Recoil: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story
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“It shouldnâ€™t matter, Khaz thought. You shouldnâ€™t care. You just have to break himâ€“unless youâ€™re afraid. Every time you gain something on him, he gains something on you, and you just canâ€™t stand it, can you? You donâ€™t want to see whatâ€™s behind those pretty grey eyes. You know you canâ€™t fix him. You know he canâ€™t fix you.
â€œYou canâ€™t go back, you know. Whatever life you had before…itâ€™s gone.â€ With only a handful of words, Khaz obliterated the tentative ceasefire between them. But just as he couldnâ€™t bring himself to shatter the humanâ€™s spirit into a million pieces, he couldnâ€™t let him leave believing a lie, either. He could have done worse.
He could have ripped him apart, little by little, until there was nothing left. Heâ€™d be lying if he said there wasnâ€™t a single part of him yearning to do it.â€
Over the past decade, Khaz has watched as supernatural creatures like himself have turned the world into their own personal playground. Unlike the others, he didn’t benefit from the Takeover, and every time he sells himself to keep a roof over his head, he’s keenly aware of that fact. His landlord, a renowned slaver, offers him the chance to catch up on his rent by breaking a human.
Groomed to fight, Noah has survived by giving himself over to his hatred of those who took everything away from humanity. When the werewolf can’t break him, he’s given to the vampire insteadâ€“and he’s sure this will be no different. The problem is that even the harsh lessons the Rebellion taught him couldn’t prepare him for someone like Khaz…who always has an ace up his sleeve.
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Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feelsâ€¦off. As the days pass, Ethanâ€™s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why canâ€™t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesnâ€™t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying factâ€”he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.
Magic of Thieves
In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw Rideon the Red Hand.
But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival, and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal, will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilanâ€™s final salvation or her ultimate downfall?
Dying for a Living
Kory M. Shrum
On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. As a Necronite, she is one of the population’s rare 2% who
can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. Although each death is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory.
But when Jesse is murdered and becomes the sole suspect in a federal investigation, more than her freedom and sanity are at stake. She must catch the killer herself–or die trying.