"A sharp fantasy thriller." --People
"Sharp, dark, thoughtful and romantic." --Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author
When their worlds collide, X and Zoe are pushed to the edge of everything in this much-buzzed-about tour de force YA fantasy from Entertainment Weekly veteran Jeff Giles.
For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?
It's been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who's still reeling from her father's shocking death in a caving accident and her neighbors' mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying subzero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in the woods--only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands' rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for them both.
Gripping and full of heart, this epic start to a new series will bring readers right to the edge of everything.
First-time novelist Giles combines an intense thriller plot with one of the oddest afterlifes in recent fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Zoe, her younger brother Jonah, and their eccentric but loving mother are still hurting a year after Zoe's father died in a caving accident. Life goes on, but nothing fits right. Then two dangerous people appear at their secluded mountain home: Stan, a vicious thief and murderer, and a hunky bounty hunter Zoe nicknames X, who has been assigned to confront Stan with his crimes and drag him off to the Lowlands for eternal punishment. After Zoe prevents X from completing his mission, they become enamored of each other, but the repercussions of their actions aren't far off. Zoe's mutually devoted relationships with her brother, mother, sardonic lesbian friend, Val, are standouts, as is the endearingly oddball dialogue. X who has no name, never knew his parents, and grew up in the equivalent of Hell is more of a cipher, though he'll grow on readers just as he grows on Zoe. It's an intriguing story that leaves the door open for future books. Ages 14 up.