It's release day for Delinquent: An Alliance Novella! This is a novella set two years before Adamant. If you're curious about certain events mentioned in the series, this is the place to find out what really happened! :)
Nineteen-year-old Kay Walker seems to have it all, including an assured future with the Alliance after he graduates from the prestigious Academy. But when he and his friends discover the lure of the Passages, the place between the worlds where monsters hide, they’re caught up in a contest with rival student Aric - which soon escalates into a deadly game.
A perfect life hides lies, and Kay becomes a target for alluring yet deadly magic he has no way of understanding. Magic is a force on its own, and on no one’s side…
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“Not to worry,” I said. “If there’s anything around, it’s nothing worse than we’ve faced in training.” Which was true. Coming face to face with a Passage monster wasn’t a big deal. We’d be doing that on a regular basis in a couple of years. And if it turned out we couldn’t handle it, we’d run like hell. If anything wandered this close to the stairs, then like I’d said—it was our duty to deal with it.
“Let’s do this,” I said.
My fingertips found the hidden panel in the wall. Loose. Something had tried to get it open before—recently. Marks on the edge became visible. Okay, something with really big hands had tried to get it open.
Hmm. Maybe this wasn’t my smartest move. But it was too late to turn back. The panel opened at the slightest touch, and sure enough, a steep staircase appeared in the gloom.
The staircase was shorter than I expected, and led into another corridor. I definitely heard movement ahead. Our footsteps made no noise, and gradually, a faint growling became distinct.
“Damn,” I whispered. “That’s way too close to first level.”
Andy froze, swearing under his breath. Simon and I continued, and when we rounded a corner, we found our monster.
It was easily seven feet tall, and looked like a hairless bull, except it walked on two legs. Its pinkish skin was marked with scars, and two cracked tusks protruded from its huge jaw. It prowled the tunnel on legs thick as tree trunks. This was a kruchifal, and they were known for munching on stray travellers walking between the worlds. This one had wandered way out of Cethrax. Damn thing. No guards had come here, but if they went near those stairs—which newer guards might not even know about—then this monster could easily make trouble for them.
And us. The kruchifal turned around with a bellow loud enough to alert half the Passages this side of Cethrax.
“Be quiet,” I muttered.
The kruchifal swiped with a giant hand, forcing us to back away. Towards the stairs. Damn. Just what I’d wanted to avoid.
“You don’t wanna be here, trust me,” I said.
The kruchifal roared angrily again.
Great. I hadn’t reckoned on actually playing the part of a guard without their fancy weaponry to back it up. We didn’t have a way to alert the Alliance without giving away that we were here illegally. Besides, the monster was only metres away from the stairs.
We had to scare it off.
Simon’s eyes widened as he realised what I was going to do, and got out of the way just in time. I ran, launching myself into the air, and grabbed onto the beast’s back, pulling myself up to balance on its shoulders. The kruchifal roared as it realised it had an unwanted passenger, and rocked back and forward, trying to throw me off. Laughing, I clung on with one hand, while Simon charged it. He dodged the snarling tusks and kicked at the beast’s thick leg. The monster roared again, and this time, it dislodged me. I flipped over backwards and landed on my feet. Andy was still here, to my surprise, but wasn’t inclined to join in the fight.
All the more fun for me and Simon.
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Start the series with Adamant (Alliance, #1).
Ada Fletcher is twenty-one, keeps a collection of knives in her room, and lives under the Alliance's radar in London, risking her life to help her family smuggle people away from a devastating magical war on her homeworld to hide on the low-magic Earth. But when a simple delivery goes wrong and she's forced to use magic to defend her own life, she becomes a prime suspect for a murder at the heart of the Alliance.
Kay Walker, grandson of the Alliance's late founder, expects to spend his first week as an Alliance employee chasing monsters out of the dark Passages between worlds, not solving a murder or questioning a strange, fierce young woman he arrested in the Passages. Killer or not, she stole something highly dangerous - something tied to a dark time in the Alliance's history. The closer he gets to the truth, the higher the body count rises.
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What reviewers are saying
"The world building is magical. Even though we only get a hint of what's out there, I am already in love with this world." - Lola at Lola's Reviews
"...the beginning of a potentially brilliant and addictive series" - Jeanz Book Reviews
"This book is a unique, fun read, and I'd recommend it to everyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy." - Amazon reviewer
“Adamant is a fantastic start to a fun, adventurous and super cool series… a world so well written and brought to life you can totally lose yourself in it... Can't praise it enough!” - Alisha at Reality's A Bore