Betrayals (Strange Angels Series #2)

Betrayals (Strange Angels Series #2)

by Lili St. Crow


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She's no angel . . .

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem? she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust-and maybe even her heart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595142528
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/17/2009
Series: Strange Angels Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 291,702
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lili Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. Lili lives in Vancouver, WA with her children, a houseful of cats, and assorted other strays.

Read an Excerpt


Windshield wipers struggled back and forth, clumped with snow. The mingled breath of three teenagers fought with the defroster. Thank God the truck was still running, even after they’d driven it through a wall.

“So you’re sending us somewhere you know there’s a traitor.” Graves’s chin dipped even further, resting harder on the top of my head.

I thought about all this, felt nothing but a faint, weary surprise.

Christophe sighed, “I’ve got friends at the Schola—they’ll watch over her just as I would. She’ll be perfectly safe. And while she’s there, she can help me find whoever’s feeding information to Sergej. She’s been drafted.”

Graves tensed. “What if she doesn’t want to?”

“Then you won’t last a week out there on your own. If Ash doesn’t find you, someone else will. The secret’s out. If Sergej knows, other suckers know there’s another svetocha. They’ll hunt her down and rip her heart out.” The windshield wipers flicked on. “Dru? Do you hear me? I’m sending you somewhere safe, and I’ll be in touch.”

"I think she hears you.” Graves sighed. “What about her truck? And all her stuff?”

“I’ll make sure they get to the Schola too. The important thing is to get her out of here before the sun goes down and Sergej can rise renewed. He’s not dead, just driven into a dark hole and very angry.”

“How are we going to—”

“Shut up.” He didn’t say it harshly or unkindly, but Graves did shut up. “Dru? You’re listening.”

Oh God, leave me alone. But I raised my head, looked at the dash. There really was no option. Hair fell in my face, the curls slicked down with damp, behaving for once.

“Yeah.” It sounded like I had something caught in my throat. The word was just a husk of itself. “I heard.”

“You were lucky. You ever put yourself in danger like that again and I’ll make you regret it. Clear?”

He sounded just like Dad. The familiarity was like a spike in my chest. “Clear,” I anaged around it. My entire body ached, even my hair.

I was wet and cold, and the memory of the sucker’s dead eyes and oddly wrong, melodious voice burrowed into my brain. It wouldn’t let go.

That thing killed my father. Turned him into a zombie. And Mom . . . “My mother.” The same husky, flat tone. Shock. Maybe I was in shock. I heard a lot about shock from Dad.

Silence crackled, but then Christophe took pity on me. Maybe. Or maybe he figured I had a right to know, and that I’d listen to him now.

When he spoke, his voice was harsh, whether with pain or with the cold I couldn’t guess. “She was

svetocha. Decided to give it all up, stop hunting, married a nice jarhead from the sticks and had a kid. But the nosferatu don’t forget, and they don’t stop playing the game because we pick up our marbles and go home. She got rusty and she got caught away from sanctuary, drawing a nosferat away from her home and her baby.” Christophe put the truck in gear. The windshield was clearing rapidly. “I’m . . . sorry.”

“What else do you know?” I pulled away from Graves, his arm falling back down to his side. He slumped, looking acutely uncomfortable, a raccoon mask of bruising beginning to puff up around his eyes.

His nose was definitely broken.

“Go to the Schola and find out. They’ll train you, show you how to do things you’ve only dreamed of. God knows you’re so close to blooming. . .” Christophe stared out the windshield, his profile as clean and severe as ever. His eyes were bright enough to glow even through the gray daylight. Drying blood coated his face, a trickle of fresh red sliding from a cut along his hairline. He was absolutely soaked in the stuff, but it didn’t seem to matter to him. “And when you hear from me, I’ll set you a challenge worthy of your talents. Like finding out who almost got you killed here.”

The truck was still running like a dream. Good old American steel. Dad’s billfold sat in my jacket pocket, a heavy, accusing lump. Christophe measured off a space on the wheel between two fingertips, looked intently at it. “So what about it, Dru? Be a good girl andgo back to school?”

Why was he even asking? Like I had anywhere else to go. But there was another question. “What about Graves?”

The kid in question glanced at me. I couldn’t tell if he was grateful or not. But I meant it. I wasn’t going anywhere without him. He really was all I had. That and a locket, and Dad’s billfold, and a truck full of stuff.

