The Author:
Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, some under the nom de plume R.S Harding. He has also written books on the swashbuckling world of business: How to Make a Good Living Running Your Own Business, Kicking the Property Ladder and Start up Smart, all published by Harriman House.
Aged 21 he was all set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London wondering where it had all gone wrong.
He went on and founded London Tutors, aged just 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to translation. In 1997, he founded Monster Books, an independent publishing house.
Robin has mentored a number of young people hoping to make a start in business and has spoken at conferences on fantasy literature. His first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer’s News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012.
In 2013, Robin published Angel of Mons, which brings one of the most significant battles of WW1 to life. It is the clever and compelling story of Ben, a bullied school boy who learns about courage and doing what’s right when he finds himself transported back 100 years to 1914 Mons.
Other significant titles include Moüsch the Crooked and Raptor the Avenger, the second and third volumes in the award-winning Small Vampires series, and Iron Knights, a YA fantasy adventure.
You can find Robin Bennett on Goodreads and visit his website at http://www.monsterbooks.co.uk.