This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The stillness of the night drags on, broken only by an occasional distant howl. In the middle of the forest, there is a house far away from the rest of the world. Inside, a little girl is sleeping soundly. When she is woken, she has no idea of what woke her: the house is silent. Perhaps the silence itself woke her.
She slips from her bed, throwing her quilt haphazardly to one side, and lightly sneaks out of her bedroom into the open hallway. “Hello?”
She pushes open the door to her father’s room with a creeeak. “Dad? Dad, are you sleeping?” She climbs up onto the bed...and it is empty. Her heart begins to beat rapidly as childhood’s greatest fears are realized; she is alone, and a pesky thing in the back of her small mind called instinct is whispering “Danger, danger!”
“Dad? Where are you?” she calls, walking into the house’s large living room. The curtains are pulled shut, but the door is slightly -- very, very slightly -- ajar. Slivers of silvery-white light snake their way through the crack and illuminate the house just enough for the child to see she is well and truly alone.
What could have happened to him, she thinks, out here in the middle of the forest? Terrifying thoughts come to mind, especially when she hears the cries of wolves...and the sounds of heavy footsteps in the woods. They’re coming closer. She pushes the door shut and opens up one curtain just a bit, peering out with frightened curiosity.
A few of the animals are slinking close to the house. Two, no, three, moving her direction in the way that hunting beasts do. The girl watches in frightened fascination. She’s lived in the wilderness all her life, so predatory animals are familiar to her. This isn’t the first time she’s seen wolves. But something is different about these: the way they move, for one. They move like men, never with all four feet touching the ground.
One of them breaks away from the others, coming still closer to the house. The girl is unable to take her eyes away. The beast walks right up to the window where she crouches, narrowing its eyes and growling. She shrinks back, and it stares intently at her. Studying her. There is a quality about it that seems almost human.
No, no “almost.” There is most definitely something human about it. Its hands are like human hands, and there’s just something about its eyes. Something familiar. The girl looks away, shuts the window, runs back to her room and pulls the blanket over her head, as any shaken child would do. She tries to sleep but can’t -- she’s haunted by the sight of the wolf, anxious over the whereabouts of her father, and scared of what might be out there with him.
When the sun’s come up again, she hears the door open. She runs to the front hallway and sees her father there in the doorway. He’s ragged, flustered, and dirty, half naked, with strands of his curly dark hair matted with sweat and something that looks like dried blood. “Dad!” she cries.
He looks surprised. “Sweetheart? How long have you been up? Is everything okay?”
“I woke up last night, Dad. You weren’t in the house, and I was scared, and....” She trails off, unable to tell him what she witnessed the night before. About the creature -- it was no wolf, of that she is now certain -- and the way it looked at her.
He kneels down to be on eye level with his daughter. “Hailee,” he says seriously, “there are strange things in this world, okay? If you saw something last night, I don’t want you to tell anyone. Someday I’ll explain it, someday when you...when it’s safe for you to know. Someday, this will all make sense. But for now, this is our little secret. Okay, my sweet? Can you do that?”
She nods, though she does not understand his words. “Okay. I can do that.”
He smiles, ruffling her hair. “That’s my girl.” As her dad stands up, she swears she sees his eyes flash, changing color. She swears for a second that his eyes are bright, shining gold.
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
noelia herrera: I could not stop reading this book. it was truly great and it caught my attention quick. there was some misspelled words and some misplaced. but overall, IT WAS FANTASTIC! great job. I recommended this book to all my family and friends.
the unedited writer: It's a guilty pleasure. The characters are brought to life and you find yourself loving them worrying for them and so on. The plot was serious but at the same time it had a light tone that didn't make you depressed as other drama genres. 5 stars for me
spec4huff: Thank you for creating this world. I am a 6'3" veteran that thinks himself tough. But the piece of literature you have created made me misty eyed on a number of occasions. I want a love like this. Thank you again, I would totally buy this book and hopefully the sequels to this ever enchanting lov...
diabolka: This book is a fascinating twist on mythology, fantasy and romance genre. The author has done a fantastic job combining Greek mythology with a modern day twist, tying in a plot that offers twists and turns that are both expected and unexpected. The hero, Ross, and heroine, Antara, are complex, ...
ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...
Pille: I have never read a ... werewolf/urban fantasy/any other genre ... story with this brutal honesty about kidnapping and mafia. It was a chilling experience but you also managed to write it as the best thriller and also give it a happy end. I must praise you for the amazing writing skills you have...
genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.