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PROLOGUE

Do you ever wonder why we are born into certain families? Why, more often than not, it seems the most undeserving are born into a loving family while those of us who are worthy of such love are born into a cruel family?

Why is that?

If you’re a human looking for answers to this question, I can’t help you.

However if you’re like me, more than human, you have a decision to make. You can either A: read on, and find the answers you’ve been searching for all your life; B: close this book right now and walk away; or C: find a way to remove yourself from this world.

If you want my advice go with C—especially if your eyes are lavender and your palm lines form an intricate knot on your hand. Because chances are you are not with your soul mate, and are in the hands of beings that have every intention of making your life a living hell.

However, if suicide isn’t your particular cup of tea, go with A, because at least you will be somewhat prepared for what’s ahead. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My name is Amadeus. Well, actually it’s Amadeus Angel. But I don’t like to use my surname unless absolutely necessary.

Anyway, I’m fifteen years old, and several months ago I was like you: completely in the dark.

But all that changed when a mysterious man arrived at my house claiming to be a courier from Eden Prep, a prestigious high school in Pebble Beach California.

This man—whoever he was—presented my parents with a letter that instructed them to send me to this school straightaway.

You’d think my parents would be happy, right? Give me some sort of praise?

Wrong.

After the man had delivered his letter, my parents saw fit to punish me. As if it was my fault or something.

Okay, yeah, it was a little weird that I should get an invitation to a school to which I never even applied. But was that cause enough to beat me?

It was for my evil parents.

Truth-be-told, I was hardly surprised. I was always getting beaten for something or other. And sometimes, for no reason at all.

Between you and me, I think my parents enjoyed it.

So I was hardly surprised when my father knocked me to the floor upon seeing the letter. Nor was I much surprised when both my parents vented their frustration by kicking me while I was hunched over in pain.

From their disgruntled mutterings I was able to deduce that one couldn’t simply refuse an invitation to Eden Prep without suffering serious repercussions.

Now, I was in quite a bit of pain so I might have imagined it, but I was almost certain that there was fear in my parents’ voices: something about Eden Prep frightened my parents.

I could learn to like anything that caused my parents fear.

I had never prayed before. Suffering so much pain in the last fifteen years had made me question God’s existence. But I was praying now. I prayed that my parents would accept the invitation. And as luck or divine intervention would have it, my parents accepted!

But apparently there was more to the invitation than I realized, because the very next day my parents informed me that we were moving to Pebble Beach.