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Alterant (Belador Series #2)
     

Alterant (Belador Series #2)

4.3 108
by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love
 

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In this explosive new world of betrayals #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR and shaky alliances created by New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, the only free Alterant faces an impossible task—recapture three dangerous escaped creatures before they slaughter more humans . . . or her.

The way

Overview

In this explosive new world of betrayals #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR and shaky alliances created by New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, the only free Alterant faces an impossible task—recapture three dangerous escaped creatures before they slaughter more humans . . . or her.

The way Evalle Kincaid sees it, saving mankind from total destruction should have cleared her name. But when words uttered in the heat of combat are twisted against her, she’s blamed for the prison break of three dangerous Alterants. She has one chance to clear the cloud of suspicion hanging over her . . . for good. All she has to do is recapture the escapees. But deals with gods and goddesses are tricky at best, and now the lives of all Beladors, and the safety of innocent humans, rides on Evalle’s success. The only person she can ask for help wants to see her dead.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439195277
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
09/27/2011
Series:
Belador Series , #2
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
92,011
File size:
4 MB

Read an Excerpt

Alterant ONE

What’s a girl to wear to spend eternity in prison? Evalle Kincaid would rather fight a pack of demons alone than face the Tribunal at midnight.

Seventy-two minutes from now.

She might walk free tonight . . . if the Tribunal took into account that she’d spent the last forty-eight hours protecting humans from an eight-hundred-year-old warlord instead of mounting her defense.

Like it was her fault she’d been born a half-breed Belador? An Alterant. The only one not dead or caged. The others had killed humans. Taking the Belador oath at eighteen had kept her free of persecution . . . until now.

One thing at a time, like getting dressed. She had to show up in more than a bra and panties.

She pulled out her favorite cotton shirt, a vintage piece, from her antique chest of drawers. Stepping into jeans and boots, she shoved a couple of lug nuts in her pocket and froze.

Her apartment was too silent.

Not a lot of noise reached two levels beneath downtown Atlanta when you lived in the equivalent of a concrete bunker.

But this stillness was a something-must-be-up quiet.

She headed out to investigate and had just reached the hallway when a harsh blowing noise roared in the kitchen.

It sounded like . . . a giant blowtorch.

Grace be to Macha, no!

She broke into a run and swung through the kitchen doorway as another blast rocked the air. “Feenix!”

Her two-foot-tall pet gargoyle stood facing the open oven with fire shooting from his snout. He stopped blowing flames and cut his big round eyes up at her in a sly “who me?” innocent look. “Ye-eth?”

If she laughed right now he’d never learn that he couldn’t shoot flames in the apartment. But she kept her voice calm and curious. “What are you doing?”

That must have been the right question. He turned to face her and started dancing from side to side on fat little four-toed feet. “Thurrr-prithe! Peetha. Peetha.” He clapped his pudgy-clawed hands and chortled.

She stepped further into the kitchen and bent down to see one of her frozen pepperoni pizzas charred beyond recognition on one side.

He’d cooked for her.

Her heart climbed into her throat. How was she going to live without him if they locked her away? He was the reason her heart sang every morning when she opened her eyes. She’d find him plopped on the bed next to her with his pet alligator tucked under his arm and a gap-toothed grin on his face.

She closed the oven and smiled at him. “It’s perfect. Thank you for cooking me dinner.”

Feenix flapped his wings, flying up to eye level. Two little overbite fangs pointed down past his lower lip. She opened her arms and he floated into them, tucking his wings, which were soft as bat skin.

But it was the sweet way he said “Mine” that threatened to fold her at the knees.

She couldn’t let on how hard it was going to be to leave him tonight or he’d fret the entire time she was gone. Fear of losing her might cause him to regress into the fire-breathing little animal who hadn’t even been able to communicate when she’d first brought him home. If she didn’t return after tonight, and he got out, someone would kill him for sure. He deserved better after escaping the crazy sorcerer who’d created, then tortured, the poor thing.

No way could she lock him away somewhere.

She wouldn’t do to him what others wanted to do to her.

Nothing would stop her from coming back to Feenix . . . except two of the three Tribunal deities ruling against her. Even then, she wouldn’t go down without a fight. She didn’t care if they could smoke her where she stood.

