Humor / Sci-Fi
Humor, action, and 50 pages. Perfect picks for reluctant readers.
In 2013, Taylor’s epic adventures were written for Amazon’s (then-new) Kindle Serials program. However, the program never expanded to include children’s titles. So the episodes were compiled into two complete novels. But they’re still available in their original serial format for kids who thrive on shorter reads. Funny and fast-paced, these are the ultimate boy books!
All Flame of Findul episodes are also available as audiobooks.
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 1 (FREE!)
Sometimes life gooses you when you’re not looking. You might be happily coasting through days in a little New Jersey suburb, dreaming about Jennifer Williams and making plans to see the new movie showing uptown when—bam!—everything changes in an instant. Your family moves overseas and suddenly you’re hacking at water demons with a four-foot blade…
I was chosen from among all others to complete a task I did not want. I was told I’d have help. I was told I’d be in capable hands. Then I met my guardian angel.
I am so doomed.
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 2
“Get in the car!” Mike screamed.
We had learned to obey that tone of voice promptly. Elena tossed her bag in the trunk and dove in after it. I launched myself into the passenger seat. Only it wasn’t the passenger seat.
“Go! Go! Go!” Mike screamed, slamming himself in the side of the car that should have had the steering wheel.
I had driven a car exactly once in my life. I’d been six years old and sitting on my dad’s lap. But when that oversized vulture rocketed out of the heavens on a missile path toward our windshield, I didn’t hesitate. Cramming the car into gear, I shot out onto the concourse.
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 3
“I see you, One of Two Names.”
I froze, the blood turned to ice in my veins.
“I know who you are,” the voice came again. It was soft, conversational. “I’ve been watching you roam the building since you arrived.”
A wave of heat rushed up from my knees and sent my blood roaring through my body. I could hear it galloping through my ears. Was whoever—or whatever—waited outside the door a friend or foe?
I hesitated, uncertain what to do. I hoped my visitor would just go away, but those odds seemed depressingly low. “Wh-Who are you?” I stammered.
“Why don’t you come out here and see for yourself?”
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 4
“Ranofur! We’re going to need that ride you arranged. Now!”
“Too late,” Elena shouted. “Look!”
Striding from the empty storefront and stopping traffic was the most hideous beast I’d ever seen. Twelve feet tall, obese, and wearing a white undershirt several sizes too small, the creature looked fresh from some mountain troll trailer park. Hair sprouted from the neck of its shirt and hung in limp tangles from an oversized head. Fleshy rolls jiggled at every ground-shaking step, and in its hand it dragged a spiked club.
“To your weapons!” Ranofur shouted.
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 5
“Watch out!” Mike cried.
The Churkons came at us hard and fast, one from the left and one from the right. Q jerked the reins and the team soared straight up in the air. The maneuver left my stomach at the lower altitude, but the Churkons passed beneath us, narrowly missing the chariot and each other.
“So much for the pastrami sandwich decoy,” Elena mumbled as we leveled out. Her face was pale beneath her dark coloring, and she clung to the side of the chariot.
Ranofur didn’t look much better. “They must have been scanning for us. Q, can you evade them?”
The little driver’s face was fiercely determined under his flight gear. “These aren’t the first Churkons I’ve taken on, and I’ve never been green goo yet. Hang on!”
Taylor Davis: Flame of Findul, Episode 6
“You think I need anyone else?” Swain’s voice raged. “I, who single-handedly stole the greatest weapon ever created? I, who hold the destiny of the entire Earth—the entire universe—in my hand? Tell me, why should I share power?”
He pressed a button. Elena screamed as the grappling arm released the cage in which she and the angels were confined. They plummeted to a conveyor belt below and landed with a heavy thud. Then, as I watched in horror, Swain pulled a lever and the belt began to move toward the flame.
I whipped out my sword. I hadn’t relit it—I wasn’t even sure how—but I had run out of time. With a cry of desperation, I drove the blade at my enemy.
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 1
“Why do I have to pay a toll? No one else is forking out dough, you big baboon.”
I wouldn’t recommend repeating those words to anyone who is dangling you a foot off the ground. My face suddenly felt like it had collided with a cement wall at forty miles per hour. I found myself sliding across the tile floor and coming to rest in the corner of the hallway.
“You hit me!” I rubbed my jaw in disbelief. Damian had always seemed a level-headed sort of guy. “I can’t believe you hit me!”
