All of us at MKB are super excited about our January Book of the Month - The Demon Trappers: Forsaken. This is edgy, gripping and most importantly - it FINALLY shows that girl heroines can be feisty and hold their own (eat your heart out Bella!). Here's author Jana Oliver's favourite passage.
It took the better part of an hour of skulking around the parking garage to finally locate the fiend in question. As they’d hiked through the multistory concrete structure, Beck remained on guard the entire time. It felt weird trapping with him but she had to admit she wasn’t afraid.
He can handle anything. Her dad had taught him well. ‘Not quite what ya thought trappin’ would be?’ Beck asked. It sounded like Harper’s question, except there was no malice in it.
‘I figured it’d be more exciting. Less hiking, for one.’ She’d managed to keep up with Beck, but it had been a struggle with her sore thigh. ‘I’ve never seen a Pyro.’
‘Evil critters. They love fire. It fascinates ’em.’
‘Like Fireman Jack.’
‘Yeah, ’cept he doesn’t go around settin’ ’em.’ Beck did a quick one-eighty, surveying the area around them. ‘It won’t be out in the open on the top deck, so this floor has to be it.’
‘Glad to hear it. All this incline stuff isn’t feeling good on the leg.’
He shook his head like he’d been stupid. ‘I’m sorry, girl. I didn’t think of that. Ya wanna wait in the truck?’
Did he just apologize? That had to be a first.
‘I’m good,’ she said, ignoring the jittery muscles and the cramping as best she could.
Beck scrutinized the area with wary anticipation. ‘Ya need to stay behind me. If this goes wrong, run,’ he ordered.
‘Like if this thing gets a couple cars burnin’.’
Exploding gas tanks. Not good.
‘Hold this, will ya?’ He handed over his duffel bag. It was so heavy she nearly dropped it.
‘Careful! There’s spheres in there.’
‘You could have warned me it weighs more than I do,’ she groused.
‘Ya need to build yourself up, girl. Only way to a full trapper’s bag.’
Muscles. Right. Just what I need. ‘Why don’t you pack lighter?’ she asked.
‘Ya need all the gear with ya.’
‘Why? You know this is a Two.’
‘Higher level demons can act like the lesser grades. Ya think you’re trappin’ a Three and it turns out to be a Four and if ya don’t have the right equipment that’s a LLM.’
‘Life. Limiting. Mistake.’ He stripped off his leather jacket and tossed it on a nearby car. He was wearing a Take No Prisoners camo T-shirt underneath. It was looser than most guys would wear.
He wasn’t looking to show off his muscles, but making sure he had plenty of room to move. Picking up a white sphere, Beck began his search. Luckily there weren’t as many cars as on the floors below. A sparking noise came from underneath an old SUV. It was one of the big monsters, the kind that no one would buy any more what with gas running ten or more a gallon. It was originally black, but now it was covered in a fine layer of dust as if it’d been abandoned here.
Something red, like a giant rubber band snaked out of the tailpipe.
As it reached the concrete floor, it took shape. It looked alot like an eight-inch-tall red rubber doll with horns and a forked tail. It grinned a mouthful of sharp teeth, then snapped its fingers. Brilliant red-gold fire shot out of its palms.
‘Trapper,’ it hissed.
‘Howdy, demon. Nice flames,’ Beck replied.
A second later a bolt of fire went streaking towards him like it had come from a military flame thrower. He deftly stepped aside and the bolt exploded on the concrete next to him. It’d happened so fast Riley hadn’t had time to react. If Beck was frightened, he certainly wasn’t showing it.
‘Roast you, trapper!’ the fiend hissed, snapping its fingers again. Then it caught sight of Riley.
Before her companion could shout a warning, a bolt came straight at her. She shrieked and cowered as the flames raced over the top of her. There was a sizzling sound as they struck a concrete support. The scorch mark was four feet wide.
Holy crap. Now she was scared.
The next fireball went straight at Beck. He weaved, lost his footing on a patch of oil and fell to one knee. The sphere in his right hand shattered and magically charged water burst forth in a rolling wave across the floor. In a few seconds ice crystals sheeted across the concrete like frost on a window pane in deep winter. Beck struggled to his feet and quickly backed off to avoid being trapped in the rapidly freezing pond.
‘I need another one!’ he called out.
With a high-pitched cackle, the fiend hopped on to a nearby Honda and began to fire incendiaries at the unarmed trapper.
‘Throw a sphere!’ Beck shouted, dodging and ducking to avoid the flames.
Riley pulled one out without looking, about to dash it to the ground.
‘Not that one!’ Beck cried out as an arc of flame caught him. ‘Get a white one!’
White. She put the duffel bag on the ground and frantically rummaged through the contents. Beck cried out as another bout of flame got too close. The cackling fiend was playing with him.
‘White!’ she shouted. ‘Got it.’ She hauled back to dash it on the floor of the garage.
‘Up! Throw the thing up!’ Beck called out and then rolled between two cars to avoid another burst of flame.
‘Up?’ She took a huge breath and underhanded the glass ball straight up towards the concrete above them.
The demon turned towards her, igniting a massive fireball on its palm.
The sphere struck the garage ceiling an instant before the demon set the fireball loose. Beck yelled something, but by then it was too late.
Pure white light slammed into her eyes, blinding her.
Stumbling backwards, she crashed into a support and landed hard.