Devri Walls is the best-selling author of six YA fantasy novels. She is a theater major with a flare for the dramatic and wishes more than anything for a magic wand. Devri is from Boise Idaho where she lives with her husband, two kids and the cutest mutt of a dog the world has ever seen. When she’s not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, trying to resist the urge to sell her two beautiful children to the circus, and cooking. Because…. food. Mmmmmmm.
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"Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.
Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.
By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.
Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council."
The terrain started easy enough, with gentle rolling hills dotted at the top with shrubs and masses of wildflowers, then ringed at the base with a wide variety of trees. But the soothing up-down rhythm of the hills soon gave way to a flat expanse that was then abruptly broken by a perfectly straight line of trees stretching for miles in each direction. One moment there was grass, and the next, a wall of trees reaching into the sky like dark sentinels.
Tate strode in.
Grey and Rune both hesitated at the edge, looking down the row of trees, understanding each other’s thoughts without saying a word. Something wasn’t right about this place…but what else could they do but follow Tate?
They stepped past the tree line. Within a few steps, the forest grew inexplicably dark, despite the sun blazing overhead. Grey peered up through the branches, not understanding. It was like an invisible sponge over the canopy was sucking in the rays of light.
A shiver ran down Grey’s spine.
“Do you hear that?” Rune whispered.
He did. Over the rustle of branches and the chirps and titters of both insects and birds, the faint lilt of foreign music tickled Grey’s ears. It was intoxicating, even at such a low decibel. It seemed to move and coalesce inside him, calling him towards the source. He knew enough about fae music to be grateful it was faint. The desire was there, but manageable—he had no wish to dance until his feet were nubs and he’d lost the will to live.
The deeper they moved into the forest, the stranger things became. Rocks rolled into their path on their own accord. The wildlife became strange and malformed—like a band of children’s toys torn apart and reassembled. Birds with the legs of a monkey, woodpeckers with saws for beaks, an owl with glowing red eyes like two marbles. Branches seemed to purposefully rip at his clothes, and he finally took his trench coat off after it had caught on every bush and tree he passed.
A small man, the size of a garden gnome statue with a receding hairline and a rotund belly, darted across the path, hissing at Tate. In response, Tate pulled a knife and hissed back. The little man scuttled away, disappearing as fast as he’d appeared.
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