VALIANT: Book 1
For fans of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Terminator, Body Snatchers, and Edge of Tomorrow.
REVIEWS FOR VALIANT
"An imaginative, fresh take on the time travel novel. Valiant has it all: breakneck adventure, high stakes, a kick-ass heroine, and a time-twisting narrative. Seriously captivating sci-fi.” —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Progeny
“Valiant is Edge of Tomorrow in a post-apocalyptic future, and Destefano’s Sara has the grit of Sarah O’Connor as she fights to save the people she loves.” – Jane, NetGalley
“You bet this book ends up on my keeper shelves once my print copy arrives…” – Carien, Goodreads
“I would recommend this book to fans The 5th Wave and The Darkest Minds.” – Vivian, Goodreads
Justin and I are alone, and I’m trying to remember him. But there’s a blank spot in my memory.
I nod and, without meaning to, I run a slow gaze over him. Pictures flash through my mind, almost like a Gov-Net program. They’re all pictures of him.
I see him as a young boy in grade school, before anyone could tell he was a Genetic. He smiled and laughed a lot back then.
I see him in middle school, when his genetic alterations came to the surface and other kids started to tease him.
I never teased him, though. I actually got in a fight with two girls my age one day, because they were calling him a Jenny. One of them got a black eye. The other one got a bloody nose.
“I think I beat up two girls once because they made fun of you,” I say. “In middle school.”
He swallows, then he blinks like his eyes sting, like he’s been in the sun too long. “Did you?” he asks. “You never told me about that.”
Then I see him when we’re older, high school age. He and I are laughing. We’re at the beach, playing Frisbee, and every time he gets close to me my heart beats faster and I wish…
I wish he would kiss me.
But he didn’t.
We were friends, we were always friends, but there was something beneath the surface, like he might be the boy I could fall in love with.
Then I started traveling through time.
I sink backward, my eyes widening, my stomach churning, and it all comes back. So many images of what I’ve lost, all the battles, all the death, the unending heartache. And the horrible knowledge that it’s all my fault.
“Sara, are you okay?” he asks.
It hurts so much to remember.
I touch the center of my chest.
“I can still feel it, here. Like there’s too much, too many thoughts and emotions, and it aches and it’s hard for me to think about anything else.”
A tortured expression flickers through his eyes, and he slowly, carefully, sits beside me.
“I remember you,” I say. “I remember…us.”
He puts his hand in mine.
“Good. Because I could never forget you,” he says. “Ever. You’re the best part of all of this. You always have been.” It feels like I’ve waited a hundred lifetimes to hear him say that.
“I almost lost you. I thought you were dead, back in Snake City.”
“I’m not dead. I’m here.” He lifts my hand to his lips. “I’m right here and I’m so in love with you.”
He turns toward me then, his gaze on my eyes, then my lips. Usually he smiles, but not this time. Instead, he pulls me toward him and he kisses me and it’s different than any other kiss. This kiss says more than I love you, it says I need you and I can’t breathe when you’re not around and Never do that again, never almost die, ever…
I melt into his arms, and I hope neither one of us dies in this war, but I just don’t know.
This moment might be all we have, and it’ll never be enough.
All content © 2017, Merrie Destefano