Today I got to travel into The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, the last of 10 books my characters jump into in The Badlings (and this is the last draft too, only 4 chapters left to write!!!). I love the original cover illustrated by Kipling's father and embossed in gold on blue leather. It has almost a jewelry effect, doesn't it? Lapis lazuli on gold.
Here is a little excerpt for your reading pleasure (I had to hold myself back so as not to get carried away too far in describing the whole breathing dripping jungle):
As is the case with most young people, young giant overconfident Roc chicks in particular, Hinbad focused on the chase behind more than on where he was going. The monkeys screamed directions at him, trying to prevent the final crash, and failed spectacularly.
Scudding full speed through shapeless drifts of vapor, Hinbad saw the rising slope in front of him a tad too late. He careered up, desperately flapping his wings, and then realized that this maneuver happened only in his head. In reality he rushed forward headlong, tore through the breathing tent of the jungle, and staved into the rich soil the way a knife slides into butter. His whole body quivered from the impact, and for a moment both the bird and its passengers resembled a picture that defied gravity, then it broke apart.
Hinbad swayed, tilted, and paraboled into the thicket of bramble with a rending crash. The monkeys rained off his back, scattering into trees. And Bells and Rusty propelled to a copse of young saplings like two bouncing pellets.
There was a silence that happens after big explosions.
Then it erupted with noises.
Bells and Rusty sat up, reeling. They brushed off leaves and grit and gawked around at the pulsing dripping forest. It seethed with life. Insects buzzed. Birds shrieked. Everything quickened and made annoyingly loud sounds. There were no visible paths leading anywhere. Tree ranches hung low like green outstretched fingers aiming to snag their hair. Flowers emitted a nauseating odor. The ground was covered with soft moss that squelched when stepped on, an ankle-deep sludge obviously hungry for someone to get trapped inside it.