The Pathfinders series Book Two Devastation

The second volume of the Pathfinders will be available on pre-order from Finch Books from June 21st, the summer solstice. In this volume, the story takes a completely new direction after the darkness and destruction of Abomination. But, you guessed it, the sunshine, sparkling streams and birds singing is much too good to last.

Devastation

So, what’s this one about?

One problem with jumping down wormholes is you’ve no idea where you’ll end up. Another is the psychotic celestial beings who might decide to follow you.

The end has finally come for the shopping mall, the Flay tribe and possibly everything else too. Carla, Tully and their friends have taken the only way out—another wormhole. It drops them in Lutecia, a city in a parallel world, where everything is green, society is peaceful and they learn to develop their innate psychic talents. They are taught the true history of the universe, what Wormwood has done to Carla’s dad and what he’s really after. Unfortunately, one of the things Wormwood is after is Carla and Tully.

The Sages of Lutecia form a desperate plan. Carla and Tully will lure Wormwood to the gateway to Hell, before he and his souleaters reduce this world to the same dead wasteland as ours. Once they have him on the brink of the pit, all they have to do is push him in. Simple. Well…not really.

Pursued by Wormwood’s gray men, golems and his army of dead souls, Carla and Tully travel the star paths, looking for Carla’s mother in the Himalayas of our dying world—hoping to catch her in a dream, hoping she’ll be able to release Carla’s dad from possession and hoping Wormwood doesn’t find his third companion, Eblis Azazel, the angel of destruction, whose trumpet will sound the apocalypse in all the worlds.

And here’s a short excerpt.

Carla sat up with a scream, looking about in bewilderment. She gasped, her breath coming in short, painful bursts, her eyes full of flames, burnt flesh and darkness. With a sob, she scrambled to her feet and ran, letting her feet carry her where they would. She lost her balance and stumbled, falling to her knees in the cool, green shadows where alders overhung a narrow stream. Her hands slipped on the damp earth of the bank, crushing the stalks of wild garlic. The strong earthy scents and the sensation of the ice-cold water on her fingertips began to clear the fumes in her head. She scooped up stream water and splashed it over her face, washing away some of the filth and anxiety of the dying shopping mall. She dipped her hand back into the stream and let the cold, clear water trickle between her fingers, listening to its babbling voice and the song of an unseen bird in the branches overhead. She felt the breeze riffling through the leaves…and soft, familiar breath on the back of her neck.

Tully.

She turned as he tucked a heavy chestnut lock behind her ear with gentle fingers. Tully’s eyes were full of concern, and reflected in them, she saw what he was seeing, the flames and shadows the Burnt Man cast about himself and the despair and horror that this creature should be her own father. The awfulness broke over her again and she let Tully take her in his arms and hold her tight until the flood of tears was over.

“We’ll find out what happened to Lucio, Carla,” he whispered into her hair, “and we’ll sort it out, even if it means going back there.”

Carla gave a fleeting, grateful smile at the idea that Tully was prepared to go back to the broken world of the Abomination to sort out the unutterably awful mess that her father was caught up in.

“If anybody had said to you a couple of weeks ago,” Tully went on, “that you’d be traveling through time to the end of the world, to meet a psychopathic demon in a bombed-out shopping mall and get chased by the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a mob of the undead down a black hole chewed out of time and space by giant maggots”—Tully paused to draw breath and gauge Carla’s reaction—“what would you have said?”

Carla battled with her mouth to make it grin. “I’d have told him to go get himself buggered.”

“Course you would! But since all that bullshit really did happen, why should traveling backward in time be so difficult?” Tully took Carla’s hands and looked earnestly into her eyes. “It’s just a question of going back to the time before…you know. When your dad was…just your dad.”

“Easy! We’ll just round up a bunch of dragons and elf warriors and hobbits to help us, and everything’ll be hunky-dunky!”

“Hunky-dory. But—”

Carla squeezed Tully’s hands gratefully and shook her head with a faint smile.

“Don’t try to work it out. Not now. Not yet.” And she turned her face to the sun and closed her eyes.