High Voltage - Karen Marie Moning

High Voltage is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2018 by Karen Marie Moning, LLC

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

DELACORTE PRESS and the HOUSE colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

Hardback  9780399593666

Ebook  9780399593673

randomhousebooks

Book design by Caroline Cunningham, adapted for ebook

Title-page and part-opener frame by iStock/ANGELGILD

Cover design: Eileen Carey

Cover photographs: Marie Killen (woman), Rashevskyi Viacheslav/Shutterstock (shattered glass)

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Contents

Cover

Title Page

Glossary Alert

Then

Stardust

Earthdust

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Now

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Assassin

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Murderer

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Falling

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Vigilante

Rising

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-eight

Chapter Thirty-nine

Epilogue

Deleted Scenes

Glossary

Dedication

By Karen Marie Moning

About the Author

IF THIS IS THE first book you’ve picked up in the Fever series, I’ve included a guide of people, places, and things to illuminate the backstory at the end of this novel.

If you’re a seasoned reader of the series, the guide will reacquaint you with notable events and characters: what they did, if they survived, and, if not, how they died.

If you’re reading an ebook, factor this into your expectation of when the story ends, which is a bit before the final page count.

You can either read the guide first, getting acquainted with the world, or reference it as you go along to refresh your memory. The guide features characters by type, followed by places, then things.

THEN

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and the morals of a spoiled child.

—ROBERT HEINLEIN

Everything you think you know is wrong. Mortals possess short lives, shorter memories. You can’t even spin the same story twice without bastardizing the facts. When politics come into play, human canon becomes convenient at best, dispensed with entirely at worst. You have no bloody idea who your gods are.

—CONVERSATIONS WITH DAIRE

I have no gods. My demons ate them.

—DANI O’MALLEY

HE WOULDN’T HAVE SEEN the shooting star if the woman in his bed hadn’t fallen asleep, overstaying her welcome, filling him with the restless desire for a solitary walk on the beach.

The ocean at night always made him glad to be alive, which was why he’d chosen to live so near it.

Alive was the one thing he’d always be.

Tonight, the sea was a shiver of dark glass, harboring secrets untold in her depths while on her tranquil surface stars glittered like diamonds. Life-giving, life-stealing, beautiful, a challenge to handle, worth learning to ride, full of fresh wonders every day—if he’d had a woman like the ocean in his bed, he’d still be there.

He wasn’t a man that believed in signs from the heavens. He’d lived too long for that and knew if he were to receive a sign of any kind, it would explode from below in a shower of sparks and brimstone, not descend from above, a wonder to behold.

For a few moments he watched the star scorch a path across a black velvet sky, leaving a streak of shimmering stardust in its wake.

Then he turned away and stripped off his clothes to go for