I think this is the best book of the series so far!
Excerpt from the author's site:
Chapter 1It started just like it had in real life: The man belts me in the temple and it feels like my head is caving in. I tumble out of the chair, onto the hardwood floor. In the dream I can see its pattern of dark and light wood making a ribbon around the edge of the room, like a magic circle to contain the terror.
I grope for my purse, for the gun, for anything that will stop him from beating me to death this time. I am still too slow. He rounds the edge of the desk and comes after me. I roll up onto my knees and try to hit him below the belt.
He dodges, swings, and connects with the back of my head. Then he kicks me in the ribs as I collapse again. This time I don’t shriek–I don’t have the air and that’s how I know something’s changed. It’s not just a memory; it’s a nightmare.
The man’s foot swings for my face and I push it up, over my head, tipping him backward. As he falls, I scramble for the door into the hall. This time I’ll get out. This time I won’t die….
But he catches up and grabs onto my ponytail–an impossible rope of hair a yard, a mile long and easy to grip. Was it really so long? I can’t even remember it down to my hips like that. But in the dream it’s a lariat that loops around my neck and hauls my head back until I’m looking into the man’s face.
But it’s my father, not the man who beat my head in. Not the square-jawed, furious face of a killer, but the bland, doe-eyed face that winked like the moon when I was tucked into my childhood bed. He read me Babar books and kissed my cheek when I was young. Now he calls me “little girl,” and slams my skull into the doorpost.
I don’t fight back this time. I just wrench loose, leaving my long hair in his hand. He lets me go and I stumble toward the ancient brass elevator, my legs wobbling and my pace ragged. I feel tears flooding down my cheeks, and the world spins into a narrowing tunnel.
I see the elegant old elevator at the end of the tunnel, the gleaming metal grillwork shuffling itself into shape, as if it is formed from the magical grid of the Grey. There’s a vague human figure inside, beyond the half-formed doors. There never was anyone there before….
I stagger and fall to my knees at the elevator door. The ornate brass gates slide open and I tumble into the lift, sprawling like a broken toy at someone’s feet.
He’s much too tall from my position down on the floor: a giant blue denim tree crowned with silvery hair. My dream vision zooms up and in, and something tightens in my chest until I can feel it strain to the breaking point.
Will Novak, my ex-boyfriend, looks down at me with a cool glance. “Oh. It’s you,” he says.
The too-tight thing in my chest pings and breaks. Pain lashes through me like the unwinding mainspring of a broken clock.
I woke up with a scream in my mouth that twisted into shuddering tears. I huddled into my bed and cried, feeling that something had been wrecked or wrenched apart in a way I didn’t understand. I wished I was cuddled up with Quinton in his safe little hole under the streets and not alone with the lingering desolation of my nightmare. Read more here.