Aldebarian Alliance: Book 3
USA Today Bestseller
A Barnes&Noble Press Top 5 Favorite Indie eBook
(Narrated by Kirsten Potter)
Apple Books Bestseller
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Dianne Duvall brings readers the next stand-alone novel in an exciting new sci-fi romance series full of action, adventure, and happily-ever-afters.
Ava has always been different. Born with strong telepathic abilities, she lives a very isolated life until she is offered a job with an obscure network that aids powerful Immortal Guardians in their quest to protect humanity from the psychotic vampires who prey upon them. Suddenly, she doesn't feel so different. For the first time in her life, Ava has found a place where she belongs. She's happy. Life is good. And when her employers invite her to join a group of other gifted ones and a handful of Immortal Guardians on a journey to another planet, it becomes absolutely fantastic.
In no time at all, she is speeding across the galaxy aboard a Lasaran warship manned by two amazing alien races. It's the dream of a lifetime... until a vicious attack by a mutual enemy of Lasara and Earth lands her alone in an escape pod with no habitable planet in sight and only one ship within range: one that carries the enemy who wants to know why the bioengineered virus they released on Earth long ago didn't exterminate humanity and leave the planet ripe for their claiming.
Jak'ri doesn't know how long he has been a prisoner aboard the Cebaun, but he fears the enemy's twisted experiments will soon lead them to a virus that will eradicate the Purveli people. Despair grips him until a female from Earth is taken captive and reaches out to him telepathically. The gift that Ava said caused her such misery in the past soon becomes his salvation as the two of them form a fast friendship. Determined to distract each other from the horrors of their existence, they immerse themselves in telepathic communion during the day, then seek solace and adventure together in shared dreams. As their friendship deepens into love, the two hatch a daring plot to escape their captors. But the enemy will not let them go without a fight.
Can Ava and Jak'ri stand against so many and emerge victorious?
BOOK OF THE MONTH
"I had an absolute blast reading this book…. I gasped… I also cried… Later on, I found myself laughing hysterically, snickering, grinning and cheering...
Run, don’t walk to get your own copy of The Purveli."
—Long and Short Reviews
"This would make an AWESOME movie!...
I can't wait to read more."—Obsessive Reading Disorder
"Fans of sci-fi romance, off planet adventure and suspense will delight in this newest installment."
"Dianne Duvall delivers with another exciting love story... providing stunning imagery, edgy adventure and fight scenes that will make this one a page-turner."—EnjoyMeSomeBooks
"Dianne Duvall writes such great characters... I am having so much fun exploring the galaxy through Dianne's imaginative writing."
Ava jerked awake.
A red light flashed on and off above her as the alarm she’d heard in her dream continued to blare. Wincing, she sat up and glanced around the escape pod that had been her home for the past two weeks.
“Warning. Proximity alert.”
“Alarm off,” she said loudly.
The alarm ceased.
“What’s happening, Evie?” Ava asked as she tapped the button that would turn her makeshift bed back into a captain’s chair of sorts.
“A ship has triggered the escape pod’s proximity alert,” the computer responded.
Her heart leapt. “A ship?” The alarm had blared with at least half a dozen proximity alerts in the past week. But asteroids had caused all of the others.
“What ship? Is it the Kandovar?”
Please, let it be the Kandovar, she urged silently. She had been unable to achieve communication with them, so she had no idea what had happened after the Lasaran ship had launched her escape pod for parts unknown. Had they defeated the Gathendiens? Were they okay? Were her friends okay? Had Eliana and the other immortals made it to their own escape pods during the mass exodus? Because the last time Ava had seen them, they’d been racing off to help the Lasaran crew.
“Is it another escape pod?”
“Negative. The ship is far too large to be an escape pod.”
“Do you know whose ship it is?”
“Can you tell me if they’re friend or foe?”
“Please repeat inquiry.”
Right. Sometimes the computer didn’t understand Ava’s questions unless they were very literal. “Can you tell me if those piloting the ship are friendly or hostile?”
