AUTHOR: Steven J. Hanton
AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult
GENRE: Dark Fantasy (Afro-Latino Own Voices)
WORD COUNT: 78,000
To resurrect her brother, seventeen-year-old Daniela becomes one of Death’s Aspects: avatars of the Seven Deadly Sins tasked with killing immortals. But failing will transform her from hit-woman to target. KILL BILL meets FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST.
FIRST 250 WORDS:
As an Aspect of Death, I know exactly when I’m supposed to die. Down to the very second.
But standing at the top of the New York Times Building, I’m suddenly not so sure. Ambulance sirens below me whirl in my ears and a warm April breeze caresses my face. My lungs expand as I take in a breath. It feels strangely final.
No. I won’t die. And, to prove it to myself, I leap into the open air.
The rushing winds lash against me and rip my cheeks. My blood surges in my ears.
Why the hell do I always do stupid shit?
Terror constricts my throat. For a moment, I can’t breathe. But just as quickly, my adrenaline kicks in. Confidence surges beneath my skin.
“Look at the world, Dani! You run this!” I shout.
Screams from below interrupt my boasting. A kid points in my direction and yells for help. The people on the ground will probably be calling 911 soon. Gotta act fast.
“Ignore me,” I command them.
My voice strains in the gusts of air blowing around my face. They can’t hear me hundreds of feet down on the ground, but another Aspect perk is that they don’t need to. As long as I can see them, my commands work. And sure enough, people return to what they’re doing—buying street meat from sidewalk vendors, laughing with friends, taking pictures.
As I turn my head from the crowds, the howling of my inner demon starts.