Publisher: Burning Ember Press
Date of Publication: July 28, 2013
Genre: YA sci-fi
Eleven months after the father of sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams vanished without a trace, he's found wandering outside The Scripps Research Institute vomiting blood and speaking gibberish, his sole possession a worn leather diary filled with an unrecognizable language. He has a message for her.
As he dies in her arms, he claims he never vanished. She vanished.
In a nearby military quarantine zone, scientists are being called in from around the world to sequence a previously unknown strain of DNA. Scientists…and soldiers.
When her father’s autopsy reveals a rare chromosomal disorder—a disorder, it turns out, she inherited—Blaire begins to suspect her father’s last words weren’t induced by amnesia. Like her dad, she has an additional set of instructions in her genes—instructions for what, doctors can’t say. Only one thing is certain: it’s what killed him…and it will kill her too.
But now she’s haunted by prophetic nightmares of the Yellowjacket—a young murderer, eyes the black of charcoal, who lures his victims to suicide without ever paying them a visit. The only clue she has to his handiwork is a lingering feeling of déjà vu. That, and the nagging suspicion that all she knows is a mirage. She is certain of two things—though it may mean confiding in the wrong side of good and evil, he has the answers she needs.
And he is recruiting her.
The glass under my thumb gave way. It was like a thin sheet of ice . . . melting under the warmth of my finger. I squealed and yanked my hand back.
I stared at the mirror, unable to believe what I’d just felt—and what I was seeing. My reflection had just vanished. So had Damian’s. Gone. And I understood. The mirror was now a portal; the world on the other side no longer matched our own.
“There. You just broke the symmetry,” said Damian. “Now try to get more of your hand through.”
Once again I grabbed his hand and touched the glass. This time, I melted through much faster—now that I believed it could happen—and got up to my wrist. On the other side, my hand tingled, like I had pressed it into an electric field. When I stopped moving my hand, it felt solid again.
Damian chuckled. “You already broke the symmetry. You can let go of my hand.”
If his hand had been a hot coal, I wouldn’t have dropped it any faster.
“Come on,” he said. “It’s just like a door now.” In a sudden, unbelievable moment, he took a giant step into the mirror—into what was now another room.
I tried to follow him, worked my hand through the mirror up to my elbow, then lost it. The glass hardened around skin, and a cold sweat broke out along my body. My arm wouldn’t budge. “Damian, I’m stuck,” I said, hating the fear in my voice.
“You’re not stuck,” he said, and through the partition of glass between us, his voice sounded muted. “Just relax.”
The harder I pushed, the harder the glass froze around my elbow, now cutting into my skin. I closed my eyes. I’m not stuck. I can walk through mirrors. And then I pictured Damian, and fantasized about him holding my hand again.
At last the glass melted, and I tumbled all the way through the mirror, praying he never managed to pry out of me my final thoughts about him. The moment I landed in his arms, I knew I had crossed over.
And I knew something had gone very wrong.