Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck

Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck


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In his second novel in the popular series Heck, Dale E. Basye takes Milton and Marlo Fauster on a journey that is as full of clever, dark humor and laugh-out-loud silliness as the first.
Welcome to Rapacia, where the greedy kids go.

When her brother, Milton, escapes the otherworldly reform school Heck in a soul balloon made of old clothes, Marlo is the only Fauster child left to take the blame. Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness, sends her straight to Rapacia, the circle of Heck where greedy kids are tormented by glimpses of a just-out-of-reach, glittering shoppers' paradise called Mallvana. Marlo soon falls under the sway of Rapacia's vice principal, a grinning metal rabbit known as the Grabbit that seems to have plans of its own. Marlo is torn between wanting to find a way out and wanting to do . . . whatever the Grabbit asks her to do.
Meanwhile, back on the Surface, Milton has his own problems. He is determined to get in touch with Marlo and help her find a way out of Heck. But it's hard to concentrate when his body and soul don't seem to hold together the way they used to. Will Milton ever reach Marlo? And if he does, will they both end up as pawns in the Grabbit's mysterious game?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375840784
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Series: Circles of Heck Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 756,251
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Dale E. Basye has written stories, screenplays, essays, reviews, and lies for many publications and organizations. He was a film critic, winning several national journalism awards, and published an arts and entertainment newspaper called Tonic. He was also the driving musical force behind a series of bands, very few of which sported names suitable for a respectable Web site. To be perfectly frank (or whoever), if any of those bands had been any good, you would probably be reading this biography on the back of a CD instead.

Here's what Dale has to say about his second book: "There is a time where you don't fully know what you have, though there is no lack of models, celebrities, and the inexplicably famous rubbing your face in what you don't have. You'd give anything to have what they have, and that yearning gnaws at you from the inside as if you had swallowed a small, vicious shrew—which, to the best of your knowledge, you haven't. Heck is like that. And no matter what anyone tells you, Heck is real. This story is real. Or as real as anything like this can be."

Dale E. Basye lives in Portland, Oregon, where he must, on a daily basis, wage life-or-death struggles with grizzly bears, nettled beavers, and inconsistent Wi-Fi signals.

Read an Excerpt

“Oww . . . you flippin’ maniac!” Marlo Fauster shrieked. The demon driver, after untying Marlo’s hands, had jabbed his pitchspork in a place just south of cordial. Marlo fell to her knees outside the stagecoach and fumbled to remove her blindfold.

The driver, his shape smudged and cloaked in the murky darkness, stood atop the stagecoach and struck a match across his fangs. The bright flare of light felt like an explosion in Marlo’s eye sockets.

The driver’s nightmarish features burned themselves into the back of Marlo’s retinas. Like most of the demons she had met in Heck, he was a creature turned inside out. But this one was even more inside out somehow: a lanky, walking pizza with everything on it held together by a network of pulsating veins and arteries.

“On second thought”—Marlo gulped—“maybe the blindfold wasn’t so bad.”

A pale horse with shiny pink eyes clomped nervously in place in front of the stagecoach. The demon driver pompously puffed out his disgusting chest.

“Snatched away in beauty’s bloom, on thee shall press no ponderous tomb,” he recited in a wet, snooty tone, like a butler with a bronchial infection.

As if things weren’t bad enough, Marlo reflected, now I have to hear his poetry.

Her eyes adjusted to the light, and she saw she was in some kind of subterranean tunnel. She stood up, brushing gravel off her baggy, sequined #1 grandma sweatshirt and sagging turquoise stirrup pants.

After her brother Milton’s unprecedented escape at the Gates of Heck, Marlo had been forced at spork-point into this ugly Rapacia uniform, blindfolded, and shoved into the stagecoach of some poetic cadaver.

The next thing Marlo knew, she was here—wherever “here” was. “You are so not getting a tip,” she said.

The demon folded his arms together smugly. The mesh of winding red and blue capillaries made him appear as if he were a living, throbbing road map. Watching the creature’s pulse made Marlo’s own pulse quicken.

“My, aren’t we a brave little girl?” the demon mocked before suddenly leaping to the ground.

Startled, Marlo jumped back, hitting something with a clang. “Dang!” she cursed, rubbing the back of her skull. The demon laughed.

She turned to glare at what had connected with her head so painfully.

unwelcome to rapacia, read a sign atop an ornate metal gate. Twin wrought-iron fleurs-de-lis were welded against a gleaming brass serpent, double curved into a shiny letter “s.” At the side of the gate, attached to a crisscross of iron bars, was a large metal box, with a message etched across it: please leave all valuables and expensive personal effects here so that they can be, um, stored and given back to you at the end of eternity.

Marlo peered down the tunnel past the open gate. The passage grew darker in progressively blacker rings that formed a big, black, fathomless eye. She shivered.

“You’d better pick up the pace,” the demon jeered. “The Grabbit doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

Marlo turned back toward the exploded, over-microwaved Hot-Pocket-of-a-man.

“The Grabbit?” she asked. “What’s a Grabbit?”

The demon laughed. “The Grabbit is your new vice principal. It’s what makes Rapacia such an . . . interesting place of torment for greedy, grasping little moppets such as yourself.”

The demon turned toward his stagecoach. The creepy white horse “nayed” with a deranged titter.

A wave of panic washed over Marlo.

“What am I supposed to do, you . . . you . . . freaky carcass thing?” Marlo shouted into the dark, her chest tight with fear.

The demon sneered over his sinewy shoulder.

“The name is Byron . . . Lord Byron,” he replied haughtily, his inside-outside body flushed with indignation. “I once wore my heart on my sleeve and now must wear it draped outside my chest, a palpitating medallion for all to see.”

The demon chuckled.