“I’ll do a lot worse than that!” A handful of spectators scrambled out of the way as he lunged for me. I dove behind a bench outside the high school office. The secretary never even looked up. I hoped word of my death in front of the wide, newly installed security window didn’t leak out to the city’s more violent criminal element.
I just can’t catch a break. Most of my friends only concern themselves with girls and grades, but I have to worry about retaliation from hellish warlords. When three of my classmates succumb to a strange malady, I become the target of irrational violence. Is it a coincidence, as Elena so firmly believes? Or could there be a deeper, more evil explanation?
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 2
“Hellfire, watch out!” I screamed as my belt gave a belated warning.
The plumber shoved the old man out of the way and strode into the room. Already his hair was a mass of writhing tentacles, and his face was swelling into the bulbous nose so adept at sniffing out pastrami.
Ranofur jumped in with his mace and whacked off one of the snaky arms. The monster roared and flung a bookcase at the angel, knocking him across the room. Elena, Mike, and I took positions all around the Swaug, our weapons aimed and ready.
“You’re surrounded,” Mike called out. “Go out the way you came in or we’ll carry you out in a bucket.”
The monster threw back its head with a high-pitched keen.
“Oh, crap,” Mike muttered.
Elena and I exchanged a glance of alarm. “What?” I asked.
The door burst open and three more Swaugs slithered in.
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 3
Ten minutes later, the four of us were walking to my house alone. Ranofur had dismissed our silent bodyguards when no enemies had shown themselves, but he didn’t dare resort to rippling. So we were walking the four miles. After a long night without sleep, I wasn’t too happy about it.
“We should have asked Q to wait,” I grumbled.
“Look on the bright side,” said Mike, adjusting his fedora. “No Swaugs.”
“The bright side,” I mumbled, “is that it’s dark out and no one can see me walking with you.”
“You’re one to talk, Mr. White Pajamas,” Elena growled. “You’re not exactly setting any fashion trends, either.”
“At least I don’t look like a convict,” I shot back.
Without warning, Ranofur tugged us into a dark alley. He was looking hard behind us. My heart leaped into my throat. “What’s wrong?”
He clapped a hand over my mouth and breathed out his answer. “I think we’re being followed.”
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 4
I looked back at the animal. I could see it more clearly now. Its snout was broad and purplish, its ears small, and its eyes looked like two lumps on an oddly shaped log. As I watched, the great head rose above the water. It yawned, stretching its mouth impossibly wide, exposing massive tusks that resembled stalactites and stalagmites in an underground cavern. Quite appropriate, considering the size of the open maw. Then loud, angry wheezing sounds flowed from its throat.
Mike’s face turned white beneath his black Stetson. “That’s not good, is it?”
As if in answer, the hippo roared—a sound I hope to never hear again in my life, especially from twenty yards away—and charged.
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 5
“What?” Shaun asked.
“There on the pavement.” Something—many somethings—were creeping stealthily up the dark street. “Hey, what happened to the lights?”
“They were on a minute ago,” Shaun puzzled. “I didn’t notice them go out.”
The creatures were closer now, but they were hard to make out. They sort of faded into their surroundings. I could tell they walked upright, but they didn’t look like men.
“Can you see them now?” I asked in a lower voice. I watched row after row coming up the street.
He shook his head.
The hair on the back of my neck began to prickle. “I think we better go inside.
At that moment I heard a faint whirring noise. I threw up my Schmiel-gloved arm. Something winged off it and embedded in the side of the house. It was a bladed wheel. I flung open the door and threw Shaun through it. “Ranofur!”
Taylor Davis: Clash of Kingdoms, Episode 6
My stomach gave a ferocious growl that echoed in the empty cavern. “Here,” Elena slapped me with a candy bar. “Eat this before you call in someone hungrier than you.”
“Thanks.” It was a Payday. One of my favorites.
I was surprised how loud the wrapper sounded in the stillness. The plastic wouldn’t tear, so I held it with my teeth and twisted. It took a couple tries before giving way. The force sent my pen light flying from my hands. I watched it spinning away into darkness. Then it collided with the wall.
The light went out, but the clatter echoed back at us again and again as the metal casing bounced off the rock. Eventually it faded into silence, but not before fraying every nerve I had left.
“Good one, Davis. Way to ring the doorbell.”
“Maybe nobody heard,” I whimpered.
Of course, we couldn’t be so lucky.