Title: Ignite the Shadows
Author: Ingrid Seymour
Series: Ignite the Shadows #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: April 23, 2015
Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.
Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.
Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.
He has brought me to a bar? Does he realize I’m only sixteen? I follow James, looking all around me, expecting someone to jump in front of the door demanding an ID. No one does. In truth, the whole area looks like a ghost town. There’s a gas station across the street. Its sign flickers. The gas prices flash with askew numbers. The large metal building on its right looks as if it sprouted out of the weeds that surround it.
The bar itself is the nicest-looking building on the street, and that’s not saying much. A blue neon sign of a wolf howling at the moon shines on top of the door, illuminating the cracked sidewalk. James pulls the door open.
“Welcome to Howls,” he says, showing me in with an extended hand.
I hesitate, then step inside. The back of my skull—which hasn’t stopped humming since James appeared in the alley—vibrates a little harder. I wince and throw my head back a few degrees.
James watches me intently. I feel like he notices everything—reading me as if I was a simple “hello world” program—and filing everything he learns about me inside his bald, shiny head. I can’t blame him. I’m doing the same. I’m a lost sock that’s just found its match. He rolls his neck to indicate he knows my head feels like it’s being assaulted by a million frantic hummingbirds.
“C’mon, Clark and Xave are here, if it makes you feel any better.”
I’d already noticed Clark’s bike outside. And no, it doesn’t make me feel any better. Clark’s a punk, and with the way Xave’s been acting lately … well … let’s say I’d rather drink antifreeze than endure all that drama.
The smell of cigarette smoke mixed with sweat and stale beer makes me wrinkle my nose. A few men sit at the bar, staring at their drinks or at empty space. They ignore us as we walk in. The patrons look like they belong on the bikes parked outside. Faded jeans, leather jackets, heavy boots, scraggly beards. I look back at James and get the impression that he belongs in this place about as much as I do.
He stops at the bar. “Whiskey, on the rocks,” he tells the bartender.
The guy doesn’t even give me a second glance. After James gets his drink, he heads to the back of the building. We walk through a narrow door and go down a flight of stairs. Posters of women in skimpy bathing suits line the walls.
Before crossing a doorway with a bead curtain, James stops. “Not all in there are like us. I trust you won’t say anything about our earlier conversation,” he orders, then walks through the curtain.
I bristle. I don’t like orders. In fact, I’m tempted not to obey just on principle. But who am I kidding? I’m not about to start telling anyone that shadowy specters live inside my head. I crack my neck and cross the threshold. Behind the curtain, I find myself in a dimly lit room and the center of attention to five distrustful pairs of eyes.
Ingrid Seymour is the author of IGNITE THE SHADOWS (Harper Voyager, April 23rd, 2015). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.
Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.
She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.