Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SUMMER COUNTDOWN BLITZ DAY 9 - "Magic Unleashed (Venators, #1)" by Devri Walls

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 corrrupt 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.

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK


          Grey breathed in the smell of books, old and new. It smelled like knowledge…and security. Books didn’t expect you to answer back. And they didn’t laugh when your response was socially unacceptable. They were perfect.
He’d finished his schoolwork hours ago and was now working on his own personal research project, one he’d been working on for years. College had opened up shelves upon shelves of books he’d never seen. Information on every topic and era, anything you could possibly wish for, was encased in this four-story box of knowledge.
Grey flipped a page, coming across a drawing of an ancient medieval torture practice. This particular one involved the insertion of a gruesome device called the pear of agony into the victim’s mouth.
What he found interesting about this image was how the victim’s face was drawn in a way that was more canine than human. He scribbled a note of the time period, 1125 AD, and a small note with a question mark. “Werewolf?”
He looked up from the book and rubbed his eyes. He’d been reading since his last class got out at two, with the exception of a quick break he’d taken to grab some dinner at the cafeteria. Looking up, he saw Rune standing next to the computer lab entrance. Her shoulders were tense, her hands hanging at her sides in tight fists.
He tried not to stare—it was rude—despite knowing that he found it almost impossible not to. But more worrisome than his lack of manners was Rune’s brother, who’d caught him staring on several occasions. Ryker Jenkins was a bully and an absolute ass. Grey couldn’t help but take a quick look around to see if Ryker was in the vicinity.
Rune spun hard to the side, as if she were tearing herself away from an invisible assailant. She looked directly at him, her chest rising and falling heavily.
His stomach rolled in nervous anticipation, and he tried to keep his expression neutral. Rune was one of the very few that were genuinely nice to him, although he couldn’t figure out why. She was smart, pretty, athletic, and came from a family that…well, produced one asshat of a brother.
She gave a little wave and crossed the library. Her body language eased with each step. By the time she plopped down across from him, she looked totally relaxed. “Hey, Grey. What are you working on?”
He cleared his throat, worried his voice would betray him with a pubescent squeak. “Just some research for a mythology project. What are you doing here on a Friday night?”
“Turning in some last minute homework.” She leaned in on one elbow and peeked over the top of his book. “Oh, wow. That looks brutal.”
Realizing his notes were in clear view, Grey flipped the book shut and scooted it over to cover the notebook. “I’m sure it was.”
“I wish I could major in mythology. That would be so cool.”
“My major is history, actually.” Grey leaned back, evaluating her. He knew her face so well he
could’ve drawn it from memory. The thing he loved most was that she wasn’t one of those girls who looked like she’d stepped out of a magazine cover. Rune had an athletic body and natural hair that had been the same chestnut color since elementary school. Her eyes were a deep brown, and a light spray of freckles kissed her nose and cheeks. “If you want to major in something different, why don’t you?”
She snorted. “Right. When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents sat down with me, a guidance counselor, and a course book to ensure I picked something ‘practical and responsible.’ If I’d told them I wanted to major in—” she waved her hand over the books he had spread out across the table—“mythology—” 
“Whatever. They would’ve told me to pay for college myself.”
He smiled. “She sat you down as a sophomore?”
“Yep. It was the responsible thing to do.” She made air quotes. “My mother believes that
perfection is not only achievable, but expected.”
His smile fled, swallowed by a sorrow that had nestled in his heart for years.
“What?” Rune asked.
“I just…who decides what’s perfect?”
Rune’s eyes widened, blinking furiously. Grey thought she’d say something, but she looked away instead, nervously brushing a piece of hair behind her ear.
Grey shifted uncomfortably in his seat, then tried to nudge the conversation back to where it had been before he'd derailed it. 

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