Cover illustration by Julie Dillon.
Seanan McGuire returns with a long new novella, Unbreakable,, written under her popular pseudonym, Mira Grant.
About the Book:
The girls of Unbreakable Starlight were part of an ancient tradition of magical warriors defending the Earth from the forces of the Outside. They knew their powers and their place, and they planned to fight to the very end. They just didn't think the end would come so very soon.
And they never dreamt that when the dust settled, two of their members would be the last magical protectors in the world.
For Piper, her time as a member of Unbreakable Starlight was the best part of her life, the first and only time that she had been truly happy. She'd had friends, she'd had powers, and she'd had her animal companion to make sure that she understood the patterns she saw in all things. Until it all came crashing down.
For Yuina, whose sister died on the night of the assault that killed most of the world's magical protectors, forgetting what she used to be is all that's mattered to her for years. She's been trying her best to toe the line and be the good little symbol of a forbidden calling that her government wants her to be, and she'll keep trying even if it kills her.
But magical protectors existed for a reason, and even if they've all died and the heralds who used to invite replacements to the fight have been forced into hiding. And if the magical protectors aren't holding the line against the Outside, who is?
Lines exist because somebody drew them, and now, with the world left undefended, the lines are getting blurred. Soon enough, something's going to break.
We made a vow, unshakable:
In starlight, we're unbreakable.
We’ll protect the world with all we are,
And when we fall, we’ll fall like stars.
From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“Grant (Square³) moves away from her typical horror fare, but never shies from brutality, in this gleeful and nuanced take on the magical girl trope commonly found in manga and anime… Grant ages up a favorite childhood trope with an alien mystery and a Lovecraftian twist, making the pages of this haunting, character-focused novella fly.”
Seattle burned. The entire horizon was lit up red and crimson as a New Year’s Eve firework display, the inferno licking at the sky, so bright and smoky that it blotted out the stars. There was nothing left but starless red-gray sky, and one shaking teenage girl in a brown and green dress that looked something like a costume and something like a uniform and something like a burial shroud.
Piper had fallen to her knees in the ash and wreckage after she saw Paisley go down. She’d been doing her best to keep fighting until then, but Paisley was their leader, Paisley was the one who was supposed to survive even if the Shatterverse slaughtered all the rest of them. None of them mattered as long as Paisley survived. Seeing her fall…
But now Paisley was dead, and Elena was dead, and Ashley was dead, and Fergus was gone, and Merit had betrayed them, and she hadn’t seen it in time to stop it. It was just Yuina and Piper now. They were all alone.
They were supposed to be Unbreakable Starlight, and they were broken. But at least Paisley had kept her word. She had fallen like a star. When she had phased the last catastrophic attack of the Shatterverse forces out of the world, she had saved Seattle. It was all over but the burning now. The burning, and the grieving.
Everyone was gone. Everyone was lost. Even Yuina was gone, running toward the burning city in the vain hope that she might be able to find someone she could still save. Piper wept, shoving the physical sensations of her body further and further away to block out the pain, and so she didn’t even feel it when a soft, furry body brushed her cheek, didn’t open her eyes or lift her head.
Fuyu, the White Dream, last of the three Heralds who had invited Unbreakable Starlight into the battle, darted past her and onto a heap of rubble, nose twitching frantically as she turned her face toward the smoky sky and the battle still raging in the heights. “This isn’t over,” she said, and spread her wings, launching herself into the air. She became a mote of bright, blazing light, and she was gone, and Piper, who had never realized she was there in the first place, was alone.
For the first time since she had accepted her invitation, Piper was entirely alone.
- Mira Grant
- Julie Dillon
- eBook Edition