When sixteen-year-old Ella Andrews’s best friend, Avery, goes missing, she’ll do anything to get him back—starting with punching the no-brain cop who couldn’t care less about the disappearance.
Ella’s convinced Avery’s been kidnapped, and she tries everything to find him—even following a strange shadow to another world where the constellations are real-life figures in the sky. But three star groups have fallen and are destroying the world.
The fallen constellations are not the only enemy. Melanie, the princess of Stellaris, is forcing Ella, Avery, and an army of other kids kidnapped from their world to fight the rogue constellations, even as the land is draining away their life. The longer they stay, the more they fade into substanceless shadows—a fate worse than death.
Can Ella save Stellaris before there’s nothing left of her and Avery?
“Avery.” I choked on the word. Avery. My Avery. My best friend in the whole world. My shoulders sagged with relief. I’d thought I’d made a horrible mistake following the shadow to this place, but now I knew it was worth it. I threw my arms around his neck, almost knocking him over. His armor was hot from the sun, and it burned my bare arms. But I squeezed him tighter, making sure he was real. After a good minute and a half, Avery pulled me off him.
He held me by the shoulders, an arm’s length in front of him. “How did you find me, Ella?”
I shook my head, thinking about all I’d gone through to find him, and before I knew what I was doing, I slapped his face. I couldn’t help it. He’d made me worry. He’d made me come to this strange place and almost get killed. All right, so it wasn’t really his fault he’d been kidnapped, and he had saved me from the serpent, but I was angry, and the shadow wasn’t around to take it out on.
Avery put his hand to his face and smiled at me. “That hurt you know.”
“It was supposed to,” I said. “You put me through hell. What happened to you? Did you follow that stupid shadow too?”
Avery nodded. “There’s a lot to explain. Time moves differently here. More quickly. So much has happened.”
“You’ve only been gone for a few hours.”
“It’s been days here.”
Days? I didn’t even know how to process that.
“I have to get you to Melanie. She’ll fill you in. But first we need to make sure the coast is clear. I don’t want to run into any of the constellations.” Avery peeked out the door, which was hanging awkwardly from one hinge.
“Constellations? You mean like the things in the sky?” Was I losing my mind or was Avery? “And who’s Melanie?”
“I’ll explain everything. I promise. But we need to get to the castle before Draco, Serpens, or Scorpius find us here.”
Now my mind was spinning out of control. Draco, Serpens, and Scorpius? I recognized the names. They were constellations. “Why would we have to worry about constellations finding us?” I asked. But then something clicked. “The dragon and the snake. They were Draco and Serpens? They’re constellations?” “Yes. They fell from the sky, and now they’re destroying everything.” Avery grabbed his knife off the table and held it out in front of him. “Come on. We need to go.” He didn’t give me a chance to protest or ask any more questions. He took my hand and pulled me into the field. We sprinted across it and came to a beach. I suspected Avery was running as fast as he could so I’d be too out of breath to pester him with silly questions like “Where the hell are we?”
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Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.
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