A shadow crossed Christophe’s face. The pause was just long enough for me to figure out what he thought of me even asking that question, and that he was weighing my likelihood to be difficult. Or just letting me know I didn’t have anywhere else to go. “He can go withyou. There are wulfen there, one or two other loup-garou. He’ll be an aristocrat. They’ll teach him too.”

That’s all right then. I nodded. My neck ached with the movement. “Then I’ll go.”

“Good.” Christophe took his foot off the brake. “And for the record, next time I ask for the keys, hand them over.”

I didn’t think that merited a response. Graves scooched a little closer to me, and I didn’t even think about it. I put my arms around him and hugged. I didn’t care if it hurt my arm and my ribs and my neck and pretty much every other part of me, my heart most of all.When you’re wrecked, that’s the only thing to do, right? Hold on to whatever you can. Hold on hard.


Ten hours later the black van pulled around in a neat half-circle. “End of the line,” the dark-haired boy said. “Let’s go.”

Darkness crouched around the huge building. I had a confused impression of cold, high-piled gray stone. Towers and two wings going off to the sides, the whole thing raked back like a Gothic spaceship.

Two big smooth concrete lions on pedestals faced out from the long circular driveway, glaring down the thin ribbon of blacktop that had peeled off the county highway and brought us here. Weird ropy ivy crawled over the walls, like long bony fingers. Morning fog was a thick gray blanket, and the trees dripped silently on all sides, pushing against the building’s frigid personal space.

Graves held my hand, still, so hard my fingers had long ago gone numb. The driver and the dark-haired boy in the passenger seat hopped out neat as you please, taking the shotgun and the AK-47 with them.

“You okay?” Graves asked for the hundredth time. I coughed a little, cleared my throat. The motion of the van had almost lulled me to sleep, especially since it was warm and I was exhausted.

My back ran with pain and I’d stiffened up, moving like a creaky old lady when I moved at all. Plus I had to pee something fierce.

Horror movies never tell you that—about how most of the time when you’re faced with the unspeakable, the biggest thing you take away from the experience is the need to find some indoor plumbing.

My hair was greasy, frizzing out because it had air-dried after being drenched with snow. The wild mass of curls unraveled on my shoulders and I really, really wanted to wash it. Not to mention the rest of me. If I scrubbed hard enough, maybe I could rinse all the fear off. The thick, cloying fear that coated me like chocolate—only not sosweet or warm.

I clutched my bag with my free hand—everything I had in the world, since Christophe had the truck keys and my truck to go with it. I was now completely at their mercy, and I wouldn’t have minded so much if they would just give me a bed and let me sleep for a little while. Then they could do whatever they wanted. Up to and including killing me.

Not really, Dru. Don’t even joke about that.

“One of them’s going up to the door,” Graves muttered. He’d done that all along, giving me a play-by-play as if I didn’t have eyes. It was academic—I kept said eyes shut most of the time. I just didn’t care. “The guy with the big gun is near the front of the van.”

Of course. “Standing guard.” My throat was scraped raw. I wanted a drink of water almost as much as I wanted to pee. It was ironic. “Just in case.”

“How you doing?” Graves turned away from the tinted window to peer anxiously at me, green eyes firing in the gloom, just like the silver skull and crossbones dangling from his left ear. His hair was a tangled mass of dyed black. It was predawn, gray and hushed, andnow that the van had stopped you could tell it was cold outside.

A warm car never stays warm for long. Heat is like love. It drains away.

I searched for something witty to say, settled for bare honesty. “I want to pee.”

Amazingly, he laughed. It was his usual bitter little bark, but heavier and deeper now. He sounded tired, and his proud, beaklike nose lifted a little. Under his half-Asian coloring, he looked so exhausted he was almost gray. There was very little left of the babyfacedGoth Boy he’d been.

Getting your life yanked out from under you will do that, I suppose.

Graves’s laughter petered away. He sobered. “Yeah, me too. We haven’t been left alone since they picked us up in that chopper, either. Do you think—”

Whatever he was going to ask me was lost as the kid with the AK-47 opened the van door. “It’s clear.” He gave me a smile that looked like it was trying to be reassuring. He was even sharply handsome, with a button nose and dark flyaway hair, an engaging smile, and light brown, almost yellowish eyes. But the gun and the way he glanced back over his shoulder, checking the space between the van and the front door of the big pile of stone, was something I’d seen a few times following Dad around while he hunted the things from the Real Word, the world of stuff that goes bump and crunch and yowl in the night.

Professionalism. It sat uncomfortably on his young face.

