JUNE, SEVENTEEN AND A HALF YEARS LATER
At six foot four and two hundred pounds, very few things frightened Ryker Davis. Dragons were one of those things, but they hardly counted since dragons weren’t real.
Or at least, they weren’t supposed to be real. They weren’t real yesterday. Today might rearrange that fact. Ryker had just finished building the machine that would prove one way or the other whether he inherited superpowers to fight dragons. Were dragons just myths from the Middle Ages—the work of wild fears turned into legends—or was reality about to make a 90-degree bend?
The dragon heartbeat simulator was a metal box the size of a cedar chest and about as boring looking. According to the specifications, when it was turned on, it sent out energy waves that would fool his body into thinking a dragon was around. His dormant Slayer abilities would be triggered and he’d have extra strength, the ability to see in the dark, and one of the other dragon-fighting skills. Something along the lines of flight, throwing shields up, dousing fire, sending out freezing shocks, sending out fireballs, healing burns, or seeing what the dragon saw.
So far, all the machine did was make a humming-thumping sound, like something was loose inside.
He stared at it, not sure whether to feel discouraged or relieved that nothing amazing was happening to him. It was hard to feel anything but foolish while his cousin, Willow, stood by, making little quips to show that she thought the whole idea of dragon slayers was hilariously funny. “So if you’re a superhero, are you going to start wearing brightly colored tights under your clothes?”
“No, I’ve always thought that jeans were good superhero fashion.”
Ryker hadn’t known that anyone considered dragon Slayer a career option until two years ago when he did an Internet search of his name and found the website RykerDavis.com.
The site proclaimed, “All You Ever Wanted to Know about Ryker Davis.” It had a password to get past the first page. The clue was, What does Ryker dream about?
How could he not try to guess the password? For all he knew, one of the jerk-wad senior guys from the football team had put up the site to harass him. It bugged a few of them that the coach made Ryker starting varsity when he was a freshman. They’d never forgiven him for it. And they’d especially never forgiven him when he quit football a year later and went out for cross-country instead. Guys who could play varsity football weren’t supposed to like cross-country better.
Ryker had typed in a few things he thought the jerk-wads would say he dreamed about, but when none of them worked, he typed in the real answer. Dragons. Although strictly speaking, those weren’t dreams. They were nightmares.
Ryker didn’t find any jokes or stupid pictures of himself. He found something completely different. And in many ways much worse.Ryker, although you’re unaware of it, you belong to an elite group of teenagers called the Slayers. Dragon eggs are here in the country, lying dormant, and will hatch within a few years. The resulting dragons won’t be humankind’s friends. You’ve inherited powers necessary to fight them. Your subconscious already knows this—which is why you’ve always had an obsession with dragons.
Granted, for as long as Ryker could remember, and he was seventeen, he’d liked weapons. As a child, he constantly stole the vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to use as a sword. Ditto for his dad’s golf clubs. In kin
"Hill has created a variety of action and fighting sequences. . . . The mix of fantasy, dragons, superpowers, and romantic drama will have wide appeal to many readers." —School Library Journal Praise for Slayers: "Part urban fantasy, part superhero tale, this adventure is full of action, drama, and humor, with just a touch of romance." —Publishers Weekly Online "This promising new series may feature dragons and a reeducation camp for contemporary youths who have mythological roots, but the character development, plotting, and ethical quandaries make this more than a worthy equal of the works of Rick Riordan or Christopher Paolini." —Booklist