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Peter Cooper and The Pirate King

Peter Cooper and The Pirate King by James DeAcutis


Fiction – Young Adult

What do magic amulets, giant scorpions, a maniacal sorcerer and an adventurous boy have in common? Well, normally, almost nothing but in Peter Cooper and the Pirate King you’ll find that sometimes they do.

From the time Peter Cooper is a baby he’s lived up with his aunt and uncle after losing his war hero dad and loving mom under mysterious circumstances. Despite the loss he grows up happy in their loving home without a clue that a centuries-old madman has him in his sights and is planning to use the young lad’s life-force to rejuvenate his eternal soul.

Early on, all seems normal for our young hero (save for the occasional strange dreams of malevolent ovens and melting clowns; a portent to come?) until the night of his thirteenth birthday when a terrible storm hits his hometown of Harmon and brings not only overwhelming rain but also a visitor of unimaginable evil. The Pirate King, Bill Kyuper, has been getting “creaky” over the years and has Peter lined up for his latest “age-defying” treatment. When Bill arrives in Harmon he works his malevolent “magic” to get Peter from point A to point… and manipulate him to his lair on Scorpion Cove for the ultimate battle.

But, before he does, we meet an oddly eclectic group of friends and sailors both at Peter’s home and on Harmon’s docks as well as Peter’s first crush. The story is touching and horrifying and excruciatingly funny. There are moments when you will laugh and cry and other’s where you will not want to turn the lights off as you follow Peter and his friends on the ultimate journey of good versus evil.

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In the beginning…

Before man walked the earth it was just a rock. A very big and angry stone covered with flora and fauna and strange creatures who knew nothing of right and wrong. They lived their lives feeding on whatever foods they could find, with no sense of envy, or hatred; no desire for revenge or inclination for greed. Plants grew where they grew and animals ate what they could. Those that didn’t died…


… they didn’t know greed and they didn’t hate…

Before the planet was covered with life, it was cloaked in death. Sulfur gases saturated the atmosphere and spewed acid rain and lava springs rearranged the face of the sphere in a tortured ballet of tectonic rage. But still, there was nothing evil or malicious in the birth of the earth; just the natural order of things getting sorted and ordered and put together the best way they knew how.

And before the earth became the third planet in a string of them to orbit the sun; there was the sun, and there were stars and there was…


Stardust that filled the void with matter and magic and mystery.

It floated through the eos and brought substance and light to all that it touched. Drifting endlessly and landing randomly and not caring where or what it wrought. It just did what it did and was what it was; infusing all it touched with life.

For millions of years it coated the earth in a cosmic cocktail; first piercing the mordant miasma of the early, angry planet and then, as the earth cooled, its magic chemistry cooked and blended slowly; pulling and twisting chemical chains, like putty, until little creatures wiggled and squirmed. And, as the earth cooled further still, those little creatures and plants became larger creatures and plants and eventually covered the planet in its oxygen rich atmosphere.

And all… from Stardust.

But, although Stardust brought life to the planet, it had no say in how that life developed; had no say what came of it. If it had, might it have stopped at the genus Catarrhini? For, if it had, might life on planet Earth been less complicated; less full of drama, anger and envy?

Indeed it might have been, but the juggernaut of evolution didn’t stop there and, as it moved forward into the Hominidae genus, the real problems for the natural order of things arose. As the creatures continued to evolve, their brains grew larger and they became more intelligent and, ironically, the smarter they become the dumber they seemed. This paradox arose because as the creatures of the world “evolved” and became more “human” they developed a curious combination of vices, foibles and immoralities that were not to be found in the lower orders; the “less intelligent, less evolved” species.

And when animals became human, there evolved two kinds of peoples; the “normals”, who made up ninety-six point two percent and the “super-normals”, who made up the rest. These were primarily Mages, Enchanters, Conjurers and Magicians but also, more ominously, Sorcerers, Witches, Warlocks and Necromancers. Unfortunately, these “supers” were also prone to the same vices that afflicted the normals. And, because of who they were and what they could do, those corruptions often had much more deadly, and horrific, consequences…

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