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The New York Times bestselling author of the Cal Leandros series delivers a bold new supernatural thriller where one man's extraordinary abilities come with an equally phenomenal cost. Picking up a small, pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee's life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead--murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well--but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa's death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack's life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind and found a semblance of peace. That is, until the government blackmails him. After Jackson is forced to help the military contain the aftermath of a bizarre experiment gone violently wrong, everything he knows about himself will change just as suddenly as it did with his little sister's shoe. And while change is constant . . . it's never for the better.
For as long as he could remember, Lukas Korsak was someone else. Taken as a child and dubbed `Michael' by the Institute, he was transformed into a Chimera - capable of killing with a single touch - until his brother, Stefan, found him and rescued him three years ago. They've been planning to go back to free and cure the children they had to leave behind ever since. Now their time has almost run out. For the mad genius who created Michael has also created something even more formidable. A being who can kill with a touch, a glance - even a mere thought.
When half-human Cal Leandros wakes up on a beach littered with the slaughtered remains if a variety of hideous creatures, he's not that concerned. In fact, he can't remember anything-including who he is. And that's just the way his deadly enemies like it. . . .
A star-studded urban fantasy anthology starring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, and Rob Thurman, and including Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Gay, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole D. Peeler, and Jaye Wells, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions--the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker's seductive call. It is a place of illusion--is that woman's beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box? And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns--or maybe some magic of one's own. Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.
From Rob Thurman, the New York Times bestselling author of the Cal Leandros, comes this wicked, mind-bending short story--from the Carniepunk urban fantasy anthology.
Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak's younger brother was kidnapped. Not a day has passed that Stefan hasn't thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him. But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth-his brother is no longer his brother. He is a trained, genetically-altered killer. Now, those who created him will do anything to reclaim him. And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him. . .
In a nightmarish new york city, life is there for the taking... Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are hired by the vampire Seamus to find out who has been following him?until Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal?s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. But first, they?ll destroy everything Cal holds dear...
Half-human/half-monster Cal Leandros knows that family is a pain. But now that pain belongs to his half-brother, Niko. Niko's shady father is in town, and he needs a big favor. Even worse is the reunion being held by the devious Puck race-including the Leandros' friend, Robin- featuring a lottery that no Puck wants to win. As Cal tries to keep both Niko and Robin from paying the ultimate price for their kin, a horrific reminder from Cal's own past arrives to remind him that blood is thicker than water-and that's why it's so much more fun to spill. .
I let it go--all of it. Everything I'd been saving up all my life, building and growing inside me, too much to hold in one half-human body. It pushed and fought to be free with a force that turned me into a bomb with a timer vibrating on zero. I was free. But so was everything I'd fought so hard not to be.... Brothers Cal and Niko Leandros know trouble when they see it--and then proceed to wipe the floor with it. But now it seems their whole world is falling to pieces. Cal's nightmarish monster side is growing ever stronger, changing Cal physically as well as mentally. Which is exactly what Grimm--Cal's savage doppelgänger--wants. And when a covert supernatural organization decides that it's time to put Cal down before he threatens pretty much everything else in existence, the brothers find themselves in a fight they actually might lose. But the dark temptations Cal has denied all his life may prove to be exactly what can save them. Even if he must fall forever...
Bar owner Triva Iktomi knows that inhuman creatures of light and darkness roam Las Vegas-especially since she's a bit more than human herself. She's just been approached with an unusual proposition. Something has slaughtered almost one thousand demons in six months. And the killing isn't going to stop unless Trixa and her friends step into the fight. . . .
Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, aren't exactly prospering with their preternatural detective agency. Who could have guessed that business could dry up in New York City, where vampires, trolls, and other creepy crawlies are all over the place? But now there's a new arrival in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil with ancient powers is picking off humans like sheep, dead-set on making history with an orgy of blood and murder. And for Cal and Niko, this is one paycheck they're going to have to earn.
"I was born a monster. Although truthfully, I was only half monster. My mother was human; my father was something... else. Half monster or whole, in the end it didn't matter. I had my weaknesses same as everyone else. And I was facing one of them now." After saving the world from his fiendish father's side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half-brother Niko have settled down with a new apartment and a new gig - bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good. Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin, the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine-a gambling club for non-humans. Cal thinks it's a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong. Cal and Niko are being set up themselves - and the people behind it have bites much worse than their barks...
"There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I've known that ever since I can remember, just like I've always known I was one... ...Well, half of one, anyway. " Welcome to the Big Apple. There's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side--and that's only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares--and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn't exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out. He and his half-brother Niko have managed to stay a step ahead for three years, but now Cal's dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him...for he is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal's life... .
Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good, old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their PI business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job. She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers have to hit the road. And if they're very lucky there might even be a return trip.
"I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun." Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago--before they became a force to be reckoned with--the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer. Almost. Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent--the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack. He's just hit town. He hasn't forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protege. He hasn't forgotten what they owe him. And now they are going to pay ... and pay ... and pay. ...