Every single person from the Order looked like a teenager—except my dad’s friend August, who looked about twenty-five. I wasn’t sure what to think of that, and just sat there staring at the rapidly strengthening foggy daylight outside the van for a moment.

“Miss Anderson?” He leaned forward a little, the mouth of the gun pointed carefully down and away. “It’s okay. We’re at a Schola; it’s safe.”

Nowhere’s safe. Not anymore. But I moved a little, and Graves took that as a signal to slide across the seat, letting go of my hand, and hop down. He turned, awkwardly, as if he wanted to help me.

But the dark-haired kid shouldered Graves aside and offered his free hand. “Here. Really, everything’s all right.” Another one of those smiles, and his eyes glittered at me.

I made it down out of the van, ignoring his hand. As soon as my feet touched down, he slammed the door behind me. “Let’s get you inside.” He made little waving movements with his hands, like he was trying to herd chickens or something.

It was the crowning absurdity. Cold air pressed against my cheeks; I smelled ice and damp leaves and the particular rot of a forest in a cold winter. The fog pressed close, deadened every sound. I scrubbed at my face, surprised to find my cheeks were still wet. Had I been crying?

The steps were huge and granite, and the massive iron-bound oak door atop them opened slowly. Mr. AK-47 herded us up toward it, and my fingers fished around blindly until they hooked on Graves’s and squeezed. Both of Goth Boy’s eyes were puffed up with bruising, and the bridge of his nose was a little flattened, but the swelling had gone down remarkably quickly. He made the stairs easily. I had to stop on each one because my back felt like it was going to shred itself. My knees creaked. I glanced up at the sky—featureless iron. It didn’t look like snow, and I was happy about that. I’ve had enoughsnow to last me a long time.

But it was cold, and it smelled like early morning. Like metal against the tongue, and like sodden, frozen plants. And the flat white heaviness of fog. My chin dropped toward my chest. The soft muffled wingbeats of an owl echoed inside my head.

Gran’s owl, the warning of danger. I should have told Dad I’d seen it that week and a half ago. Maybe he would have stayed home, and he’d still be alive. Jeez. Just over a week was all it took for my life to implode. It was some kind of record.

“Jesus,” a boy said softly, up ahead of us. “It’s really true.”

I didn’t even look up. We reached the top of the stairs, and Graves squeezed my hand before we were separated and I was whisked off by three boys who didn’t seem as young as their unlined faces would have me believe. They were murmuring over my head, various cryptic things, and I paid no attention. They took me through halls, andI heard whispers as kids clustered in doorways. It was like running a gauntlet or something, and I pulled into myself, concentrating on one foot in front of the other.

There was a long flight of stairs at last, and then a room with blue carpet. “You look pretty tired,” someone said. “Are you hungry? Thirsty? Anything we can—”

I saw an empty bed-shaped object and let out a sigh. “No thanks. No. I just want to sleep.” I just want to lay down and die.

“All right.” He was a faceless blur, I was so tired. I couldn’t even ask where Graves was. “You just try to rest, then. The bathroom’s through there, and—”

I didn’t hear whatever he said after that. I made it to the bed and sank down in a cloud of softness. The coverlet was blue too, I figured out that much. I didn’t even think about warding the walls. Gran and Dad would have been on me about that.

The thought was a pinch in a numb place. Gran and Dad. Both gone.

I should get up and pee, I thought, and then darkness swallowed me. I dreamed of Gran’s owl, moonlight edging its feathers as it winged through blackness. A fuzzy sense of danger enfolded me, but I was too tired to care.

And that was how I arrived at the Schola.

