YA urban fantasy
When Sophie helps new-boy-at-school Hugh Kedoa, the last thing she expects is for him to claim he’s a Reddo, a being with infinite knowledge who can answer any question in the world. He offers her five answers in return for her kindness, but when Sophie finally takes his offer and asks her dearest question—does she have a true love?—Hugh can’t answer. So much for infinite knowledge.
Sure, the Kedoas believe something about Sophie’s phrasing stumped Hugh, but none of them can explain the strange connection that suddenly forms between her and Hugh. It doesn’t help that the more Sophie gets tangled in the Reddos’ world, the more guarded Hugh becomes around her. After she befriends the rest of the Kedoas, she learns that a power-hungry businessman with a vendetta is hunting them. He discovered how to kill Reddos and take their most dangerous ability for himself. Caught between a family she can’t help but care about and their merciless hunter, Sophie makes choices that expose secrets, start fires (literally), and put her in the path of the man who can destroy both her and the Reddos’ world.
The shadow in the forest flinched. At least Sophie thought it did.
She edged to her left to get a better look at it, ignoring the squelch that arose when she wrenched her boot from the mud. For a full two minutes she had scrutinized this shadow, the human-like shape that had appeared off this trail at Ellery Wildlife Preserve. If it ended up being a tree, she’d feel like an idiot for lingering in the woods so late in the evening, inspecting illusions. Her boss was probably going to skin her alive for taking so long already.
But if this shadow was a person, something about its stance made Sophie think its eyes were on her. Watching her.
She tilted her head to blink away the downpour. Her gaze froze on a trail of boot prints.
They originated at the edge of the path and disappeared into the green-tinged fog that had consumed the forest.
Sophie’s eyes traced the zigzag tread stamped into the mud. Her breath seized in her chest. Footprints couldn’t start at the edge of the trail, unless someone had dropped out of the sky into the preserve. And Ellery had closed to everyone except the preservation crew half an hour ago.
Sophie peered up at the shadow—or, more likely, trespasser—again.
“Who’s there?” she called out, grateful that the wind muffled the quaver in her voice. “Uh, the preserve is closed!”
That sounded especially pitiful, even for her.