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True Believers

True Believers

3.6 3
by Maria Zannini

Something is killing off immortals, one by one.

Taelen Jessit is an alien emissary on a mission sanctioned by the U.S. government to search for ancient gods. His hunt leads him to a dig headed by archaeologist Rachel Cruz. When his military entourage forces Rachel's team out of the cave they were exploring, a flash flood hits the riverbed


Something is killing off immortals, one by one.

Taelen Jessit is an alien emissary on a mission sanctioned by the U.S. government to search for ancient gods. His hunt leads him to a dig headed by archaeologist Rachel Cruz. When his military entourage forces Rachel's team out of the cave they were exploring, a flash flood hits the riverbed and threatens to tear them through the ravine.

In the aftermath of the flood, Taelen witnesses the incredible healing of Rachel's broken ankle and believes his gods have blessed her. He is inexplicably drawn to her, and she to him.

What Taelen doesn't know is that Rachel is Nephilim—a descendant of the gods his people worship—masquerading as a human to find the god-killer and destroy it. Rachel needs help to bring down the tech that is manipulating the Earth's magnetosphere and frying her people alive. She's given Taelen her heart, but can she trust him with her secret?

95,000 words

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Carina Press
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Rachel Cruz took one step too many inside the dry gulch cavern. Something crushed under her boot and she winced. It was the crackle of something small and brittle and undoubtedly valuable.


She lifted her foot and tried to put it down somewhere less costly.

What did the Dean say? If she found evidence of ancient Sumer, he'd make her a rich woman. She'd settle for anonymously wealthy. But first she'd have to stop trampling on priceless artifacts.

The light from her headlamp bounced all over the ground, but settled when she caught the glint of white polished pebbles. She crouched down to scoop up a handful of debris.

Finger bones.

Smug satisfaction tugged the corners of her mouth upwards. She'd radio for grunt diggers later today and lay claim to the entire site before any of the other universities got the wiser.

Another milestone for the grand diva of digs. Maybe now they would give her carte blanche on future digs without all the politics and begging.

Rachel gnawed on one leather glove and yanked it off with her teeth. She danced her bare fingertips along a gritty sandstone wall until she reached a sparkling bit of rock.

Soul residue. Here?

Her fingers fumbled for the toggle on her lantern to shut it off. In the darkness, the entire cavern radiated with subtle luminance.

Human souls. Hundreds of them.

A pang of guilt prickled her conscience. There was only one reason for human souls to be trapped on the mortal plane. By fate or misfortune, they had touched an immortal.

Like fireflies on a breeze, the remains of the trapped souls drifted near her face attracted by something they could not understand. As the specks drew closer, she pursed her lips and blew them away like a kiss. Whatever spirit remained was nothing more than an imprint, a memory of something that was once human.

"You should have run away," she told them. "Far away."

Rachel stole a glance behind her. The rest of her recon team was in the grand theater of the cave. Doc and Paul hadn't noticed her absence. They were too busy snapping pictures, rapt in the find of a lifetime.

The accidental discovery of a shard, etched with ancient Sumerian, drove the archeological community into a feeding frenzy. The hysteria would have been warranted enough if the relic had been found in Iraq, but this was found in west Texas, more than seven thousand miles away. Every major university on the planet was mad to find more.

Rachel rattled the bone fragments in the palm of her hand then seeded them back to the ground. Her university would be pleased. She found exactly what they were looking for, but that wasn't the only reason she was here.

The first shard, anonymously mailed to the University of Cairo, was ten thousand years old, and it matched the pieces found here precisely. But it was the rock drawings and dwellings that came as a shock. An ancient people lived here, and their writing spoke of Anu and his sons, progenitors of the Nephilim.

Her people.

She didn't like it when the humans got too close to the truth.

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True Believers 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
PeachesNCreamSM More than 1 year ago
True Believers is a strong traditional sci-fi mixed with a unique romance based in our near future. Aliens have lived on earth for years masquerading as humans. So not a lot of world building needed yet what was needed for the alien culture, etc. was neatly woven into the story becoming a facet of the plot more than actual world building or back story. Kudos! This was a thrilling, fast-paced read that engrossed me from the first page. An epic tale blending sci-fi technology, military and political one-upmanship, aliens, and romance. I'm still not sure how Zannini pulled it all off but she did! She even had me cheering on the aliens to grind the humans to dust. Zannini's characters are strong -- not a doormat among them, male or female -- motivations and fears are clear. Even the computers were fully developed characters. Rachel and Taelen have a wonderful chemistry. Their romance has the usual conflicts: meddling family, demanding job, secrets that threatened their budding romance, extra appendages... ;) In the end, they overcome the obstacles, grow, learn to trust each other, becoming partners -- equals.
gaele More than 1 year ago
With complex world-building, multiple plots, inventive descriptions and twists and turns to cause whiplash, True Believers was unlike anything I have read. All of the plots and twists don’t come close to confusing, due to the author’s talent for developing characters with unique and distinct voices. The romance in the book was incredibly sensual and steamy as well, although I did feel that the passion lessened as the characters became more acquainted with each other, and often it felt as if jealousy was the motivation in the romance. While that bothered me somewhat, the story was so engaging and the end so surprising that it had little to no impact on my final impression: I really liked this book.  I received an eBook copy from BTS eMagazine for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It started out pretty good but by the middle I didn't like either of the main characters and it stopped making sense. The heroine was supposed to be strong and powerful but the hero made her pathetic. He was a womanizing jerk at best. By the time they got together I was disgusted with him and wanted her to be with someone else. I finished the book even though most of the read was depressing because I thought maybe he would redeem himself, didn't happen.