Bookburners: The Complete Season 1

Bookburners: The Complete Season 1

NOOK BookOriginally presented serially in 16 episodes, this omnibus collects all installments of Bookburners Season One into one edition. (eBook - Originally presented serially in 16 episodes, this omnibus collects all installments of Bookburners Season One into one edition.)

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Overview

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.

Originally presented serially in 16 episodes, this omnibus collects all installments of Bookburners Season One into one edition.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682101483
Publisher: Serial Box
Publication date: 01/24/2017
Series: Bookburners , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 648,314
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Max Gladstone has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone.
Mur Lafferty is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur.
Brian Francis Slattery is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity.
Before joining the Bookburners, Margaret Dunlap wrote for ABC Family's cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy's Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe.
Brian Francis Slattery is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity.

Read an Excerpt

Sal Brooks would have described herself in a police report as early thirties, female, brown hair, five nine, exhausted, borderline breakdown case, shaking hands, haunted eyes. Then she’d have deleted everything after “nine” and continued with the details of the incident. In this case: Forensic analysis of the museum theft yielded an Astoria address. Arriving on the scene with warrant in hand, Detective Collins and I were fired upon from the window by a white male, late forties. After a brief exchange of fire, Detective Collins forced the door. Behind the door—

Sal set her badge and gun on her bureau and gripped the first two fingers of her left hand. Her stomach ran a floor routine even the Russian judge would give full marks.

She’d seen blood before, and bodies. The severed fingers in the ashtray on the coffee table in Astoria that afternoon . . . those were worse.

They’d yield prints, at least. Which would not help her sleep tonight.

Her cell phone rang. Perry. She didn’t pick up.  The ringing stopped before the call forwarded to voice mail, then started again. Still him.

“Perry, this isn’t a good time,” was what she started to say, but she didn’t get halfway through her brother’s name before Hurricane Perry struck shore.
“Sal, thank you, thank you, thank you for picking up. I’m so glad, it’s wonderful to hear your voice, I missed you, how’re things, how long has it been anyway, can I come over, like, now?”

“It’s been a month.” She thumbed a gap in her blinds. The sidewalk under her window was bare, and the street almost empty. Red Toyota pickup, Honda Civic, garbage, two young guys staggering home after drinking off a Thursday night. Thank God. The last time she’d heard Perry talk like this, he was on the run from some crazy scenester drama and hadn’t waited for her permission to come over, just called her from the sidewalk in the rain and looked up, dripping, with that hangdog John Cusack look she knew he practiced in the mirror. “Since the last time you were in trouble.”

“It’s nothing big, Sal, I promise, nothing you should worry about, just, you know, internet stuff, and then I started arguing with my roommates and you know people can get crazy sometimes, like, crazy. It’s not the same thing as last month, I swear, I just need a place to be, you know. I’d get a hotel if I could.” If he had money for a hotel.

She peeked out her corner window just to be sure. He wasn’t down there either. “I’ve had a very long day, Perry.”

“I know, I know, every day’s a long day for you, I’m so sorry, but I just kind of need a place to rest for a little while, and I did apologize for last month, and I sent you flowers.”

“David still isn’t returning my calls.”

“You deserve better than a guy like that, a guy who doesn’t understand the importance of family.”

“David has a huge family. He’s a good guy. He just doesn’t like being kicked out of bed because my kid brother’s locked himself out of his apartment. That was a good thing, emphasis on the was. And the flowers you sent were fake.”

“Better that way, they don’t die, right? And it wasn’t just that I locked myself out. And anyway I’m improving, I mean, you don’t have anyone over now. Do you?”
Her eyes narrowed. She glanced out each window again. “Where are you?”

“What do you mean?”

She realized she could hear his voice twice: once through the phone, and once from the hall.

Sal marched from her bedroom past kitchen and living room to the door. She unbolted the bolt, unchained the chain, and pulled the door open.

Perry was less wet than she’d last seen him, at least. One hand pressed an oversized Star Trek phone to his ear. He wore a dirty tan trench coat, open, over a ratty black T-shirt with three pixelated hearts on the front and a fourth half-full, and jeans torn at the knee—from his nervous habit of clawing them while he worked on his computer, rather than from wear. His other hand held a large rectangular parcel wrapped in more T-shirts and duct tape, which he waved at her, then stuck under his arm, and waved again with an empty hand.

He deployed John Cusack version 1.2.

She clicked her phone shut.

He started warming up John Cusack version 1.7.

She sighed, and smiled, and hugged him. “Come in, doofus.”

