Night and Chaos
A merciless enemy. A relentless hunter. It all ends.
As night gathers, chaos rains down on the city of Ashwood like acid. The New Order of Void Weavers led by Isaac Moreau are gaining strength, but the shield separating the world of humans from the things hungrily waiting for their turn at the batting plate is fractured and weak, and repairing it is no small task. Meanwhile Alice Werner, the supernatural Bounty Hunter, has her hands full with an increasing number of contracts, and as Ashwood starts simmering toward a boiling point, it's only a matter of time until something gives and all hell breaks loose.
Night and Chaos is the third and final book in the Half-Lich Trilogy of Urban Fantasy Suspense novels. Praised by readers as a "fresh, mature take on Urban Fantasy," and "the series that raises the bar on the genre," fans of this series will not want to miss this final, thrilling installment. Night and Chaos is set to release on the 31st of October, and will be the perfect Halloween read.
What are readers saying about Dark Siren (Book 1 in the series):
"Dark Siren is one of the best Urban Fantasy novels I have read in a long time."
"This was one of the most intriguing novels I've read so far this year."
"This is not your cookie cutter story line. Fresh and New Urban Fantasy that will get you hooked instantly."
Keep reading to find the Prologue, and buy the book while it's still on its pre-order price of $2.99!
Night came early to Ashwood. The sun, most days only a faint impression behind the ever-gray clouds, departed as if it were trying to avoid a dangerous neighborhood, leaving the city to depend on twinkling lights to protect it against the darkness. But the lights are only an illusion of safety, a rickety shack in the face of a black hurricane. When the wolf huffs and puffs, that house of straw comes crashing down leaving the person inside afraid and vulnerable.
Nyx was that wolf, the wind was hers, and beneath her lay the city—unaware of what she was about to unleash on it, of what she dared to do.
She took a long drag of her cigarette and flicked the butt over the edge of the Century Tower. The cigarette dropped beyond her sight, but the updraft rapidly climbing this 80-story monstrosity grabbed and sent it hurtling into the night sky. Nyx rested her arms on the ledge and stared down at the glittering street below. She pulled her wet, purple hair over her head and then brought her eyesight level with the horizon.
Ashwood stretched beyond her like a beast of shimmering jewels, Nyx’s ice blue eyes chief among them. Sonia had been a pretty woman before Nyx had started wearing her skin, but carrying the dark lady’s essence had caused the vessel to transform into something truly striking. The purple hair was gone, replaced by a tumble of hair the color of polished obsidian. Her cheeks seemed to have been sculpted out of smooth marble, and her lips were perpetually pink and full.
Thunder grumbled in the dark sky above and she watched the feeble lightshow as it cascaded through the clouds with a grin on her face.
“Pathetic,” she said, “I can do better than that.”
She turned around and headed for the center of the rooftop. A giant antenna stood above her, its tip blinking red in stark contrast to the night sky. Nyx spun around on the spot and regarded each of the antenna’s four points individually. She nodded, and then looked up at the night sky again. A droplet of fresh rain hit her face.
More cold rain droplets struck her cheek. Nyx smiled brightly and opened her mouth wide, letting the rain touch her tongue. “That’s it,” she said, “It’s time.”
Nyx beckoned with two fingers, and the thing that had been lurking nearby fell in beside her like a dark mist. She turned to look at it, this shapeless cloud, and saw a face form in the mist; featureless, bland, and cold, but discernible. The face opened its mouth wide and distant, echoed words came from within, as if someone were trapped in there.
“The conditions are right,” said the soft, female voice from inside the thing’s large, open maw.
“Yes they are,” Nyx said, “And now we’re going to do magic. Just make sure you hold up your end of the bargain, otherwise I’ll send you back into the dark.”
“No… please no… we like it here, with you. The dark was not a good place. We will be good to you.”
She turned her attention up toward the sky. The rain had started to hit hard; heavy droplets were striking the antennae’s metal supports, but the heavens hadn’t truly opened up yet. Perfect, Nyx thought, and she threw her head back and closed her eyes.
Nyx reached with her mind, to the thing—the Guardian—standing at her side, and bid it to access the Tempest. She could hear the roar of the ocean, could taste the salt on her lips, and could almost feel the currents causing her body to sway left and right, left and right. The Tempest was there, pressing against the walls of her consciousness; all she had to do was reach out…
Her hand came up and she closed her open palm into a fist as if trying to catch something in midair. Her entire arm began to vibrate, a sensation that climbed along the biceps and into the chest of this stolen body—the body that had lasted so long despite her possession of it. Had any of her predecessors been successful in doing what she was doing now? Yes. Of course they had. At least, one of them had; the first one. The most perfect being ever created.
