So I was one of the lucky few to get ahold of an eARC of Vicki Keire’s latest novella, Worlds Burn Through. First, the blurbage:
Chloe Burke dreams of creatures who walk through fire and a strange boy who saves them both.
Her parents convinced her long ago that the dreams are the result of a childhood fever, but she can’t shake the feeling that some of it is real, most especially the boy.
Beneath the dreams lies a deeply buried reality: Chloe and her family are refugees from Annwyn, once a formidable techno-agrarian civilization now burned to ash. Years before, a handful of her world’s survivors escaped to present-day Earth after their world was razed by the Abandoned, powerful elemental creatures who burn through world after world in an endless cycle of consumption and destruction.
Using a combination of alien technology and indigenous elemental magic, the refugees sealed off their burning world from modern-day Earth by binding one of the Burke bloodline to the portal. To keep her safe, Chloe’s parents hide her as a normal teenager in Atlanta, with no knowledge of her true birth or purpose. But the Abandoned slowly infiltrate anyway, brutally murdering everyone who knows their ultimate goal: to reopen the portal and let more of their kind through.
Eliot Gray is a Guardian, the last member of a powerful warrior tradition, kept isolated from his adopted world by the uncle who trained him. Unknown to his blood-bound Ward except in dreams, he must convince her that not only is her life in danger, but to trust him as well. Enraged by her family’s lies and grieving over her losses, Chloe must face the truth about her origins as she becomes the Abandoned’s next target. Together they journey to Gray’s Landing, the tiny town sparsely populated by refugees from her world, in order to protect the portal hidden there.
But just across the river from Gray’s Landing is Raven’s Ward, an industrial wasteland of a town determined to expand no matter what the cost. When Alexander, troublesome heir to the vast Ravenwood fortune, returns home after getting kicked out of school, he finds that his power-hungry father has strange new business partners who are determined to make Gray’s Landing their own. Unsettled by the changes he sees in his family and home since their arrival, Alexander vows to do everything in his power to keep these bizarrely dangerous partners from growing stronger.
Can Chloe and Eliot keep their adopted world safe from annihilation, while Alexander fights the Abandoned in his own home? Will the secrets buried in the past’s deepest, darkest ashes destroy yet another world?
Now I love Vicki Keire’s work. I fell in love with her Angel’s Edge trilogy last year and have been eagerly awaiting its conclusion (she assures me it’s coming right after The Chronicles of Nowhere finishes up, in case you were wondering), so when the chance arose to take a gander at the first novella in the Chronicles of Nowhere trilogy, I jumped and might have gone through several iterations displayed by students who want to get the teacher’s attention.
The novella did not disappoint. Despite being short, it packs a wallop, building fast and intricate characterization and setting up a fantastic situation that manages to take a few familiar genre tropes as a foundation to orient the reader and build them into something wholly unique. Which is to say that it hits the ground running on the first page and doesn’t stop. I like Chloe. I like Elliot (though the spelling of his name makes me twitch…there should be another t). And I want to know how she’s going to get them out of this hair-raising situation.
Plenty of readers might feel that this is a tease. To that, I say, hey, volume 2 comes out next month, so you don’t have long to wait. Volume 3 is the month after that and the whole thing will be released in totality in April.
That would be the marketing musings part of this post. This notion of breaking the whole up into three parts (which are, in themselves, complete, despite what detractors impatient for the rest of the story might say) and releasing them back to back to back prior to the whole is intended to really play up on the changing market with ereaders. We want stuff and we want it now, and it is an intriguing concept. I’ll be very interested to see how this tactic plays out as a means of launching a new title/series. Give them enough to hook them–then make them wait…just a little while (not long enough to have forgotten the story or characters), before feeding them the next installment. It’s meatier than a serial but faster than a normal series of release dates. My gut says that it’s a method that ought to work quite well.
Anyway, Worlds Burn Through is available:
And you can find Vicki down here: