- Release Day Event
- Title: Reaper’s Novice
- Author: Cecilia Robert
- Release date: January 10th, 2013
- Genre: urban fantasy
- Age Group: YA
17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.
Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her
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With my hand braced on the railing, I climb down. And stop. My mouth falls open. Whatever tendril of air stored in my lungs whooshes out at the sight in front of me.
At the center of the room, illuminated by a spotlight on the high ceiling, is a black robot-like thing looming above Rolf. It has glass for eyes, a hooked, cruel-looking nose, and a slash of jagged metal for a mouth. The shoulder width is about two feet, with huge arms bent on its sides. It’s cold, gleaming, and so inhuman. Chills skitter down my spine.
When did he have time to work on this monstrosity? It wasn’t here last week. Given its size, this is something that needs months to accomplish.
As if sensing me, Rolf stops swinging his hammer and looks over his shoulder. One side of his mouth kicks up. Even that smile is foreign. He shifts the hammer in his hands, then hooks it on the tool belt hugging his waist. His hair sticks out in all directions. Twenty minutes ago it was styled in his usual immaculate style.
I grip the rail tighter. “Hey,” I say, my eyes trained on the… thing. “Um… I see you’ve been busy.”
“Isn’t he amazing?” His voice is filled with reverence, and his eyes flash with maniacal light.
I swallow to push my heart back to my chest. “Who is he, Ro?”
“Haven’t found a name for him yet. But…” He fishes around the front pockets of the toolkit for something. When his hand reappears, it’s trembling. In it is a remote control. “Just look at this.”
He presses some buttons. Immediately the eyes blink open, red as blood. The sound of metal grinding against metal fills the room as its mouth yawns open. Metal wings uncoil from behind the robot’s back, rising and spreading, and shrouding the room in darkness.
A creature from hell.
I stumble halfway up the stairs, falling back when my feet can’t hold me up any longer.
Rolf moves to stand next to it, arms spread wide at his sides, and proclaims with a voice I have never heard leave his lips—deep and authoritative and cold—“Let the wars begin.” He focuses his eyes on me. “What do you think?”
I think I’ve never seen anything as hideous and scary in my life. And what is with his voice? I nod. “Um… interesting. I—I’ll wait for you upstairs.”
About the author:
Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.
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