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Betrayals (Strange Angels Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 238 reviews.
cbhorsefan More than 1 year ago
Usually sequels are equal to the depth of the original story and others are worse, but this sequel was better than the first adn I couldn't put it down! I had to force myself to to get things done, but I could have read all of it in one sitting! It's more intense, exciting, edgy, and draws you! I would definitely recommend this book! It was awesome and you need to read it too!
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
The quick paced danger doesn't stop in this sequel to Strange Angels. Dru is still a kick-ass chick and fighting for her life. We start off right where we left off in Strange Angels. Dru has been taking to a Schola in hopes of being kept safe, but she has a new mission which is to help Christophe figure out who is Betraying the Order. The school is refusing to teach or train her, and she feels as if everyone, but Graves, could be lying to her. In a school filled with Wulfen and Djamphir, the danger has only just begun for Dru. In this second installment, Dru is in constant shuggle with a few things. She's unsure who to trust, she hates seeing the Wulfen treated like low-class, she's starting to feel the effects of being svetocha, and she's starting to feel her heart being pulled in two directions. Dru is constantly faced with danger and it never let's up in Betrayals. The boys are back in full as well. With new additions :)! Christophe is still the blue-eyed savior and protector, while Graves is still Dru's safe spot and her best friend. Also she's gets a gang of Wulfen, whom I love! I really liked shanks and dibs. I thought their characters were fabulous additions to the series! I also really like Ash, can't wait to read more about him. I'm so happy the romance is finally starting to pick up. Not that the book needs it, believe me the action will keep your eyes glued to the page. But, I'm a girl that likes some smut and finally in Betrayals, Dru is starting to struggle with her heart and her two boys. Overall good book, and now I'll be moving onto Jealously!
EllaAngelus More than 1 year ago
In the sequel of Strange Angels, Dru and Graves arrive at the place Cristophe lead them to: the Schola. You'd think that, since it's a place to study and learn and Dru apparently it's crucial and extremely rare and the only girl at the school, she'd get to study and train, right? Wrong. However, Graves gets all the school treatment there is. Now, I have to say I struggled a bit in the beginning, since not much was happening.. You'll see Dru change a lot throughout this book. From the first one, we know her as a very resourceful girl, not depending on anyone because that would mean weakness. Here, however, she keeps thinking someone will come to her rescue and I didn't really like her becoming like that. Graves goes through some changes as well - thanks to his new self - he gets to be a lot more confident and strong, more like an alpha male - go Graves! -. Cristophe is charming as usual, no change there and again, very helpful to Dru and Graves, despite all the 'is he bad is he good' situation that's starting to rise. The love triangle between them starts to take shape in this book, Dru struggling between the fiery, mystery choice or safe, reliable one. Eventually though, she does make a choice, but since it's a YA book, I'm pretty sure she'll make up her mind plenty of times. One thing I absolutely love in this series is the description when someone's badly wounded, the atmosphere and the tension Lili St. Crow builds. I swear to God, whenever Dru gets hurt, I feel all the pain that she feels. So please, Dru, stay safe for my sake. Even though the book only started to get interesting in the end, I'm really looking forward to reading the third book in the series and see how the story grows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED Betrayals! I thought Strange Angels was pretty good/descent...but Betrayals was incredible. I did not want to put this book down. My heart was racing right along with Dru's. St Crow does an absolute fabulous job of allowing the reader to relate to and empathize with Dru. She mixes the right amount of toughness and vulnerability to make these characters seem real, instead of the typical fearless, superhero type. It makes them seem so real. St Crox's ingenius writing is a perfect combination of keeping mysteries and unknowns with perfectly timed revelations and insights. With one answered question comes several unanswered ones and even though at times it was maddening it made this book irrestible.If you liked Strange Angels then you will love Betrayals. If you're someone like me who wasn't absolutely blown away by Strange Angels give Betrayals a try...I can't imagine anyone being disappointed!!!
SamanthaMarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The sequel to Strange Angels, in which we meet Dru, a teenage hunter of things that go bump in the night. In this book, she and her friend Graves, who has just been bitten by a werewolf, have been sent to safety by Christophe. Christophe is a contact of her dead father and a half breed vampire, or djampir. The school they are sent to is a school for other teenage djampir and werwulfen, but the school is not as safe as it first appears. Someone within the Order is a traitor and is trying to kill Dru. I liked this book even better than the first one. It might be because as Dru learns more about what she calls the Real World, so does the reader. I feel like I have an idea of what's going on now, which is helpful for following a story. This one has a really good cliffhanger at the end, which makes me very eager to see the third book come out soon!
