Court of Command by Milana Jacks

On the eve of Fourth of July, they crashed from the sky. An army of beautiful, mighty, bloody perfections. They wrecked the world until he came. Their Commander. And he has a war plan for us all. 

Julia – the mortal

I’m scrounging for food in an abandoned Bel Air mansion when an angel catches me—and I try to kill him. Instead of swatting me like a mortal fly, he strikes the ground with his sword… And I’m transported, wounded and alone, to some kind of Medieval, science-fiction fantasy world. There must be some reason the archangel—all gorgeous, bloody perfection with massive wings and a deadly kilt—spared me. No mortal is supposed to remember when the angels fell. But I do, and I’m marked with a secret that could turn the tables, and send this beautiful angel straight to hell.

Commander – the archangel

In my world, everything—and everyone—submits to my will. Mortals who retain memories of Before are eliminated. I should eliminate this one, too. But something about her tugs at my very soul. So I’ve decided to keep her. When I discover she’s a pawn, I discover something else about her. She may be mortal, but she’s not weak. And I’ll fight to my last shred of power to save her before her sanity—and her life—are torn from me.the human residents of Riddle that have snared Cass in their web. Cass’s presence has caught the attention of the fae that dwell in the woods. They know she has the Sight, and they don’t want to let her go…


Read an Excerpt:

It was August. The second month since the angels descended. Though my empty belly growled, I made no sudden moves. You never knew when an angel might land on your head. Not literally, but might as well be, because that was what happened on the eve of the Fourth of July. They fell upon the world in a shower of stars, an entire army of them.

In September, my brother was gonna start first grade. Major finally declared, junior year in college lay ahead of me. The angels’ arrival turned everything upside down. Why were they here? Nobody knew. While preserving some semblance of a normal life for my brother, my parents and I tried to figure out what was happening. In fact, I carried a copy of the Bible in my backpack. I had read it and found no answers, other than a notion that this was our doomsday, which wasn’t much news at all.

Right now, I was just trying to grab something to eat, and Dad and I decided Bel Air seemed like a place that would still have food. The wide three-story house, taking up half of Los Angeles’s richest block, appeared untouched, even deserted.

I lifted my flashlight and blinked it twice, signaling to my Dad that I was okay to move in. Between the dense ten-foot-tall hedge and the house next door, Dad flashed twice too. I climbed over the twenty-foot iron gate and found shelter behind the nearest tree inside the property, surprised the plants still thrived. Maybe the owners forgot to deactivate the sprinkler timer before fleeing their home.

Instead of looking left and right for any people, I looked up first, then around, before poking my head around the tree, twice estimating the distance to the grand double door, then sprinting across the long driveway and the lawn, lockpicks in my hand. At the door, breathless, I bent and wiped sweat off my forehead, then looked around again. No wings. No people. Not even stray animals stayed out at night. Just me, Dad, and our hungry bellies.

Before picking the lock, I tried the door. It opened. Excellent. The owners forgot the sprinklers and the door. I didn’t blame them. Forgetting to lock up was nothing compared to what I’d seen in other homes. Some people had fled LA forgetting their kids. Or maybe they never made it home to get the kids.

Inside the house, the first thing I did was scan it with the flashlight. Finding nobody, I sniffed. Rotting dead bodies reeked, and I didn’t want to stumble upon another suicide scene. Once seen, that couldn’t be unseen. This house smelled of peppermint and evergreen trees, something one would find in a forest. Strange, but again, this was Bel Air, a neighborhood I’d only seen before on TV. Maybe they left their air fresheners pumping. I closed the massive door and sighed, leaning against it. I bet cans still lined the cupboards. I didn’t know the home’s layout, but my belly had a compass, and it directed me into the huge white kitchen with granite cupboards. I opened them. Yaaas.

Backpack on the counter, I reached up and swiped my hand over the canned goods. They toppled into my pack. In the corner, I spotted a bag of dry corn. If I didn’t have people depending on me to bring back food, I’d make this fully stocked house my permanent home.

I grabbed a pot and sprinkled oil in it, then glanced through the blinds. The street was still empty, Dad wasn’t done yet, the house seemed safe, and Nathan would appreciate already-made popcorn. In case I needed to escape something or someone, I slung the backpack over my back so at least I’d keep the food. I poured the corn into the pot and closed the lid, then fired up the gas stove. Within a few minutes, the corn bounced and popped, the yummy white goodies dancing inside. Once the popping stopped, I took off the lid, and my mouth salivated. I grabbed a handful and shoved it into my mouth. Forgot the salt, damn it.

“Hello, mortal.”

The house lit up like a supermarket.

I screamed at the top of my lungs and spun around. Popcorn fell out of my mouth as I gaped. A massive angel, made bigger by the span of the golden wings he held erect, levitated in the foyer. His golden body radiated golden light. Wild golden hair floated about his head, giving him a visible aura. Bright golden eyes stared at me.

Seconds felt like years as I stared at the most beautiful creature in existence. My mind could barely process his divine presence, and inside my chest, a light ignited. I closed my eyes and then opened them again. He still stood there.

My gaze dropped to his bare chest, then tracked down to his belt and the strange white kilt, for a lack of a better term. It was made of several long, flowing pieces of silk-like fabric that twined around his legs or floated around his ankles. The hem of one piece lifted and moved in the air. The windows were closed. There was no wind. It was hot as hell outside. Why was the kilt moving?

“Oh my God,” I whispered.

One corner of the angel’s mouth quirked, showing a fang.

Fuck. From my back pocket, I grabbed a knife, then bent at the knees and threw.

The knife stopped midair, spun, and hovered in the air pointing toward me.

Double fuck. Gonna make a run for it. Cuts and bruises were nothing compared to what this guy could do to me. I’d seen angels pick us up off the streets and drop us from thousands of feet. I jumped on the kitchen counter and crashed through the window, landing awkwardly on my side. Ignoring the pain, I ran across the lawn, along the driveway—which I swore was ten miles long this time—over the gate and…and nothing. My pants caught on the pointy finial of the iron gate. With one arm, I struggled to free myself, but that only made the pain in my other arm worse. I tugged at my jeans, but couldn’t rip them. I swore I’d wear tights next time. I tugged my jeans again. They tore. I slid, stopped, and grabbed the gate with one hand so I didn’t bust my head open. If the hole ripped all the way, I was gonna hit the ground headfirst and probably break my neck. I couldn’t move my right hand. Listless, it hung upside down like the rest of me, a giant piece of glass sticking out of my bicep. Warm blood trailed down my skin and dripped onto the pavement. It hurt so bad, I could cry. Stuck upside down, hanging from the gate, my backpack over my head, I prayed he’d kill me fast, and not the way I’d seen them kill other humans.

Where the hell had the damned angel come from? Ah shit. There he was. Holding a sword longer than my leg in his hand, he walked out of the house. The sword was thick, golden, and looked like it weighed a ton, with elaborate blade markings and an even more elaborate hilt that curved around the angel’s powerful arm. The angel locked eyes with me and smiled the way a tiger might at a helpless rabbit. He came for me. I was gonna die.