terling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.
But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.
Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.
If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.
The morning announcements were centered on the kid that went missing from our school. He was a sophomore so I didn’t know him, but I still felt horrible. My tablemate Rebel Lee scribbled down an array of unintelligible notes, probably both profound and meaningful. Rebel was someone I knew since junior high, and even though we were pals, he didn’t talk much. Which was odd because he seemed to be understood by everyone. Correction. Everyone except for Grey.
I witnessed a sea of sorrow amongst my classmates. No one was in the state of mind to be here, and the cheerless announcements added to our already despondent moods. Man, I hoped they found this kid.
The teachers opened up the floor to talk about it, prolonging any collections of homework assignments that I didn’t do. The more others talked about it, the lower our spirits got. It bothered me that we didn’t have any more information on what had happened. Was it connected to the other boy who disappeared? Did they run away? Were they abducted? Were they going to be all right? Thinking back to what my mom said earlier, I was lucky to be sitting here. I listened, but didn’t contribute. I had so much on my mind.
My attention drifted across the room until I settled on someone I hadn’t noticed at the beginning of class. She wore her hair in a high, messy bun and had on gray sneakers with three blue stripes. She felt familiar. Did I say felt familiar? I meant looked familiar. Looked…familiar. Because how does someone feel familiar?
A Type 5, she had this flawless dark brown skin that made me question how no one else seemed to notice her. If I judged her off her face alone, she was one of the prettier girls at school. She didn’t seem interested in the discussion we were having in class, and she, like me, faded into the background. I’d never given it much thought before but…I always kind of looked for her. There was just something about her that… Y’know what? Never mind.