Continuing the critically acclaimed story of TUNNEL VISION:
Jake thinks he has only one more step and he’ll be free: he has to get the serum to stop his ability to tunnel—to find and control people through objects. But Jake’s contact has been killed, and there’s no sign of the serum. Then Jake’s mom and little sister Myka are kidnapped, right under his nose. With the government, his power-mad father, and the terrifying Mr. Smith all after him while he still has his power, he doesn’t have anywhere to turn.
What will Jake do to get his mom and little sister back?
Excerpt 1 from The Dark at the End:
Dedushka stares at the door, frowning. He knocks again. Rachel slips her hand into mine. It’s damp—everything’s damp. I can feel the sweat dripping down my back. But I squeeze.
We wait, listening for the sound of footsteps coming towards us. It suddenly reminds me of Halloween, standing on a porch with Myka holding my hand, both of us in ridiculously complex costumes courtesy of Mom. Waiting for footsteps to bring us candy.
This is a different kind of candy, but I still want it.
I step forward and try the door. Locked. I glance at Dedushka.
“Perhaps he waits for us inside.” He scratches at his beard. “We try the back.”
He strides down the steps, around the carport side. We follow, slower. Looking everywhere.
“Yakob.” Dedushka’s voice is spiked with urgency. When we get to the back, Dedushka stands there holding the door open, looking in. “It is wrong,” he says. “Be careful.” He goes in, stepping lightly. I go up, see what he means, and let go of Rachel’s hand.
It’s trashed. Unless Vladimir is a really messy housekeeper, someone’s been here before us. The door opens into a kitchen, and every surface, almost every inch of the floor, is covered with silverware, shards of glass, scraps of paper. The drawers and cupboards are open. Even the refrigerator is open, pumping cold air uselessly into the room. I close it, then follow Dedushka. Rachel follows me.
They were looking for the serum. They had to be, with everything searched through like this. Jesus, how did they know about the old man and the serum?
Dedushka keeps moving forward, slowly. I move too, even though every cell in my body wants to stop and run away like my legs are on fire. They might still be here. They might take me again, shove me underground again. End everything.
Rachel is silent behind me.
I keep walking. Dedushka looks in a front bedroom, left off a short hall. He moves on, to the last room. I poke my head in the front one too. It’s a trophy room, or it was before it all got turned over. Baseball stuff, bats and balls and gloves and tickets, hundreds of tickets. I can see spaces on the wall where frames must’ve hung, but now they’re on the floor with everything else, shattered.
Dedushka makes a strangled noise from the back bedroom, and I jump for the door. I stop short when I see, Rachel at my shoulder. She screams, small, before she cuts it off.
Vladimir is sprawled on his back across the bed, a gunshot hole in the middle of his forehead.
On Doing a Proper Sequel
By Susan Adrian
THE DARK AT THE END was my first time writing a sequel—and I have to say, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Coming off of it feels a bit like the day after you have a baby, and you swear you will NEVER do that again. I might do that again, but not for a while!
I thought going in that it would be easier. I already knew the characters so well! And the world was mine. All I had to do was go back in and play for a while, right?
Since this is also the final book in the series, the struggle was to make sure that I did right by all the characters, that I wrapped up all the threads appropriately in a satisfying way. I also took it a step further this time, and added two points of view: Rachel, Jake’s love interest, and Myka, his twelve-year-old sister. In the first book, Jake was isolated for a lot of the time, quite literally, but in DARK his world has expanded, and it was important to capture those other stories. It was a challenge to balance three points of view, and three stories that all intertwined.
So those were the struggles. But as with all things, there were good parts as well, and I believe in celebrating the good parts.
–I love this world so much, and I got to stay in it a bit longer. Jake’s story is dark, and sometimes violent, but it is also fascinating to explore the intricacies of what happens when super powers and the government collide. I tried very hard to keep in mind why the “bad guys” were acting as they did. It always made sense to them.
–I love the characters. I said on tour for the first book that somehow I had an 18-year-old boy inside me, and I still do. It feels natural to write Jake particularly. And so, so fun.
–I got to end the story the way I wanted. I originally had a three-book arc in mind, but ended up streamlining it to two complete books. I really wanted to leave Jake, Rachel, Myka, and the rest in a particular place, and I’m so happy I got to do that.
I hope the readers of TUNNEL VISION will be as happy as I am!