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The Star Catcher

Being sixteen is not at all how Pasha Chevalsky had envisioned. While other boys are attending Homecoming and growing a beard, Pasha is bootlegging and street fighting for a gang of thugs known as the Breadwinners to support his family. To make matters worse, Pasha has never even so much as kissed a girl, despite being hopelessly in love with his best friend and neighbor Faina Spichkin. Though Faina flirts with Pasha constantly, Pasha has convinced himself Faina would find him dull and boring if they dated—that is, if he can even get his foot in the door.

At fifteen going on sixteen, Faina has seen more sorrow than most girls her age. As a child she lost both her parents to a mass shooting at the hands of the Bolsheviks. Not long after moving to New York City to live with her Uncle, her older brother Leo was killed in the 1920 Wall Street Bombing, and her sister-in-law died in childbirth, delivering Faina’s stillborn nephew. Forced to navigate grief and adolescence, Faina chases distractions, craves attention, and hunts for love. But the only boy she’s ever truly loved, Pasha Chevalsky, is either totally oblivious to her affections or completely uninterested.

Meanwhile, people of the Lower East Side are disappearing left and right, each one an immigrant, and the Breadwinners think a rival gang might be to blame. When Breadwinner leader Klokov sticks a gun in Pasha’s hand, any hope Pasha harbors of a normal life is destroyed, but he refuses to let his circumstances take Faina down with him. Little does Pasha know, however, that another world exists in which he is destined to rule, and his estranged grandfather will stop at nothing to bring him home.

Life has never been simple for Staccato Nimbus. As head of an undercover division of rebels dedicated to bringing down the C.O.N., what else can one expect? In the past three years, Staccato and the gang have survived being poisoned, sleeping curses, explosions, and attacks from dangerous magical creatures. The company is constantly on the run, fleeing from city to city. When a prophecy reveals that his estranged grandson Pasha Chevalsky must flee to Voiler or die, Staccato dedicates every spare moment to rescuing him, despite the boy’s ignorance to his very existence. To add to his troubles, a haig beast is stalking his aunt’s apartment building, a creature often employed by the C.O.N. to hunt down Fay. But the final nail in Staccato’s coffin might just come from having to deal with his god-daughter Sonata and her tumultuous on-again-off-again relationship with the hot-headed igneous, Pyro.

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