That left her one choice—to gamble on her chances of convincing the Tribunal she would not shift, involuntarily or otherwise, into her Alterant beast form and kill humans.

Vegas would laugh at her odds of winning.

She swallowed the lump threatening to choke her.

Feenix leaned back. “Peetha?”

“You bet, baby.” She hugged him, inhaling his warm, leathery smell, then lowered him to sit on the island counter.

The uncharred half of the pizza tasted better than it looked. And she’d have made all the same ooh and ahh comments even if it had been a mud patty.

“Nutth.” He opened his mouth wide.

She tossed him the two lug nuts from her pocket.

He caught the steel snacks with his tongue and chomped them like M&M peanut candies.

She eyed her watch. Time had a grudge against her.

Delaying the inevitable wouldn’t make walking out that door any easier. And arriving late for a Tribunal meeting would be considered an insult—a guaranteed thumbs-down. She washed her hands. “I have to go out for a while, so don’t cook anything else while I’m gone, okay?”

“Yeth.” He watched her from his roost on the kitchen island, eyes beaming pure happiness.

“You’re the best.” She touched his wide nose with her finger, smiled, and headed for her bedroom.

The sound of Feenix’s wings flapped behind her.

Ten-foot ceilings allowed him to fly over her head in the hallway and reach the bedroom before her. When she strode into the room, he was perched in the center of her bed.

Feenix said, “You come back?”

The million-dollar question, but he asked the same thing every time she left. “As soon as I can.”

“What ith thoon? One, two, five, theven, eight?”

Did he mean minutes or hours? He’d just learned to count to eight. Time was a whole other concept. She was thinking more in terms of years, but rather than stretch the truth any further, she changed the topic. “How’s your counting coming?”

“Good.”

“Count for me.”

He bent his legs and leaned over to count each toe around his potbelly. “One, two . . .”

She picked up her dagger off the nightstand and slid it inside her boot. She didn’t walk the streets unarmed.

When Feenix stopped counting at eight, because he had eight toes, she told him, “Thought we were working on nine and ten this week.”

“What ith nine ten?” He looked up at her with big orange eyes full of curiosity.

“I’ll tell you on the way to the door.” She headed to the door in her living room that opened into the exit tunnels.

Feenix needed a reason to count more than his toes. She told him, “Your horns are nine and ten.”

He grunted unintelligible happy noises as he thumped down the hallway at her heels.

When she reached the door she turned around. “Are you going to practice?”

His eyes rounded as he realized he had new information. “Yeth, dammit.”

“No cursing.” She wanted to blame Quinn, one of her two closest friends, for irritating her to the point she’d said that word in front of Feenix, but the fault was hers.

“Thorry.” He smiled, tongue poking out one side of his mouth.

“That’s okay. I know it was an accident. Promise to be good and practice counting while I’m gone and I’ll get you a hubcap.”

His scaly forehead wrinkled with confusion.

She explained, “A hubcap is like a silver pizza.”

He waddled in a circle, clapping and fluttering his wings, making happy sounds. She’d make sure Tzader, the other person she trusted most in this world, brought Feenix a hubcap if she couldn’t.

She could if the Tribunal cut her some slack tonight and treated her equal to everyone else.

Was that asking too much?

Just one time she’d like to be judged on her own merit and not her tainted blood.

She had to go now or she’d never leave. Bending down, she gave Feenix one tight squeeze and said, “Where’s your gator?”

He looked around and spied his favorite stuffed toy, then flew to his beanbag. After settling into the cushy bag he cuddled his stuffed alligator.

That was the picture she’d take to her grave.

“Bye, baby.” Shutting the door quickly, she hurried through the concrete hallways to her garage area. No point in taking her GSX-R motorcycle out tonight. She had almost an hour to make the twenty-minute walk to Woodruff Park, where she’d get teleported to the meeting.

She hated teleporting almost as much as she disliked Sen, the liaison who would escort her to the Tribunal, but that was life in her world.

Walking across the garage, she used her kinetic power to access the elevator that took her up two floors to street level. She stepped out and scanned the pitch-black area through special sunglasses that protected her ultra-sensitive vision even at night. Similar to looking through night-vision goggles, she’d been born with vision that perceived the street and surrounding area in shades of blue-gray. Her strange DNA had gifted her with a deadly reaction to sunlight as well.