Tynga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fast-paced, action-packed, full of mystery and hidden secrets, you won't be able to put that book down!Betrayals is the second engagement in the Strange Angels series and while I liked the first book, I LOVED the second book.First book ends when Dru gets to the Schola and the second books picks where we left off, Dru is in a Schola full of delinquent djamphir and wulfen teenage boys, and even though Christophe promised she would be safe there, something is wrong.Teachers won't let her learn fighting tactics, they won't teach her and explain her anything about the whole wulfen/djamphir/suckers/svetocha community and she finds it rather odd.This book is all about mysteries and lies, secrets from the past and.. betrayals =PI was really pleased with the characters in that book, Strange Angel kinda fell short for me in that department, but not this time around! Christopher is awesome, even though he isn't present very often he always makes a big impression. The wulfen and djamphir boys also have very interesting personalities, and different opinions and reactions toward Dru. Also Graves grows a lot in that book, he really isn't the skinny goth-boy anymore while Dru loose her tough girl facade to reveal a wounded and scared girl.I had a very hard time put the book down because you really want to know more, and even after finishing the book I still feel that way. My questions aren't answered and it's killing me!I want to know what's the entire deal with Christophe, how does he relate to Dru's mom? What's going on within the order? Why is Dru so special? Hopefully Jealousy (June 2010) will answer those questions!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Picking up precisely where Strange Angels left off, the opening of the second installment finds Dru and Graves deposited unceremoniously on the doorstep of the Schola where they are supposedly to find training and assistance. Since this is a series, you probably already guessed that that doesn't happen. Dru continues to struggle with her memories and the physical manifestations of her half-vampire heritage. An action-packed sequel, but if you're looking for resolution, you won't find it here. Dark and dangerous, indeed!
AverysBookNook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was so looking forward to this book. I was entirely captured by Dru, Graves and Christophe and I could not wait to see how the characters futures played out, though I was somewhat disappointed with this book.I don't often have difficulties understanding what is happening in the plot lines of stories, however, I must admit that I did have some difficulties fully understanding the plot lines of this story. I believe that what I had the most difficulties wrapping my head around was that throughout the book Dru was often drifting in and out of consciousness, therefore I found it somewhat hard to know what was actually happening occuring versus what was playing out in her head during these times. I had to read the ending a couple of times in order to fully grasp everything.Furthermore, I was somewhat disappointed with Dru. I feel like she was a much stronger character in the first novel, whereas in this novel she was a complete puddle. I can understand that if someone were to find out that their life is based on lies and what doesn't seem plausible (ie. zombies, vampires, etc.) becomes a real and everyday occurance, they would have difficulties handling and accepting it. However, Dru's day to day life was never quite normal before she learned of her true identity. She was quite aware of the Real World beforehand and therefore I expected her to kind of roll with the punches as she learned more about her self and her heritage, however during this novel I found that the more she learned about the Real World, the more she holed up in herself, almost fading away, becoming an entirely clique/ stereotypical girl, always crying and relying on the men in her life to look after her.Regardless, I really loved how the relationship of Dru and Graves played out and I loved the new introduced characters, Shank, Samuel, and so forth. I only wished that Christophe was more prevalent in the novel.
lizard_698959 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much better than the first. I'm hoping that the love triangle will fully bloom in the 3rd. I was so happy with the end of this book compared to the last one that I'm sure I will be reading the next. You learn so much more about the characters pasts that lead them to where they are now
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this second book of the series, Dru has discovered that she is a special kind of female part-vampire. She has been placed in a special school where she should be safe, but someone has given away her location, and she is being hunted by the Nosferatu.
Allizabeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Damn, this was a good read! Just as fast paced and amazing as the first book in the series. Can't wait to read the next book!!!
abigatewood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this series!!!! Graves is definitely my favorite character and I love how we get to watch him come out of his shell. I also like how we get to learn along with Dru about the Real World that she thought she knew but turned out to be much bigger and badder than she ever imagined. With death and mayhem every couple of chapters, it is definitely an action-packed ride that will draw you in and not let you go until the very last page.
Mardel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an excellant sequel to Strange Angels.Dru and Graves continue their journey (growing up and trying to stay "safe"). Dru and Graves are taken to a school for wayward wulfen and dhampirs. Things aren't what they expected. They're not sure who to trust. Dru isn't even sure if she can trust Christophe, the dhampir who helps her and Graves at during the last part of Strange Angels. There is some creepy/spooky stuff going on in this book. Dru is experiencing her own changes, as well as having to deal with the grief of losing her father, and all her other relatives. Graves is also going through changes, learning what being a loup-garou means.Lili St. Crow's writing is excellant, gritty and at the same time lyrical. I always enjoy her books. Her characters are full of proper teen angst (but too much) as teen agers are, and they are also being forced to grow up fast. What I like about Dru and Graves is they aren't perfect. They are two awkward, social misfit teens forced into extraordinary situations. They act up, feel rage, feel awkwardness - everything we would probably feel as awkward teens. Lili St. Crow has done a great job of capturing the spirit, rage, angst and awkwardness of strong willed teenager. Brings back memories of my teenhood.
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phil831 More than 1 year ago
great Sequel, loved how the characters  grew into their powers and evolved.
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Loved this book. I couldnt put it down until i finished.
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