In this paranormal world, her death is just the beginning…
All I wanted for my seventeenth birthday was a fun night out. But when a knife-wielding psycho attacks my best friend, of course I try to stop him.
Take it from me, a knife through the heart isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Apparently, neither is death.
Instead of pearly gates, I wake up alive and ensnared in a witch’s curse with twelve paranormals known as the Outcasts—including the inhumanly beautiful, totally-hates-my-guts vampire Jasper. Supposedly, an ancient prophecy says the thirteenth Outcast will be the one to break our curse.
That means me. Lucky number thirteen.
Between attempting to control my unstable new magic, figuring out what the deal is with broody Jasper, and learning more about the Outcast’s prophecy, it becomes clear that I’m a target. A dangerous paranormal knows about my connection to the prophecy and wants me dead. Only this time, dead means dead.
There’s only one thing to do: I’ve got a destiny to fulfill.
It’s Riley’s 17th birthday. Dragged by her best friend Iris, they go to celebrate at a fair, but things go wrong when Iris is attacked by a psychopath and Riley dies defending her. What a start, right? Literally, the book begins like this …
This beginning also makes it possible to immediately elucidate Riley’s personality. She’s overly funny and sarcastic, even when she’s literally dying.
My hair was the kind of fiery red that made me think God had turned the saturation up to eleven on his divine Photoshop.
After her “death”, Riley finds herself in front of some witches who choose her and turn her into an Outcast, the thirteen one and, therefore, the last and the one destined to fulfill the prophecy and break the curse.
“A person often meets their destiny on the road they took to avoid it,” Jasper said.
I looked up at him, confused. “What?”
“Jean de la Fontaine. French poet. I do read, you know,” he said, arching an eyebrow.
The Outcasts were paranormal beings, who were about to die and were selected by the witches. Why? Nobody knows ?. Their curse consisted of surviving, but being unable to be seen or interact in any way with their loved ones.
The other paranormal races, mainly divided into the Deathless (vampires), Shifters (like werewolves) and Horde (race of the undead, specters), only respected the Outcast because they were protected by their curse, but they hated that they were not with their respective races. In particular Jasper, the vampire, had been tried to be recruited by the Deathless on unspeakable occasions, even offering him leadership. The other paranormal races, separated mainly into the deathless, shifters, and undead, only respected the Outcasts for being protected by their curse, but hated that they were not with their respective races. In particular Jasper, the vampire, had been tried to recruit by the deathless on unspeakable occasions, even offering him leadership.
I knew what this was. This was a hallucination. I’d gone totally bonkers, and my dream guy and my nightmares were colliding into some freakish collab from Hell.
Jasper is a typical vampire, long black hair, red eyes, te body of a model, eternal youth, bad boy facade… with motorcycle included, and he does not feed on blood, but on magic (I have never found sexy that your vampire boyfriend sucked your blood, unless something poisonous bit you ?). Literal he couldn’t be more perfect, help me ?. I’m sure at some point they’ll walk into his room and he’s going to have a guitar (as Riley says, not complaining).
I hurried down to the garage beneath the Loft to find Jasper straddling a motorcycle, playing with the straps of a helmet.
I paused. The guy had enhanced speed and strength and yet apparently had one of these sitting around in the garage.
Not that I was complaining…
Sorry, back to the story, Jasper was the first Outcast. His main mission is to keep others safe at all costs, including Riley. However, the fact that she is a human and the weight of saving everyone from the curse is on her shoulders, makes Jasper not the most pleasant person on the planet at the beginning, less if Riley is not able to spend a minute without following one of her “brilliant” ideas ?♀️.
“I’m either of those things. Aren’t the Fae, like, perfect-looking?”
“No, you’re definitely not Fae,” Jasper agreed.
That was it, I was going to kill him.
Lukas, leader of the Shifters (who * mini spoiler alert *, does not fall in love with Riley, thank god. Sorry, Twilight trauma) is obsessed with power, and sees in Riley, the latest Outcast, a goal that he will not leave escape. Therefore, the Outcast must succeed in solving the prophecy, train the powers of the “not so human” Riley, keep the paranormals at bay, and not die… at least not die permanently.
“Very brave, girl. You’ve got some spine to you. I’ll enjoy breaking it.”
I was very excited to read this book. First, the synopsis sounds amazing. But also for two other reasons. First, because I have followed Sean Fletcher for quite some time and had not had the opportunity to read any of his books, and second, because the protagonist is a teenage woman and I was very curious about how Sean would bring her to life. I must say he got quite good results, but it’s interesting that Riley is a lot more… hands-on than most female leads from female authors I’ve read.
The other characters are amazing too, but if I start talking about all of them it will take too long. So I will keep at that they are wonderful, complex and with different personalities. And with these three scenes of Sienna, Sawyer and Leon, to give a taste of each and because they are too good not to mention them:
“You’ve got some pretty good moves. I wouldn’t mind watching you work.”
“Sienna!” I hissed. “Fight him, don’t flirt with him!”
“Sawyer,” Sienna said gently. “Be polite.”
Sawyer appeared to mull over this concept of “politeness” before nodding. “Please, continue telling me things. I’ll pretend I don’t already know them.”
I nearly burst out laughing when I saw him. “Dude, really?” I teased.
Leon finished clipping his helmet and strapping on the tiny goggles over his eyes. Then he somehow maneuvered himself onto an electric scooter that looked comically small for him.
“You laugh, but mine’s planet-friendly, you gas-guzzling Neanderthal,” Leon said.
Each of them is totally realistic. The world-building is also excellent. Basically it happens in a normal city, but the descriptions are perfect, they are not excessive, but they allow to visualize the scene very clearly.
Honestly when I was finishing the book I was wondering if it deserved 5 stars or should I lower it. Apparently the book did not like my doubts because I felt like it slapped me in the face with the ending, forcing me to keep the 5 stars and leave it among my favorites ?. More than a cliffhanger, the end is a turn of events of those, in truth I never saw it coming.
Bye bye ?
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