One choice could destroy them all.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem—taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.
Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?
Burch opens her YA paranormal series with a chomp: "Fangs settled into Nikki Youngblood's leg." After that in media bite of an opener, readers quickly learn about three halflings half-angels, half-humans, who look like teenage boys sent to protect 17-year-old Nikki. Mace, Raven, and Vine live with their angel "father" and crew chief, Will. Something odd is going on in Nikki's small Missouri town, and it involves a local lab, her biology teacher, and, possibly, her godfather. Complicating emotional matters is the attraction Nikki feels to both Mace and Raven, which is mutual with each boy and also forbidden. Burch has a great idea, and details about the halflings intrigue: they generate an electrical field, and varied powers are "perks" of their half-divine birthright. The book has some technical problems. Nikki's parents aren't well-developed and their presence is fairly arbitrary; the villain has the subtlety of an elbow to the ribs; and the writing is too often trite ("fear and torment had stolen the last shreds of her strength"). Still, this is popcorn: easy to overlook flaws, gobble up, and seek more. Ages 15 up.