Of Claws & Inferno
Of Cinder & Bone Book 5
by Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Fantasy Romance
In a modern day world teeming with marauding dragons, there is only one solution: The Wild Hunt.
Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali have worked for the Knight Division capturing wild dragons for years, but now the government has decided to hold a tournament called The Wild Hunt. Jack, Kamala, and their teammates Calloway, Libby, Agent Shannon, and Yousef, must capture five of the deadliest dragons alive before the opposing team or they lose their jobs at the Knight Division. Jack and Kamala are also chasing after Kazuma Okegawa, the yakuza lieutenant who has been trying to kill them. Okegawa is planning a hostile takeover of the worldwide illegal dragon trade and if he succeeds, everyone will be in grave danger. Between the Wild Hunt and Okegawa’s plot to destroy everything in his path, Jack and Kamala have to rely on each other to stay alive in the middle of an inferno.
Of Claws and Inferno is the fifth book in the Of Cinder and Bone science fiction/contemporary fantasy series. It follows Of Cinder and Bone, Of Blood and Ashes, Of Dawn and Embers, and Of Fury and Fangs.
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Lake Natron resided in northern Tanzania near an active volcano known as Ol Doinyo Lengai. It was part of the reason the lake had such unique characteristics. The mud had a curious dark grey color over where he’d been set up for observation, and he noted that there was now an odd-looking mound of it to the right of one of the flamingo’s nests. He zoomed in further and further, peering at it, and then realized what he was actually seeing.
The dragon had crouched down beside the nests and blended into the mud. From snout to tail, Jack calculated it had to be twelve to fourteen feet long. Its wings were folded against its back, which had small spines running down the length to a spiky tail. It had a fin with three prongs along the base of the skull and webbed feet tipped with sharp black talons. He estimated the dragon was about the size of a large hyena. It peered up at its prey with beady red eyes, its black forked tongue darting out every few seconds. Its shoulder muscles bunched and its hind legs tensed.
Then it pounced.
The dark grey dragon leapt onto one of flamingoes atop its nest and seized it by the throat. The bird squawked in distress and immediately beat its wings, trying to free itself. The others around them took to the skies in panic. The dragon slammed it into the mud and closed its jaws around the animal’s throat, blood spilling everywhere. The flamingo yelped out its last breaths and then finally stilled. The dragon dropped the limp carcass and sniffed the eggs before beginning to swallow them whole one at a time.
“Holy shit,” Jack muttered.
“Have we got a visual?”
“Oh, yeah. Based on the size, the natives and the conservationists were right to be concerned. It can probably wipe out a serious number of wildlife in a short amount of time based on what I’m seeing. There’s only a handful of fauna that can survive in these conditions and it could make mincemeat out of them.”
“Alright, so what’s the plan?”
“They told me it’s very agile, which is why their attempts to capture it haven’t worked. I’m going to see if it responds to any of the usual stimuli. So far, they said it doesn’t appear to be aggressive.”
“Copy that. Be careful, cowboy.”
“Ten-four.” Jack glanced down at his utility belt and opened the pocket on his left side, withdrawing a thin silver whistle. He put it to his lips and blew for several seconds. Much like a dog whistle, Jack couldn’t hear anything.
But the dragon’s head creaked around and those beady red eyes locked onto him.
Jack lowered the whistle and licked his dry lips. “If I were in a movie, this would be the part where I said, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’”
The dragon roared, its grey wings extending out from its body, and then flew straight at him.
Kyoko M is a USA Today bestselling author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. She has written the Amazon bestselling Black Parade urban fantasy series as well as the Of Cinder and Bone science-fiction dragon hunting series. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm Georgia night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.