Beware the Night
By: Jessika Fleck
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.
On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.
But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.
With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real–or dangerous lies.
He jumps. Despite knowing what he knows and despite his hands are tied, Vance jumps. He flails and sputters at the water’s surface.
The door, our window down the Offering Canal that leads to the Great Sea, is cranked closed. The ear-piercing scraping of metal on metal, overtakes the silent dome, accenting the small boy’s last moments.
Vance barely makes it past the edge of the island, his lifeless body carried by the current out to open water.
As the door closes and the canal drains, the crowd stands, applauding, praising the day’s Offering.
Forcing my eyes to swallow back tears, I stand out of respect, expectation, but can’t begin to bring my hands together. I scan the blurred faces across the dome from me, straining to find Nico. But it’s no use, there are too many to sift through.
This is the first Offering I’ve attended without him by my side in longer than I care to remember. I realize having Nico near had kept me calm. An empty hopelessness consumes me, the weight of the world, or maybe just that of a five-year-old boy, folds my chest in on itself.
I glance up toward the High Regent’s balcony to gauge his reaction. He’s vanished.
Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com.
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