Sunshine wasn’t an issue this close to midnight, but preternatural creatures could hide in the dark jungle of steel and concrete she’d have to traverse between here and Marietta Street. Quinn owned her building and didn’t like charging her rent, but she insisted. She’d live life on her own terms.

Independence meant something different to everyone.

Unless someone had lived trapped in a basement the first eighteen years in this world, she doubted they could understand what independence meant to her.

She paused. Had she felt energy skimming through the air?

Or was she just jumpy?

Nothing stirred this late on a Thursday night except weeds withering in the August heat. Patchwork concrete and gravel stretched ahead of her, running beneath the street-level parking deck that fronted CNN. Tourists rarely wandered down here, where a ten-foot-high chain-link fence protected parked cars from vandalism.

Prime area for something nasty to wait for prey.

Bring it. I’ve got time to wash blood off my boots.

Or at least she’d die doing something for the greater good versus dying because of being born part Belador, part beast.

She swept a suspicious gaze from side to side and kept moving toward the dimly lit area, but not even a roach crawled in this sweltering weather. Sweat trickled along her cheek. Loose tendrils from her ponytail clung to her neck.

She’d miss Atlanta if she didn’t return, especially being able to ride her motorcycle throughout the winter.

Would the Tribunal send her somewhere hot or . . .

The humid air skimming her arms changed with a prickling of awareness. Her boot heels tapped softly across the rutted pavement. No other sound filled in the gaps.

She opened her empathic senses . . . then wider.

Another presence moved toward her.

Human? She didn’t think so.

If someone or something tangled with her right now it had better have a death wish. Tzader and Quinn would be waiting at the park to see her off, and she wanted to see them.

A male voice close behind said, “You’re hard to find, Miss Kincaid.”

Definitely not human.

Meet the Author

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several series, including the Bureau of American Defense novels BAD Attitude, Phantom in the Night, Whispered Lies, and Silent Truth and the Belador series that includes Blood Trinity, Alterant, and The Curse. There are more than 25 million copies of her books in print in over one hundred countries. She lives with her family near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her website at SherrilynKenyon.com.
Dianna Love is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Blood Trinity, Alterant, and The Curse in the Belador series. She is a national speaker who started writing while working over a hundred feet in the air, creating marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. When not plotting out her latest action-adventure, she travels the country on a motorcycle to meet fans and research new locations. She and her husband live near Atlanta, Georgia. Visit her website at AuthorDiannaLove.com.

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Alterant 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
CarrieJameson More than 1 year ago
Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love won me to urban fantasy with last year's release, Blood Trinity. So I beat down the doors of online contests, and managed to get Alterant in advance. And I'm not disappointed. This book, Book two in the Belador series, is full of surprises, and it takes you much, much deeper into several of the characters-but be ready, because you're going to say "OMG" a bunch as you're reading this. I guarantee you're going to be surprised. The thing that makes this my kind of series, is that it doesn't leave you depressed at the end, as many other urban fantasies will. I'm a romance reader at heart, and just to be clear,THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE, but there is more than one love interest, and plenty of sizzle between our kick-butt heroine, Evalle and two different smoking-hot guys, to give me hopeful endings for Evalle. As for Tzader, Quinn, and the others..well..just hold onto the edge of your seat. Feenix is back of course, and I just love that little guy, but in this book, you may decide you love some characters you've hated, and maybe even start to hate some characters you've loved-or not. Ha! You'll have to read it to know, because I'm not giving spoilers. I will say that you won't find a better read this year, if your taste is anything like mine. I like complex plots that make me think, and characters who behave in ways I would behave, if my back was against the wall as theirs is. A world I can fall into and believe, and stakes that make me care. These books are all that and more. And the authors are even giving away a free short story, Fire Bound, that's connected to this one. You can get the free download by going to the publisher's website, Pocket After Dark. Fantastic, plot with twists and turns, deep, interesting characters, and a world you'll love. Grab this series. You won't be sorry.
Mother_Gamer_Writer More than 1 year ago
Alterant was an incredible heart-jolting rollercoaster ride! I’ve heard of Serrilyn Kenyon before but unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of reading any of her books and in the same manner, I’d never heard (nor read) anything by her co-writer Dianna Love. Needless to say, three pages into Alterant, I was sold. From the stunning world the authors created with Gods, Goddesses, and magical creatures, to the massive character line-up, this is a fantasy novel everyone will love. Set in Atlanta, Alterant is the second book in the Blood Trinity series and begins just a few days after the conclusion of Book 1. After saving mankind from destruction, Evalle Kincaid is on her way to meet with the tribunal in an attempt to convince them that she is not a threat, an alterant that can be trusted around humans. Before arriving, she is approached by Storm, a Native American tracker and shapeshifter accomplice from her previous mission. Given their history and the emotional scars from her past, she has in her own way, learned to trust Storm and is surprised when he confronts her with a job of his own. After what seems like a never ending night of surprises, she finally reaches the tribunal and is tasked with a mission to recapture Beladors that were imprisoned and somehow escaped. Deeply conflicted, Evalle does not want to be the one who condemns other Beladors to a life that she fought so hard to escape. Feeling the pressure to succeed and the fate of all Beladors on her shoulders, this proves to be a race against time causing her to use the help of another alternant, Tristan, whom she previously imprisoned. Making it a temporary partnership that could work in (or against) her favor. Although Alterant was a spectacular read, there was one thing that bothered me. At times I was unable to fully connect with Evalle. Because of her past, she is a very cold person who shows sympathy very rarely and only to those she trusts. And since that is mostly no one, the MC could come across as harsh, disconnected, and uncaring. It’s not a huge complaint, but it did annoy me on several pages. I should also point out, for those readers who are expecting a romance novel based on the authors, you should toss that idea out the window and decide to read this novel for what it truly is, a wonderfully enchanting fantasy. Overall, Alterant is a wonderful story that can stand on it is own. However, there are several instances in the book where I was thrown off because I did not read Blood Trinity. So I do recommend – if you have the time – picking up the first novel before diving into this one to avoid confusion. There is a glossary of terms in the back of the book which I always find helpful in fantasy novels such as this one. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love did a phenomenal job creating a unique world that will draw readers in and have them begging for the next book in the series. If you are looking to take a break from your normal romance reads and switch gears to an action-packed adventure with an engrossing storyline and characters you will grow to love, then give Alterant a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful and as usual it has left me waiting to see and read what will happen next in the series. Totally recommend this book for those who really enjoyed the first book.
LadyLeeloo More than 1 year ago
I'm already a big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's other books so when Blood Trinity came out, I gave it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. The action, dialogue, and general kickass-ness of the heroine makes up a great story. I couldn't put it down. Alterant is just as addictive and I can't wait to see what happens next. My only gripe (and its not really a gripe so much as a groan) is that Alterant ends with even more of a cliffhanger than the first. Really, guys, I'm gonna keep buying and reading the series, I promise. Don't kill me with the cliffhanger! I can't wait to see what happens next.
DogmamaTX More than 1 year ago
Wish these 2 authors would get together again. I'm dying to know how Evalle's love life is doing & what other pitfalls & disasters are in her path.
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Beladors Book Two Evalle's meeting with the Tribunal does NOT go well. She is accused of freeing three Alterants and tasked with finding them or being locked up herself. Not only will she face the Tribunal's wrath if she fails, Brina will also pay the consequences. After being thrown into the jungle at the mercy of Tristan, Evalle begins searching for the Alterants who could save her. Meanwhile, the Medb sorceress, Kizira, is up to more sinister plans. If you're looking for an urban fantasy series with kick, this is it!
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RaquelGabrielle More than 1 year ago
OMG so much better then the first one. Okay the first one was pretty good but this one was so awesome! I can't wait to get the the next one. The only thing I hate about god and goddesses in these types of books is that they have to mess with everything and twist everything up to cause drama and problems. Why can't they leave the people alone and let them love who they want to love? I hope Evalle ends up with Storm even though that will be a battle in and of itself.
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This is a have to read series, I can not tell you all about it would not want to take away anything form it . I can say is read the whole series, I can not wait for the book #4 to come out.
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