Release Blitz: Public Enemies (Immortal Game #2) by Ann Aguirre
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In Book 2 of the Immortal Game trilogy, Edie must learn the rules of the game . . . and then play better than anyone else.
Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, fears-made-flesh are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board. Because of her boyfriend Kian's sacrifice, she's operating under the mysterious Harbinger's aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from deepest loss, she's terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers--mercenary monsters committed to her destruction--she's not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months...unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can't bear to lose.
“Take cover,” I shouted at my dad, just before I hurled the demi-Molotov.
I sprinted away from the doorway as the fumes exploded. The walls trembled and I smelled something horrible, like rotten meat on the grill. On my hands and knees, I crawled through the smoke, trying to keep low. If we don’t get out of this soon, we’ll die too. The sprinklers kicked in, dowsing the corridor and laboratory. An inhuman rumble of pain and rage told me at least one survived my surprise.
As I reached the threshold, I took stock. Holy shit. I actually killed one. Well, destroyed it. Whatever. Chunks of rubbery, charred flesh were spattered everywhere, dripping off the walls in viscous globs. I choked down some bile and took a shallow, stinging breath. My eyes were burning like the water was full of chlorine; that had to be the remaining chloramine vapors. If the lab was bad before, it was total devastation now with small fires guttering everywhere, struggling in the deluge. I slipped toward my dad’s office, frantic.
And the remaining monster charged me.
“Are you crazy? Get out of here!” My dad’s voice was hoarse, probably from the smoke but I ignored him.
It was all I could do to stumble aside and dart around an overturned lab table that the beast smashed with one lash of a tentacle. The floor trembled and I staggered backward, tripping over debris, but my training with Raoul had improved my reflexes. Instead of falling over, I righted myself and scrambled for a weapon. Not that I thought I could really kill it, but…
I can save my dad.
“I’ll keep it busy,” I yelled back. “Get moving, it’s after you, not me.”
He called something but I didn’t hear it. I laid hand on a broken table leg with a jagged, pointy end. Considering the monster’s overwhelming size—at least twelve feet—a David and Goliath comparison seemed apt but I was fresh out of slingshots. The longer my dad lingered, the less chance either one of us making it out, between the fumes and the Cthulhu beast.
He won’t go. Despair cloaked me like darkest night.
Still, I raised my weapon like Raoul had taught me. I might not be very good at this, but I was a fighter now, right? The monster lashed at me and I tried to leap clear. Not fast enough. The blow caught me across the back and I actually felt my ribs caving in. It hurt to breathe. I tried to maneuver but the slick floor and glass fragments made it impossible. My palms sliced open as I tried to haul to my feet, red smearing the makeshift weapon I was barely hanging onto. Distantly I realized my dad was beside me, trying to drive the creature away.
It hit me again, sweeping me like rubbish against the far wall. The impact cracked my ribs on the other side; the pain was excruciating. I couldn’t move anymore, except to blink. My lashes gave a dark fringe to my last moments. I thought about my mother…and Kian. Vi. Ryu. Davina. Jen. At least they’ll miss me. Blood trickled from my mouth, and I stared up at the horrid thing that would kill me.
Except it didn’t.
I heard the flutter of dark wings all around me, and then he was here, all darkness and ominous promise. The Harbinger’s voice whispered like silk across a blade. “Take only the one you came for. She belongs to me.”
And don’t miss the previous books in the Immortal Game Trilogy!
About Ann Aguirre:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.