Ancient power wrapped in ancient secrets.The power to
rend the world and save her loved ones, unless it devours her
Evil never really dies. It rises, again and again.
Now—Kari knows it’s rising inside her.
After barely defeating wicked Shadow Witch Raven, the wolf-demon knows her turmoil
is far from over when her vanquished foe invades her dreams. And a new power stirs
within her: thanks to Raven’s cunning, Kari’s potential as the Catalyst has awoken. A
conduit for a terrifying, world-cracking force—one that could open at any moment.
Kari has resisted this new temptation thus far. But Raven again forces her hand,
unleashing a demonic abomination to draw her prey out—a deadlier foe than any Kari
has faced before. If she taps into this dark new power, she could become strong enough to
defend the people she cares about. But the Catalyst has bloodthirsty designs of its own…
If she submits, what new horrors will be inflicted on the world Kari’s come to love?
And when the Catalyst is finished with her at last—what will be left of Kari?
Again, Kari thought of the purple-skinned mutation that had chased her and Vivianne.
“So there were others?”
Raven sneered. “Failures, yes.” She raised a hand, but Kari grabbed her by the wrist.
“What failures?! Did you send the long-armed mutation that killed my friend?!”
Raven’s emotionless eyes made her heart drop. “I have done so much worse than send
one beast out into the world, Kari, but I did not imagine we were here to talk about that.” Raven
twisted her hand, tangling Kari’s wrist in long fingers. “Shall I show you every life lost, every
drop of blood spilled? Not merely for my own pleasure, but because of you?”
Captain Gorn and his men from Flatcairn, bloodied and broken. And…a field of purple-
blue flowers becoming the eternal grave of a young blonde girl.
“Raven…” Kari’s voice hitched, threatening a scream.
Raven laughed, derisive and cold. “Focus, Kari. You know better than to lose yourself to
grief, don’t you? You know what is at stake now, in the present.”
Kari wrenched away, eyes wild. When she did, the image of the desolate city wavered
and was replaced by a shimmering vision of a dark room. Cages lined the walls, each one filled
with a huddled group of monstrous beasts; neither human nor demon, they sported extra limbs or
other grotesque developments. Eyeballs protruded from sockets, tongues lolled from the side of
mouths, and tumors grew from faces, stomachs, and chests. Their groans and screams filled the
space, echoing through a long, dank hallway.
“Stop!” Kari screamed, and the image faded to Raven standing in the middle of a body-
ridden street. She stepped away from the witch before stumbling, landing hard on her backside.
“Why are you doing this?”
Raven approached, carefully stepping around the gore and bodies. “This? This is the cost
of knowledge. I had to do these filthy, disgusting things to become who I am now.”
She stopped in front of Kari and knelt. Despite the darkness of her eyes, they gleamed
with untold levels of cruelty. Kari had always seen such evil inside of Raven, yet she had never
imagined things like this.
“I want you to ask a different question, Kari. I want you to ask yourself, what are you
going to do to stop me?”
About the Author:
Valerie Storm was raised in Tucson, Arizona.
Growing up, she fell in love with everything fantasy.
When she wasn’t playing video games, she was writing.
By age ten, she began to write her own stories as a
way to escape reality. When these stories became a
full-length series, she considered the path to sharing with
other children and children-at/heart looking for a place to call home.