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The Old Curiosity Shop II: Curiosity Never Dies

Dick Swiveller is trying to put his life together after the events of the first novel, but he’s haunted by the ghost of his fiancé—literally. Some souls are too good to stay dead, and so is Little Nell now an extra-dimensional presence only Swiveller can see.

But having help from beyond turns out to be quite the boon, when the old skinflint lawyer Mr. Brass turns up dead with a satanic symbol burned into his forehead. As members of Brass’s staff start dying grisly deaths, it’s up to Swiveller and Nell to figure out what’s going on before a similar fate befalls their old friend the Marchioness. Swiveller’s bumbling investigation nonetheless reveals the truth: the Marchioness has brooked with darker powers in order gain vengeance for years of mistreatment. With her old friend consumed by darkness, Nell must summon all her otherworldly abilities to show that though dead, she is something that loves the light, and has the sky above it always.

 

Oliver Twist Strikes Back

As a ward of Mr. Brownlow, Oliver Twist seems to have finally found a good life. But the good life starts to unravel when Oliver catches the grinning face that could only belong to Fagin winking at him in a crowded street. Though everyone believes him hanged, Fagin nonetheless appears to have returned with one mission: destroy the happy home of Oliver Twist, no matter what it takes. Oliver even goes as far to visit the Artful Dodger in prison, but finds no solace in the face of his friend. Instead, the Artful Dodger encourages him to run away, that Oliver cannot possibly stop Fagin. Instead, Oliver decides to take the fight to Fagin himself. Their private war culminates in a bloody streetfight in the rain, with Oliver yelling “Please, Sir! Want some more?” as he pounds Fagin into the pavement.

 

For A Few Cities More

Having escaped the French Revolution in “A Tale of Two Cities,” Charles Darnay and Lucie Mannette have tried to set up new lives under new names in the American Wild West. It was the best of times. But it became the worst of times when sleepy city of White Rocks is beset upon by a gang of bandits, someone has to show that even in the lawless West, some law still stands. At Lucie’s urging, the Sherriff challenges the leader of the bandits to gunfight, timed by the bandit’s musical pocket watch. When the chimes end and the Sherriff ends up dead, it is Lucie who picks up the tin star in his stead. Though Charles dosen’t like it, he knows better than to argue with Lucie once her mind is set. Together, they arrange an elaborate trap for the bandits in neighboring town. Though many costume changes and an unseemly amount of bullets, Lucie and Charles manage to destroy the bandit gang, and make the area safe again.

 

2 Great 2 Expectations

Tensions between Magwich and Pip become strained as Pip falls in with a bad crowd of “drift racers:” young men who have altered their two-wheeled Hanson Cabs to “drift” around corners. The practice is very dangerous for the driver, the horses and any pedestrians that might be in the way, which seems to attract Pip more than he expected. Magwich does not want Pip to end up in prison, and forbids him to race. But the celebrity and money that Pip has gained makes the drift race irresistible, so he sneaks out to race. But he’s not the only one at the race! Pip will be racing against: a disgraced lawman trying to make good by being undercover, a pair of maids dressed as men with secrets of their own, a practiced racer named Mint Julip, and Pip’s long-pined after love, Estella, who he does not recognize in her mask and revealing outfit. But when Magwich himself joins the race in a custom wagon of his own, Pip starts to wonder if his expectations might be…2 great.


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Jared Axelrod

Jared Axelrod is an author, an illustrator, and a world changer. Throughout her eventful life she has also been a circus performer, a puppeteer, a graphic designer, a sculptor, a costume designer, a podcaster and quite a few other things that she’s lost track of but will no doubt remember when the situation calls for it. She is the writer and producer of “The Voice Of Free Planet X” podcast, were she interviews stranded time-travelers, low-rent superheroes, unrepentant monsters and other such creature of sci-fi and fantasy, as well as the podcasts “Aliens You Will Meet” and “Fables Of The Flying City.” The story started in “Fables Of The Flying City” is concluded in The Battle Of Blood & Ink, a graphic novel published by Tor. She is not domestic, she is a luxury, and in that sense, necessary.