THE APPRENTICESHIP OF LUCAS POLK

(YA/Spec Fiction) For as long as he cares to remember, sixteen-year-old Clay Thompson has been a 'Locksmith' - he's the guy who can bust any vault or lockbox in NYC and the only permanent player on Dutch's rotating crew of crooks. In that regard, the odd duo make for a bit of an unlikely family, but like all families, there are secrets. See every night Clay goes to sleep he is greeted with a dream- a reminder of the night, as a child, that he accidentally killed his older brother and gave birth to his murderous, magic hands. 

Like the rats that share his city, Clay survives by keeping his secrets in the shadows- until the day he breaks into a safe deposit box and finds a watch engraved with his name. His real name- Lucas Polk. Anxious to bottle up his leaking past, Clay pays a visit to the mysterious old man who made the watch and discovers something even worse. Lucas is not alone in his abilities or finished accruing problems, either. He is one of the last few magicians alive in this world- like the old man, a Minuteman, and his estranged daughter, Belén, a Sleepwalker. Once revealed, Clay is expected to join them, to navigate their resentment and heartbreaking histories, in an effort to stop the 'Darkness.' This, he is told, is a man who wants to end the world and simply must be stopped. For all Clay knows though, the old man might just be dealing in the one currency Clay knows best- lies. 

Dogged by a relentless FBI agent, this mysterious Darkness and his long-ignored past, finding meaning in the madness will hinge on something Clay never thought possible: forgiving himself for the death of a brother he has always thought his better. Using his newly honed abilities as a magician and years of hard-won streetwise as an accomplished NYC thief, Clay will need to come to terms with Lucas if he has any hope for keeping his found-family alive when the all-consuming Darkness makes a play to finish them all. 
 

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THE MONSTER AND HER MAN

(YA/Spec Fiction) Being born with gigantism means your world is shrunk by half. It means people are staring at you from birth, at all the food you eat, at the special shoes you wear, at the mistakes you make. Being a giant means, even on your best days - even on your well-behaved days - they're still going to point and call you, "monster."

Dorothy, named so after her mother's favorite, long-forgotten Golden Girl, is just such a monster.  As an indigenous teen on a tiny, tourist-town island, Dorothy's growing pains and oft-targeted race have already notched two strikes to her name. Her dream of wrestling professionally in the States is her lone chance at escaping a third. It's also what keeps her temper mostly in check and her ass-kicking mostly on the mat - until a strange foreign boy falls victim to her lifelong bullies and Dorothy intervenes and blows it all to hell.

Strike three.

With her dream ruined and a stint in jail all but inevitable, Dorothy decides to pair the hidden, serrated scars along her ribs with something a little more final. Like a gun. Only when she finally pulls the trigger, the strange little boy stops the bullet with his bare hand. This particular boy is foreign by way of outerspace. He's also a superpowered pacifist who ran, as fast as he could, from his warlord father.

With no time to spare and no one else up to the monstrous task of saving him, Dorothy, for all her faults and failures, is the closest thing the soft-spoken boy's got to a chance. Or a hero.

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COWARDS AND CAPES

(YA/Spec Fiction) It's been twenty years since the last superheroes died and the power went out in Old Chicago. To the teenagers that have been born on the other side of it all, life seems to oscillate between two very specific moments: moments where you can almost catch your breath and moments where you're not sure you should even bother. 

Fifteen-year-old Glenn is just such a teenager. Forced to look out for a drug-addled mother and his poor, bullied mountain-of-a-boyfriend, Glenn preaches a life of risk-averse routine and, should anything too big and ugly rear its head, all Glenn has to do is flash the barrel of his father's revolver... Until the day a mysterious old man teases permanent salvation: electricity can be restored. Fueled by their own fantasies, fears and dreams, the two teenagers embark on an epic journey through the ruins of Old Chicago and New as they search for the remains of the city's fallen superheroes and the key to restoring the light. Jumping between present day and a mash of decades-old diary entries from the mysterious old man, the boys happen upon a secret even bigger than the ones the superheroes kept: the old man doesn't intend to restore electricity at all. After a long life of political and sexual persecution, all the old man wants before his heart finally quits is for the world to know him as its first and last supervillain

Moving through five decades of fictionalized real-world history in Chicago, this story combines the historical depth and specificity of Michael Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY with the poetic, apocalyptic beauty of Emily St. John Mandel's STATION ELEVEN.

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