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Read an Excerpt
The Tazavorn Series
By Sonya Weiss
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Sonya Weiss
All rights reserved.
Earth, in the year 2034.
If they knew, I was as good as dead. The thought jerked me awake. Heart pounding, I glanced around the room to see if my classmates were watching me.
They weren't, but the one who was watching me made my stomach clench with unease.
Riley West, head of the Probation Officers. I'd known him for years. But only from a safe distance.
He wore his wild black hair a little longer than the human boys in the class and had a strange symbol with burned edges on his biceps. He was the hottest Supernatural I'd ever seen in my life. Unlike me, he easily fit into the human world. His looks and his I-don't-give-a-damn attitude made him a popular source of gossip in the girls' bathroom.
He was the leaders' number one guy, a major rule-keeping badass because he was the son of Dacce, our king. By Supernatural law, he would assume the throne on his eighteenth birthday.
The fact that Riley watched me intently could only mean bad news. Had the leaders discovered that I was the one who'drescued and hidden some of the newly outlawed mixed-blood children? Or that I was the one giving information to the humans' FBI organization?
I hoped not, but it was this fear that had woken me. My mouth went dry. I wasn't worried about myself if I got caught. I was worried about what would happen to the children. Who would save them?
Shifting in my seat, I tried to get comfortable, but it was impossible. My back still hurt from the welts I'd received a week ago. My heart squeezed so painfully I thought it was about to break in half. The images of that day were frozen in my mind, and I still felt trapped in the horror of it all. The pleas ... the screams ... the futility as I'd tried to save the children from the edict designed to kill them. I still cried myself to sleep every night over the ones I hadn't been able to save. I had to fight to keep tears at bay now as I thought about it.
I started doodling madly to take my mind off the unknown reason why Riley was looking at me.
The teacher began to read excerpts from Romeo and Juliet in such an awful way that he slaughtered Shakespeare's greatest work. I tuned him out and kept doodling and worrying.
"Juliet Sawyer! Pay attention."
I stopped scribbling as Mr. Sands squeezed his excess ass — clad in too tight plaid red and yellow polyester pants that gave him a perpetual wedgie — through the row of desks to snatch my notebook and close it. He put it face down on my desk and stared at me.
"I asked who wanted to read the parts of Romeo and Juliet." His eyes were feverishly bright. Almost maniacal.
Not me. No way. I couldn't bear standing up in front of groups of people. It made my palms sweat and my heart race. I ducked my head, my hair swinging down to hide my face, hoping the teacher would take pity on me and go away. He didn't.
"Yes, Juliet Sawyer will read the part of Juliet. Now, who for her Romeo?" Mr. Sands looked around the room.
I darted a glance at Riley West to see if he was still watching me.
Mr. Sands saw the direction of my gaze and announced, "Riley West will read the part of Romeo."
I jerked my gaze to the teacher, then back to Riley. How freaking ironic was that?
Even if falling in love wasn't against the rules, with Riley West as Romeo, I'd be just as lucky as that Shakespearean heroine. Death would be my end credit, too.
"Juliet and her Romeo? If you'll make your way to the front?"
My cheeks warmed and I wanted to slide beneath the desk as the snickers of my classmates dotted the room. Behind the ugly glasses my father had made to camouflage my secret, I closed my eyes, needing inner calm, seeking to stay in control of my power.
The way I'd been taught by my parents.
Hold it in. One, two, three.
I gripped my pen hard enough to bend it and got an ink blotch on the palm of my hand. Opening my eyes, I tried to discreetly wipe the mess down the side of my jeans. While my peers kept laughing, Mr. Sands motioned us forward, waving his hand as if conducting an orchestra.
I bit down hard on my lip and tried to block the sound. Even though I had a greater purpose than wanting to fit in among the humans or the Supernaturals, being an outcast hurt.
"Romeo and Juliet, if you'll please come up to the front now?" The teacher tapped a copy of the book against his palm.
I remained seated, watching as Riley, my enemy as much as if we were truly a Capulet and a Montague, made his way to the front. I hated any kind of public speaking. Please don't let me make a fool of myself. I gave myself a mental kick. Pull it together, Juliet. I stood and moved to the front of the room. I would fake confidence well enough to do this. Everything was under control.
Then I looked into Riley's eyes.
They were an almost translucent blue, and peering into them made me feel as if the floor shifted. Hostility swam in their depths. Fear and anticipation waltzed together inside of me. I'd heard the rumors about him. He was without a heart. Without a conscience.
When I kept staring, Riley raised a questioning eyebrow. I quickly took another dog-eared copy of the book from the teacher, licked my lips, and read aloud, "Deny thy father and refuse thy name."
"You haven't been paying attention," Mr. Sands snapped and pointed to another portion.
Embarrassed, I searched for the part. Riley stopped my frantic page flipping and trailed his finger down the page. "Here."