“Can you guess if they are likely to be friendly or hostile?”
“This will require speculation based on an analysis of the ship itself rather than of the beings within it, so my response may be inaccurate.”
“That’s fine. Just do whatever you have to do to make a good guess.”
“Analyzing ship specs. Analysis complete. The ship is Gathendien in origin.”
“Oh crap.” Ava’s heart sank.
“Though I am unable to confirm the identities of those within it,” the computer continued in her tranquil voice that did nothing to dampen Ava’s rising fear, “there is a high probability that they are Gathendien. There is a significantly lower probability that the ship has been seized by pirates.”
There were space pirates? Seriously?
“Either way,” Evie concluded, “the fact that they shielded their presence until they were so close and have not yet hailed us indicates they have hostile intentions.”
“How close are they?” Ava asked with alarm.
“Close enough to seize the pod.”
“What?” she bleated. “They can do that?”
“Affirmative. One of their docking bay doors is rising, so that does appear to be their intention.”
“Well, can’t we do something to prevent it?”
“Any attempt to elude them will likely fail. But if you order it, I will attempt to evade capture.”
“Yes! Yes! Do that! Get us the hell out of here!”
An invisible force abruptly threw her back against the chair.
“Fleeing proximity,” Evie announced. “Please fasten your harness to avoid injury.”
Ava was already fumbling with the straps and snapping them into place.
“Gathendien ship is in pursuit.”
Ava grunted as she was tossed to the left as if the pod had made a sharp turn. Thank goodness these pods could pilot themselves. She would’ve died from a collision with asteroids days ago otherwise. Another swerve jerked Ava to the right. “What’s happening?” All she could see through the windshield was black space.
“I am attempting to avoid the Gathendien ship’s acquisition beam while heading for Asteroid Belt 116749.”
“Excellent!” Surely it would be easier for a small escape pod to zip through asteroids than it would be for a hulking warship. “Let’s lose them in the asteroids!”
“Unlikely,” Evie said calmly as the pod swerved again. “Asteroid Belt 116749 is far enough away that we will probably be—”
“Just try, damn it!” Ava gritted.
“Affirmative,” the computer replied, unruffled.
The harness dug into Ava’s shoulders as she was jerked from side to side. She thought about asking Evie to turn off the artificial gravity but honestly didn’t know if that would make things better or worse.
“Asteroid Belt 116749 is now in sight.”
“Yes!” Ava cried triumphantly. “We can do this!”
“Unlikely,” the ever-unflappable Evie replied. “Though the pod can change direction faster than the Gathendien ship and I have eluded its acquisition beam, the ship is still pursuing us and—”
“Evie,” Ava gritted, “you’re killing me.”
“Negative. Killing you is counter to my programming.”
“I don’t mean literally!” She grunted as the pod changed directions again. Thank goodness motion sickness never plagued her. “I’m trying to be optimistic!”
“Optimism at this juncture is inadvisable.”
“Oh, for crap’s sake!”
That must not have computed because Evie ignored it. “Approaching asteroid belt.”
“Plotting a course through asteroid field.”
“Warning. Proximity alert.”
Ava suddenly flew forward in her seat as if the pod had jerked to a halt. All breath left her lungs as she slammed into the harness with enough force that she was surprised it didn’t crack her ribs.
Yeah. That was definitely going to leave bruises.
“Warning. Acquisition beam is acquiring pod,” Evie said, her voice slowing and deepening as if she were running out of juice.
Every light in the pod abruptly shut off, leaving Ava in complete darkness. The faint hum of the AC or atmospheric generator or whatever provided her with air ceased, leaving behind eerie silence broken only by the pounding of her heart.
Ava’s body went weightless. Her long hair floated up around her face as the artificial gravity shut off.
Oh crap. The Gathendiens had caught her.
"An Epic Adventure!"
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—Totally Addicted to Reading
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—Obsessive Reading Disorder
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