An interesting story.
Paragon by Shauna Alderson released in March in the YA Fantasy genre.
Now that high school is over, Randi just wants to live her quiet life in her little town, but it doesn’t feel right without her friends there. Ever the daredevils, they’ve gone to seek adventure in the capital city of Grandin, and Randi can’t help but feel left behind. Not to mention she definitely can’t stop thinking about that kiss she and Eddy shared before he left.
When Randi discovers a mysterious mark on her skin that matches an illustration in “A Handbook on Paragonhood”, she’s thrown into a world of powerful gods and ancient magic that she thought only existed in the myths. She’ll have to step out of her comfort zone—and into the dangerous streets of Grandin—to find a way to protect herself and the people she loves.
Randi’s not the only one with a secret, though, and she finds herself questioning who she can trust. Randi will have to wrestle with what it means to be a Paragon and how far she’s willing to go to do what’s right.
With the fate of the world on the line, can she live up to being one of the chosen?
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Granite floor, walls like black static, and out of the moving darkness looms a door. I push its handle down, opening the door to a huge space.
A man and a woman circle each other like raptors, each brandishing a knife. The static-fuzz wall to my left is covered in weapon racks—everything from maces to swords to guns—and stone braziers, while the wall to my right is lined with punching bags and benches. A seemingly spaced-out old man sits on one of the benches, and a middle-aged guy fiddles with something on the furthest bench.
I don’t think I’m supposed to be here.
The middle-aged man lifts his head to watch the fight and sees me. “New girl,” he tells the others.
Everyone stops. The other two men simply seem bewildered, but the lady-predator with the knife might just kill me, judging from her glare.
“Uh, sorry, I’ll just go,” I stammer. I pivot on my heels, but behind me, I only find blackness. No door.
My gut drops.
“Don’t be afraid,” the male fighter says. “We won’t hurt you.”
I peek over my shoulder as he discards his weapon onto the floor. That’s not a hazard at all. “Where am I?” The words come out in a squeak.
He scratches the side of his head. “It’s—well, it’s hard to explain.”
“We call it the dreamscape,” the woman says. “We Paragons come here to hone our skills. You being here means you found out.”
She must be referring to the mark and the myths. I found out what I am, and now I show up here. Makes sense in a dream-logic sort of way.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Shauna Alderson began writing teen fantasy even before she was a teen. After she “grew up”, she completed creative writing courses (and a BA in Development Studies) at the University of Calgary. When not reading or writing, she can usually be found teaching ESL, composing on the piano, creating art, or volunteering abroad. She also enjoys dessert, Studio Ghibli films, and being the silliest person she knows.
$20 Amazon or B/N GC