I cleared my throat and started again. "Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself."
A boy in the front row made a rude comment, and Riley glared at him.
When the room was quiet, Riley read, "I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I'll be new baptis'd: Henceforth I never will be Romeo."
Mr. Sands approached us to show us what part to read next, and when he did, I got a weird feeling about him like I was in danger. Something in the teacher's eyes reminded me of a Ragespawn's eyes, an ancient enemy of ours, the Tazavorn species. I dismissed the thought as quickly as it came. That had to be impossible. Ragespawn lived only in our galaxy, not the human one. Surely the human authorities would not have granted asylum on Earth to our most vicious enemy.
Riley edged closer to the teacher, putting himself between Mr. Sands and me. "Back off," he said in a low, commanding voice.
The two locked eyes and Mr. Sand muttered, "Get out of my way."
A pulsating power as swift and deadly as a laser flew from the center of Riley's palm. The power zipped past the teacher to a speaker high on the wall.
A low creak sounded above Mr. Sands's head, and he quickly turned. The mounted speaker flew from the wall and knocked the teacher's copy of Romeo and Juliet from his hand, pinning it to the floor in a tangle of wires and a cloud of dust. Most of the dust settled on top of his scrub brush hair while some of it coated the white cement walls.
Silence reigned except for the ticking of the clock.
Mr. Sands's hands shook slightly, and he frowned, first at the yawning hole in the cement and then at me. Suspiciously. Like I'd caused the accident to happen. He took a step closer and pointed a finger at me, clenching and unclenching his jaw as he searched for what to say. Then he grabbed my arm tightly, his fingers biting into my flesh. I winced from the bruising grasp.
"Don't touch her." Riley used his shoulder to bump Mr. Sands and released another jolt of his power at the same time, forcing the teacher to take a quick step backward.
My heart stuttered. While the humans knew we had power, they weren't supposed to see it. Our leaders had sworn to the human authorities that we would not use our power against them. Another lie waiting to blow up in the humans' faces. The truth was the leaders didn't want the humans to witness our power. They were afraid it would be photographed and uploaded onto social media sites where the human authorities would analyze it and devise a way to conquer us when the war came.
"Juliet Sawyer!" Mr. Sands pulled the book from beneath the speaker with a grunt and dusted the cover off. He grabbed my arm again more painfully than before. "You're coming with me to the principal's office."
It would be easier if I went along with Mr. Sands for now. That way, if I had to use my power to defend myself, no human bystanders would be hurt.
"I'll kill you," Mr. Sands said, speaking low so that only Riley and I could hear him. His nasty breath wafted across my face.
Before I could react to the threat, Riley released a stronger jolt of power, and it wrapped around Mr. Sands.
His face paled, and his right arm flailed for the old metal desk, waving madly like it wasn't part of his body. His torso did a crazy twist and arch. He aimed again for a corner of the desk, missed, and sprawled out on the floor, his eyes stuck open and staring, mouth gaping and popping. The sound of wheezing filled the air. His face turned ashen.
One of the popular girls screamed, and her boyfriend jumped up to grab her in a hug, squashing her face against his letterman jacket.
"Oh, man, he's dead," Ethan Silver said, looking like he wanted to puke. He got up and ran to the door, then out into the hallway. His shoes squeaked like noisy exclamation points as he yelled for help in a high, girly voice.
The rest of us were statues, staring at the silent form of our teacher lying belly up like a gigantic dislodged mushroom top.
"Is he really dead?" another of the popular girls asked. She huddled into a group of her friends.
I hoped Mr. Sands wasn't dead. Death was twisted. Ugly. Death fractured a family. With missing pieces, fractions can never be made whole. I could still see the anguished face of my father, hear his final instructions as he'd gripped my arm before Death pulled him away. I clenched my teeth against the remembered hurt. My world had fallen apart. I'd walked around in shock for days, trying to handle my own pain, and yet, still be strong for Mom and my sister. Time hadn't dulled the pain. My insides were as shredded as if I'd swallowed a porcupine, and every breath I took stabbed me from within.
"Mr. Sands isn't dead yet." Riley's voice was low and impatient.
I tried to go to the teacher to see if I could help him, but Riley stopped me by grabbing my arm. Through the thickness of my sweater and shirt, the contact burned like a hot match to skin, and I didn't like the sensation.
"Is he going to die?" I asked. I brushed Riley's touch away. Unable to pull my attention away from the disturbing scene, I could only stare as the knots in my stomach tightened.
"Why did you do that to him?" I whispered.
"He was going to kill you."
I raised my eyes to his. "Kill me?" If that were true, Riley, my enemy, had prevented it? Confused, I said, "Why would he want to kill me?"
"I'll explain when I come to your house later."
