Welcome to the Otherworld, where nightmarish creatures reign supreme . . .
Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil, thus condemning himself to an eternity of servitude. As a Lantern, his sole duty is to guard one of the many portals that lead to the immortal realm, making sure that no souls stray where they are not welcome. It's a job that Jack excels at - until he meets the beautiful Ember O'Dare.
Seventeen-year-old witch Ember has been trying to trick Jack into letting her through the portal for years. Stubborn and undeterred by his warnings, she finally manages to cross into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire - and so the wild chase through a dazzling, dangerous world begins.
Can Jack get Ember back where she belongs before both the worlds, both earthly and supernatural, descend into chaos?
Praise for Colleen Houck
'[A] must-read for thrill-seekers and fans of alternate worlds' - RT Book Reviews on the Reawakened Series
'Epic, grand adventure rolled into a sweeping love story' - Sophie Jordan on the Tiger's Curse Series
This standalone fantasy from Houck (the Tiger's Curse series) focuses on 17-year-old witch Ember O'Dare and Jack, an immortal "lantern" whose soul resides inside a pumpkin and whose job it is to guard the crossroads linking the Otherworld to Ember's sleepy village of Hallowell. Lanterns mustn't leave their posts, but when roguish vampire Dev sneaks into the mortal realm and charms the witch into returning home with him, Jack follows less to punish Dev for trespassing than to protect Ember, for whom he's developed feelings from afar. Jack and Dev aren't the only ones with designs on Ember: the Otherworld runs on energy derived from witches, making the powerful girl a priceless commodity. Houck's adventure, a take on the legend of Sleepy Hollow, suggests alternate origin stories for Halloween and various monsters. Regrettably, capable female characters are forced to share the page with moody, macho suitors and over-the-top villains and the book's strengths (elaborate costumes, swoony romance, and a sumptuous, steampunk-inspired backdrop) fail to compensate for leaden pacing and murky stakes. Ages 14 up.