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Inspiring Insomnia

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013
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NightDrake (post-apocalyptic short story)

NightDrake - Lara Adrian In 2066, a slight tilt of the Earth's axis brought on a series of natural, apocalyptic events that destroyed societies around the world. Perhaps a few tens of millions of humans survived, along with a new breed of beings known as The Strange: shapeshifters, goblins, nymphs, or "freaks of nature" as Nisha, one of the surviving humans, refers to them.

Nisha is a mercenary with a nickname of her own: Nisha the Heartless. She sells her services to the highest bidder, and when the story opens, she has been tasked with transporting a mysterious crate containing a shapeshifting dragon/(and not surprisingly) incredibly hot male named Drakor.

Since this is a novella, the action moves quickly, and the romance moves even more quickly. So quickly, in fact, that it's hard to tell just when and how the transition between Nisha and Drakor from strangers to lovers occurred. Nevertheless, the paranormal elements were sufficient to hold my interest for this quick read, and there was a nice little twist at the end.