My house? Why would he come to my house? This wasn't good. I frowned as I tried to make sure I kept what I was feeling — ice-cold fear — from showing on my face. Probation Officers rarely visited the home of common Supernaturals. What was going on?
"Why do you want to come over?" I asked without thinking, not using the humbleness a Supernatural of Riley's station called for in our world.
"Do you have something to hide?" he asked, his gaze searching my face intently. His eyes narrowed.
I was right. It was bad news. My throat ached as if I'd swallowed razor blades. I looked away, hoping to convince him. "I was curious." I softened my tone and then held my breath, waiting for his answer, but he didn't get a chance to respond.
Hot on the heels of Ethan, Principal Ellie Richards ran into the room. She was as thin as a praying mantis with tiny eyes that seemed to see in every direction at once. She wore her usual pencil skirt to cover her pipe cleaner legs.
Several teachers followed in her wake. They knelt down beside Mr. Sands, their voices buzzing together, bees in the educational hive.
"Ambulance should be ..."
"Don't try to move him."
The principal checked Mr. Sands's pulse, then stood and looked at the clock, then back at all of us. Twenty minutes remained until the final bell. Her chin bobbed when she said, "You're all dismissed."
Oblivious to the rumors flowing among our classmates, Riley walked toward the door of the classroom. When he neared the principal, she grabbed his arm with her abnormally long, thin fingers and spoke to him in a low, angry hiss. Her knuckles turned white, and the scraggly muscles bunched in her forearm.
Riley answered in an equally low voice, then jerked free from her grasp. She stared at the door to the hallway for a long moment after he disappeared and then swung her gaze to me.
Something reptilian flashed in her pencil thin black pupils. A hunger. She blinked and her pupils returned to normal.
I stumbled backward a step, not understanding what I'd seen, and accidentally dropped my history book. The thick book slid across the floor, zooming in front of three seats to land at her feet. She bent and picked it up, holding on when I tried to take it from her.
"Watch out, Juliet." Her voice, a slithering whisper, made my stomach clench. I knew she wasn't talking about the book.CHAPTER 2
The chilly November wind blew through the trees I passed on my way home from school with my human friends, Gordon and Mary. The gust scattered leaves and spun them over and over in a dance on their journey toward the ground.
A squirrel scampered.
A crow screeched.
Something was off.
Biting my lip, I turned my head to look over my shoulder at the wooded area a few blocks from my home. I strained to see into the closely gathered trees and thick underbrush but couldn't see anything. Or did I?
Was Riley following me? Was a Guard after me? Guards were the huge, beefy Supernaturals with more brute strength than brains. Sadistic creatures that delighted in torturing others, they were in charge of the Void, the prison with the walls that could absorb a Supernatural's power.
I spun back around fast and bumped into Gordon's shoulder. He gave me a quizzical look. Gordon had been my best human friend starting in third grade. Ever since hateful Mikey Lyons called me four eyes and shoved me face-first into a mud puddle. Gordon had defended me by punching Mikey in the nose. After that, he'd come to my house every day after school to teach me how to fight. Not that there had been the need for it. If I used my power, I could take care of myself.
But I didn't want Gordon or any other human to know about my power or my true purpose on Earth. That wasn't the kind of conversation I could spring on a human anyway. Not unless I wanted to end up in a psych ward doped to the gills.
I smiled reassuringly at him. Gordon flipped his dark hair out of his eyes. His familiar brown eyes questioned if I was okay, and when I nodded, he reentered his argument with our friend Mary over the best video game for serious gamers.
I saw movement from the corner of my eye, a dark shadow moving fast. The hair on the back of my neck rose, and I stared at the spot where I'd seen it. There was nothing there.
The Supernatural therapist my mom forced me to see after my father's death had blinked and twitched and said seeing things was common after a trauma. But the way she'd said it, nervously keeping her distance, made me wonder if she was afraid of me. I didn't blame her. I was afraid of me. Or of my power anyway. It was both my defender and possibly my executioner. I would be lucky to survive it.
We rounded the corner near my house, and Mary stopped talking mid-sentence.
Andrea, my cousin, waited for me on the swing on the wrap-around porch. She held one of the brown and white pillows that Mom had made up against her chest and flung it aside the second she saw us. She quickly straightened her clothes and flipped her hair.
The painfully awkward silence that followed was because both Mary and I knew Andrea was stalk-him-on-social-media crazy about Gordon. She'd accused me of being into him, but the thought made me laugh. Gordon and me? Double no. Gordon was like a brother, and we knew each other too well. I'd seen his pigsty room. It's kind of hard to have romantic feelings for a guy when you've seen his dirty underwear on the floor.