“But at least I’m not a naughty little girl—alone—in the dark.”

Marlo could practically hear Lord Byron’s uncaring shrug as the demon stalked back to the stagecoach, muttering another depressing poem.

After a few long seconds of complete silence, Marlo’s ears were suddenly assaulted with the sounds of hooves clacking, wheels squeaking, and monstrous snorts. Slowly, the noises flattened into fading echoes, leaving behind nothing but Marlo’s frantic panting. The darkness and silence seemed to grip her around the midsection, squeezing out every ounce of her usual bravado.

“This sucks!” Marlo shouted to herself, kicking the wall.

“This sucks!” Her words echoed back at her, whiny and afraid. Marlo tried in vain to hold back the twin gushes of hot, salty tears streaking down her cheeks.

At least there was no one around to see what a total chicken nugget she was, Marlo thought—down here, submerged in darkness, alone, en route from one terrible place to another.

She sighed and tugged straight her sweatshirt—an acrylic travesty the color of old dentures—and hiked up her stirrup pants.

Might as well get this over with, Marlo reasoned as she felt along the tunnel with her hands, reading the walls like braille.

After Marlo’s brother, Milton, had escaped from Limbo—using the buoyant power of freed souls to lift him up, up, and away back to the Surface, the Stage, the land of the living, whatever you wanted to call it—things had gotten a little tense down in the Netherworld.

Bea “Elsa” Bubb, Heck’s hideous Principal of Darkness, had gone ballistic. She had been so angry that she couldn’t so much as look at Marlo due to her sheer Fausterness—those hereditary bits of Milton the principal saw mocking her in Marlo’s face.

Now, here she was, told to scurry in the darkness to meet her new vice principal.

After groping her way along for several minutes, Marlo felt a prickly wave of electricity creep under her skin. She stopped. There was a shimmer of . . . something . . . in the distance. A glint of garish green. A flash of cruel metal. A beguiling glimmer that drew Marlo closer like a moth to a lightbulb. She drifted toward the beckoning twinkle.

Marlo moved forward, the burrow narrowing steadily until, after a few hundred yards, it constricted into a dark, open portal. She sniffed the air. It smelled like ozone, like dust and electricity, like the smell just before lightning strikes.

Closing her eyes, Marlo breathed deeply to calm her frazzled nerves and then crossed the threshold into a humming chamber. Deep rumbling waves rattled her bones. Although she still couldn’t see, Marlo sensed the presence of something even darker than the darkness, a shadow in a nest of shadows waiting patiently for her to come one fatal step too close. Her heart galloped like a rabid, three-legged racehorse.

Dim neon bathed a shape that towered before her at the core of the chamber. A gorgeous spectrum of faraway light leaked faintly from a grate in the ceiling beyond the shadow, daring Marlo to come closer. Its color danced along the edges of the dark shape, making the shadow seem even more sinister in contrast.

“What the bloody heck is this place?” a voice boomed in the blackness.

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Rapacia 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Bernadette Macart More than 1 year ago
i love this book it is such a good book you should try it
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye, was the continuation of Milton and Marlo Fauster's tale of dying and going to Heck. While Marlo is trying to survive in Rapacia (where greedy children go), Milton is trying to survive on the surface, even though his soul and his body don't always seem to fit together. With many jokes and gags, and seriousness too, Rapacia is a great book for people 5 to 105!!!
Tchrandstdnt More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book with my students last year, I decided that this year I would read the entire series myself. I enjoyed the first book, but I feel like the writer grew and did a better job at the writing of this book. It seemed as if there were even more puns in this one, if you can imagine it. I love this series witty humor, though at times it can be a bit overwhelming. From a teacher's perspective it is great for students to interact with figurative language. It was a really quick read. I read it in about two days between teaching, graduate school homework, and being a mommy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book with lots of funny parts to it
Elise Jernigan More than 1 year ago
I just now have finished reading this and i much enjoyed it but the first was more easier to unferstand but this one more went on so i love these books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE the first one, is this book good?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it so much
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.Comments: Marlo has been moved to the second circle of Heck, Rapacia, where the greedy children go. This is a place where they are tempted with all sorts of things they could want but of course they can't have it. All their courses at school are business classes run by the likes of pirates and world class fences. The vice-principle here is a very strange metallic rabbit that speaks in rhyme called the Grabbit. Marlo is joined by a couple of her nemesis classmates from book one and a handful of new female classmates making for a unique class of characters. Marlo makes friends with the girl called Normal (Norm for short). Marlo falls under the spell of the Grabbit doing his dirty work. On the Surface Milton tries to find a way to communicate with Marlo.This book proved to be quite different with the first and much better in my opinion. Especially since all the toilet humour from book one was gone. This book concentrates mostly on Marlo and her female classmates in Rapacia, but Milton's story and unique problems turn up about every third chapter or so. Several characters from book one return and a host of new characters are introduced, while some characters from book one are referred to. This leads me to believe that each book in the series will focus on certain characters leaving a large host of characters to pop up here and there. I like this idea and hope it proves true.The story this time around is much more in-depth by means of plot and characterization of Milton and Marlo. Which really means to say, the problems I had with book one were not present this time around. The book and characters are simply a whole lot of fun, there are no themes to discover or hidden symbolism; it's just a whole lot of fun with plenty of action, humour and adventure. Tweens are especially going to enjoy this series, as will anyone else who just wants to read for some silly fun.The book leaves us with plenty of threads hanging, a funny yet evil little cliffhanger and a guess as to who the next book will be about with the announcement of Blimpo: The Third Circle of Heck available July 2010 at the end. After the first book I wasn't sure if I'd continue with this series but now I've grown fond of the characters and enjoyed this book so much more than the first (which I did enjoy) that I will certainly be back next July with the Third Circle of Heck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book
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