Keep your friends close…and your enemies closer.
Rachel Clancy has had to learn the hard way that you can’t always trust who you know.
Born with a specific set of genes that lets her fight monsters, Rachel has trained her entire life to kill vampires and werewolves. Unprepared for the level of deception and betrayal she faces as she journeys Upwards to battle her enemies, it’s not long before Rachel finds herself on a quest that will alter the lives of everyone she knows.
Enter into a world where the humans live underground and the monsters in the form of Werewolves and Vampires rule the surface.
By all rights Rachel Clancy should be joining the first years tonight, her sixteenth birthday. But the council has other ideas. Ideas that come from their leader Isaac Icahn, based on something her father did when she was just a baby. Not exactly fair, she shouldn’t be held responsible for her father’s sins.
The council is made up of Isaac Icahn and his two sons Liam and Noah, Patrick Lyons (her best friends father), two other warriors John Cohen and Raj Moore, and the tie breaker, Mia Sandry. Their decision, she goes out alone, to the Hudson Outpost, deliver the message and return the next night. Rachel is sure they don’t expect her to live, and quite frankly she has her doubts as well.
Her send off is not traditional as only her beloved instructor Keith Endover and Patrick are there. This is one of my favorite scenes and had me tearing up.
Patrick pulled me into a tight embrace. He whispered into my ear, “You’re not almost family. You are family. Carol told Tia what’s been happening. She’s a wreck—her mother can’t get her out of her room—and the boys are so angry I will be surprised if one of them doesn’t come after you tonight.”
My eyes clouded. God, I couldn’t stand the thought of Tia being upset because of me. “Tell her I’ll be fine, and tell the guys to stay away. It’s not their assignment. I won’t have anyone getting in trouble or—” I gulped, barely able to say the words aloud. “Or hurt because of me.” He let me go, and I smiled, suddenly feeling five years old. “Anything else?”
“Stay close to the water. If you follow the map, you’ll hit it in two miles. It’s mostly uphill until you reach the cliffs. The Vamps don’t care for the water. It doesn’t hurt them. They just don’t like it.”
“They never told us in class.”
His eyes were somber. “I know. You should have learned tonight. With the Ones.”
“Are there other things I won’t learn?” My heart fell into my stomach, and I was so nauseated I thought I might vomit on his shoes.
He touched my arm. “Vamps make you cold. Your senses will scream at you that you’re freezing. Wolves make the skin on your arms tingle. Vamps are cold, Wolves are goosebumps.”
He took my arm as he led me toward the elevator. Keith stood next to it. I’d avoided thinking of this moment since I was old enough to understand what would happen. Here it was.
The other kids always had their families to see them off, adult Warriors who had done this themselves. I had Keith and Patrick, and I knew Carol would have been there if she could have been. It was something. I wasn’t alone. Not yet.
I put on a brave face and smiled at them. They’d tried to do so much for me, it was the least I could do for them.
Keith handed me a brown leather satchel. I looked down in confusion. This wasn’t the bag I’d packed three months ago in preparation.
He shrugged, but his eyes were moist. Ah…no…he couldn’t cry. I wouldn’t survive it.
“It’s still your stuff. It’s my old bag. I added some stuff to it. Open it and strap the weapons to you.” I nodded, doing as he said.
I pulled out my stakes, and I went through the practiced motions of attaching the wooden objects to my body with rope. Next came the Wolf fighting tools. I had to take off their heads. My father’s machete, which I had pulled out of the linen closet at my house, was a good tool, or so everyone told me. That I wore behind me like a backpack. I reached once more into the bag, expecting to find my protein bars and water. Instead a strong wooden object nearly cut my hand. I pulled it out and gasped.
It was Keith’s stake. “You’re giving this to me?” Now I couldn’t keep the emotion out of my voice and I didn’t care.
“It’s lucky, and now I’m giving it to you.” His eyes huge, he smiled as the elevator opened. “We’ll see you tomorrow. Tonight you walk, tomorrow night you return.”
Or I didn’t. But I wasn’t going to say that to them. Instead, I walked into the elevator—alone—without my fellow Warriors. I braced myself for the onslaught of the ride, as I’d seen so many others do before me. Finally, I glanced up to give them all one last smile.
I gasped as the elevator’s door closed in front of me. I sank to the floor, not letting the bar out of my hand. My Dad had shown, and it had been too late to utter a word to him.
On the surface Rachel is saved from a vampire, that would have been her end, by werewolves. Wolves she didn’t sense as she should have been able to, and then taken captive.
Recovering from the illness contracted from the vampire’s claws, Rachel learns much from these wolves she cannot sense. Things that will change the course of the war against the monsters.
While there is only the promise of romance in this book, there is suspense and lots of action. I cannot guess how the events in this book will influence the next. I look forward to the next one in the series.
4 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!
As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.
I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.
I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.
In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.
I’d love to hear from you!