Excerpted from Revenge by Sonya Weiss. Copyright © 2015 Sonya Weiss. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Riley West was head of the Probation Officers and was watching Juliet Sawyer . Juliet had known Riley for years but only at a distance . Riley was a supernatural and son of King Dacce but Riley also fit in perfectly in the human world. Juliet had rescued and hidden some mixed blood children but was also giving information to the FBI. Falling in love was also against the rules. Juliet was an outcast , she didn’t fit with the humans or the supernaturals. The rumor was Riley was without a heart or conscience. Riley told Mr Sands- our teacher- to leave me alone. Then in a low voice Mr Sands threatened to kill him at the same time telling me he was taking me to the principal’s office. Riley used his power to stop Mr Sands from taking me. Then Mr Sands was dying. When I asked Riley why he stopped Mr Sands he told me Mr Sands was going to kill me. Juliet’s two human friends were Gordon and Mary and they walked home with Juliet. Gordon was Juliet’s absolute best human friend since third grade. Gordon came to Juliet's house to teach her how to fight and protect herself from bullies. Juliet and Riley’s planet had been destroyed twenty years ago by human exploration . Humans know of the supernaturals being on the earth . but the human government plots to destroy the supernaturals and the supernaturals plot and ready to destroy the humans. Even though Riley saved Juliet’s life he is very dangerous for her. Even more so when she finds she has feelings for him and he has a strong attraction to her. I did finish this book but was disappointed in it. I felt it could have been very good but a lot was going on yet not explained. Also it was ended in a cliffhanger and I absolutely hate cliffhangers.So I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I wanted to. I did like the plot of the story and I liked the characters especially Juliet and all she was trying to do also all the twists and turns she went through.
In a world where powers and abilities mean everything, Juliet must join the evil that wants to destroy her. Revenge is her goal, but she finds herself drawn to Riley…the son of one of the evillest men in leadership. The premise was amazing, it is exactly what I look for in a great read. There were super-naturals, “Romeo and Juliet” forbidden romance, and even an alien element. I liked the story but I didn’t find it overly engaging. I really wanted it to pull out a home run and I was invested enough to want that. In the end, I give Revenge 3.5 stars. I received this ARC copy of Revenge from Kensington Books - Lyrical Press in exchange for a honest review.
When I first jumped into Revenge, I thought maybe it was a sequel and I missed the world setup because it jerks you right into the story and drags you right along with Juliet, our protagonist. It might have been a smoother start if there was a smidge more world building to get the reader immersed, but there was enough to understand aliens are co-existing with humans on Earth, and there’s some mega tension going on. Juliet has been hiding her identity as an alien from the humans (although the aliens know she’s one of them) and garners the attention of Riley, the son of the alien king. And not in a good way…at least to begin with. One thing I loved about Juliet is her sympathy for the outlawed mixed-blood children. She risked tons to keep a few of them safe and held a bucket load of guilt over her head for not saving more. The alien king is a douchebag tyrant and not only kills the mixed-blood in cold blood, but is planning to destroy the humans. Top it all off with the fact that rumor has it Juliet’s recently killed rebel father murdered Riley’s mother and brothers. So yeah. There’s some tension. Especially since Juliet plans to assassinate the king. I also found it refreshing that she spoke her mind about issues instead of dancing around them and being all angsty. She’d ask point-blank about whatever she wanted to, which sometimes got her into trouble and threw Riley for a loop or two. Riley was awesome. Stuck between duty, his feelings, and “truth”, he tried really hard to do the right thing, which was difficult when the right thing wasn’t always crystal clear. He pushed Juliet just as hard as she pushed him, so they were a great couple. While there were spots that were a little confusing due to the sparse world building details, there was tons of action (and a forbidden romance!), and by the time I was 3/4 of the way through, I was thoroughly invested. And the ending! Gah! Cliffhanger alert, but I definitely want to see what Juliet and Riley do next.
WOW! This is so different to other books that I’ve read by this author but it is still an exceptionally enthralling and well written tale that I found a riveting page turner. Set in the future, where the Supernaturals live alongside humans after their world was decimated by human exploration, there are prophesies coming true, rebellions being orchestrated but you’re not quite sure by whom and dangers around every corner. The characters are complex, well developed and intriguing. The nature of the Supernatural political organisation, their monarchy and objectives are being manipulated to the detriment of peaceful coexistence, war is threatened and Juliet Sawyer is the one who is supposed to save both races. Riley West is the future leader and king of the Supernaturals - and his middle name is Romeo! You’ve probably guessed there’ll be a romantic interest between the two (who could resist a Romeo and Juliet romance?). However, there’s so much more to this story than simply romance. With political intrigue, double dealing, uncalled for attacks, murders, soldiers battling with orders to kill innocent bystanders, romance and so much more, this is a fight for life for all. The tension rises through the story as Juliet and Riley face escalating perils, including a double agent in their midst. Then there’s the dramatic cliffhanger ending, leaving me desperate to read the next story in this brilliant new series - I can’t wait to read the sequel but have no idea when it is coming out! Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.