 

#

He set up in the living room, and she put water in the kettle.  “Do I want to know why you're here?”

“Thank you so, so, so much.” He set the parcel on her living room table and undid the duct tape. “It’s not dangerous, I mean, I’d tell you if it were, you know, but I got into a fight with the roomies over a project we’re working on together, sort of, and I want to make sure I’m right before I go home. Just need some time to work on this thing myself. Bunch of posers. Don’t know Altaic from Aramaic.” He unwrapped the T-shirts layer by layer, each silk-screened video game reference worse than the last.

“I get that one,” she said. “It’s the, what, the game with the dysentery. Why all the T-shirts?”

“Sal, do you have any idea how old this thing is?” He folded a Mario shirt back to reveal a thick tome bound in pale leather, with gold wire on the spine. The pages’ ragged edges were dyed blood-red. Sal remembered severed fingers in an Astoria ashtray, and her stomach made a second pass at the floor routine.

“No?”

“Old, and I mean old. I shouldn’t be handling it without gloves.”

The kettle cried, and Sal followed its protest to the kitchen. “You should get new roommates. You fight more with those guys than I ever have with an ex. Even Jeremy.” She returned with two mugs of coffee.

“It’s just professional differences, I mean, we’re working on big problems, borderline intractable, arguments get heated. There are different strategies about how to approach the artifact. Aiden, you know, roommate Aiden with the crush on you, he wants to scan the whole thing for word frequency analysis, which just seems patently silly, the codex form factor suggests it’s supposed to be read, like by people, and anyway Aiden’s security protocols are hella lax, which matters when you’re under surveillance.” He took a sip, made a face. “Is this instant?”

“Wait. Surveillance?”

“Todd says it’s the Bookburners, that’s why they wanted the book out of the house, which is just so dumb—if the Bookburners were after me, how would I have even made it here?”

He set his hand on the book’s cover. Sal hadn’t noticed before how the leather was discolored: most of it matched Perry’s skin, but a crimson bloom spread beneath his fingers. She heard a sound she couldn’t name: a footfall, maybe, or a whisper, very soft. Goose bumps chased goose bumps up her arms.

“Perry, who are the Bookburners? Do you think someone’s following you?”

“I thought you didn’t want to know.”

She leaned over the couch, over his shoulder, and checked through the blinds. Street still bare. Red Toyota pickup. Honda Civic. Garbage. E-Z Carpet Cleaner van.

“Please, Sal. They would have nabbed me on the way. They did not. Ergo, I wasn’t followed.”

“What the hell is going on?”

Someone knocked on her door.

“Shit,” Perry said.

“Jesus Christ, Perry.” She grabbed her phone off the living room table. “Who is that?”

“Aiden. Probably.”

“Mister Brooks?” The man on the other side of the door was unquestionably not Aiden—too old, too sure, too calm. An accent Sal couldn’t place twined through his words. “Mister Brooks, we’re not here to hurt you. We want to talk.”

“Shit,” Perry repeated, for emphasis.

Sal ran to her bedroom and returned with her gun. “Who are you?”

“I’m looking for Mister Brooks. I know he’s in there.”

“If he is, I doubt he’d want to see you.”

“I must talk with him.”

“Sir, I’m a police officer, and I’m armed. Please step away from the door.”

“Has he opened the book?”

“What?” She looked into the living room. Perry was standing now, holding the book, fingers clenched around the cover like she’d seen men at bay clutch the handles of knives. “Sir, please leave. I’m calling 9-1-1 now.” She pressed the autodial. The line clicked.

“Stop him from opening the book,” the man said. “Please. If he means anything to you, stop him.”

 “Hello. This is Detective Sally Brooks,” and she rattled off her badge number and address. “I have a man outside my apartment who is refusing to leave—”

Something heavy struck the door. Doorjamb timbers splintered. Sally stumbled back, dropped the phone, both hands on the pistol. She took aim.

The door burst free of the jamb and struck the wall. A human wind blew through.

Later, Sal remembered slivers: a stinging blow to her wrist, her gun knocked back against the wall. A woman’s face—Chinese, she thought. Bob haircut. Her knee slammed into Sal’s solar plexus and she fell, gasping, to the splinter-strewn carpet. The woman turned, in slow-motion almost, to the living room where Perry stood.

He held the open book.

His eyes wept tears of blood, and his smile bared sharp teeth.

He spoke a word that was too big for her mind. She heard the woman roar, and glass break. Then darkness closed around her like a mouth.

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