Nyx opened her eyes, and little lightning storms crackled behind them. “Soon,” she said to the sky, “You will come back to finish what you started, and I’ll be the one you thank. I’ll be your favorite again.”
She pressed her hands together and a thunderclap echoed from the impact. Her palms were glowing with stolen magic, sending arcs of violet light streaking and jumping in all directions. Nyx clapped her hands together again and sparks flew, this time brighter and wilder, and when the violet sparks struck the underside of the antennae they scrambled up along the metal supports, illuminating the dark tower in a beautiful display.
Nyx clapped her hands again. When the thunderclap broke them apart, she spread her fingers wide and let the magic of the Tempest pour through her and into the world. Sparks shot from her fingertips striking the antennae from all directions. The misty creature looked up, and the lightning enveloping the tower bathed its cold, almost marble face with light.
“Now,” Nyx said as she curled her arms by her side. “Fly,” she commanded while at the same time pushing her arms upwards. The lightning crawled up along the length of the antennae and shot into the night sky, striking the clouds and filling them with roiling, cascading violet light.
Nyx watched as the light stretched along the clouds, turning around to follow their movement toward the ocean. Good. That was where she had wanted them to go. The misty entity next to her watched with her and listened to the sequence of explosions coming from the sky, each sounding more distant than the last.
A cool breeze caressed her face, and Nyx shook her hands to rid herself of any excess magic still on her.
“Did it work?” she asked the Guardian.
“It did, mistress,” it said.
“Good. Now we move on to the next part of the plan.”
“So soon? Is this wise?”
“There are many pieces to this play, and we’re going to have to move all of them at exactly the right moment. Some of those pieces need to be moved simultaneously, it’s time for me to move.”
“Of course, mistress,” said the floating mist, and its face disappeared, absorbed into the dark cloud.
Nyx stepped casually along the platform where she had been standing. The tower was still sparking in places, spitting little motes of violet light like an exposed wire. She approached the edge of the building and, using an elevated stone block for support and balance, jumped onto the ledge. The updraft pushed her hair up and tried to push her back onto the building where it was safe. She slammed her closed fist on the stone block and cold energy spread through her body, infusing her bones, her skin, even her clothes.
Then Nyx jumped.
The ground rushed up to meet her at an alarming speed, but she put her hands out to either side of herself and used her fingers to guide her fall. She could hear the wind whooshing past her. Droplets of water were racing down to the ground with a speed to match her own, though to her they appeared suspended in midair like tiny, glittering jewels. Down below she could see the flashing red and blue lights of police cars, as well as a traffic jam underway.
There, she thought and, using only her fingers and her mind, guided her falling body until it struck the ground as soundlessly and as lightly as a raindrop. Nyx took a second to regain herself from the rush of falling, and then walked toward the parked cop cars. There were two of them, one on either side of a cab which was wrapped around a light pole. The driver was inside. His airbag hadn’t deployed, and his body had gone halfway through the windshield.
A police officer saw Nyx approaching and quickly intercepted with an outstretched hand.
“Hey, you,” he said, “You can’t be here. Can’t you see there’s been an accident?”
“Has there?” Nyx asked, looking surprised. “Sorry, I didn’t see where I was going. I’m a little high.”
“High?” The police officer’s eyebrow cocked upward. “What kind of drug are you on that you’d tell a cop you’re using?”
Nyx approached. The cop backed up a step and reached for his gun, but stopped when he saw she wasn’t walking up to him. Walking past him, she touched his shoulder, and the police officer’s eyes became glassy, shiny, and lazy. “I’ll tell you,” she said, “But you have to do something for me first.”
The officer nodded. Without saying another word Nyx let her fingertips slip off his arm and continued on her path across the street. She looked over her shoulder as she went and saw the police officer looking bewildered, like a dog that was sure he had a tail but was unable to see it.
She grinned and slipped into the mass of walking pedestrians as easily as a fish joining a school. The second part of her plan was in motion; now it was time to move on to ‘Phase Three’. This one required even more of a hands-on approach than the other two had, but ever since taking this body, Nyx had enjoyed those kinds of tasks the most.
Alice Werner had no idea what was coming, and Nyx was going to enjoy watching her squirm.