Normally Achilla Johnson gets the cover in the Nephilim Chronicles series, but this time Artemis Harris takes her spot because she will be a more formidable foe than any villain Achilla has faced.
Artemis is tall, thin, and fit for a girl her age. She has piercing gray eyes and a scar on her left cheek from an unknown altercation. She speaks with a Minnesota accent after spending years as an orphan in Minneapolis after her mother in Miami died from the explosion in Ares’ warehouse. Based on her introduction in Strike of the Mantis, Artemis is Ares Harris’ daughter and his best student. She holds Ares in such high regard that she intends to follow in his foot steps, and Achilla’s family is her first target. Achilla tries to reason with her but soon realizes that’s not possible. She attacks Achilla, threatens Sandy Carvalho and Samuel Johnson, and then kidnaps Apollo Johnson. When the fighting starts, Artemis strikes the first blow with speed Achilla can’t detect, but she doesn’t hit hard enough to do any damage. It didn’t matter. Artemis still left with Apollo to who knows where.
So why give Artemis the cover for the next book? Is she any worse than Ailina and Ares? Well I won’t reveal too much, but I will say Artemis is the embodiment of what’s wrong with American government and society. She is both the victim and perpetrator of our flaws including: racist media propoganda, the drug war, torture, both familial and sexual relationships(the latter when she’s a few years older). Defeating her will often require fighting how the the government operates, its leaders manipulate, and its citizens react to it all. Unlike Ailina, who moved in secret and bucked social norms, Artemis will use them to her advantage in a way that ensures that she’s never fighting alone, even if you think she is.
Artemis will pose quite a test for the Johnsons, but she’ll also challenge you as the reader. She forces you to ask, “What would you do?” Do you have the potential to become Artemis? Would you deal with Artemis the same way Achilla chooses to? Almost every page with Artemis’ name on in it will force you to judge yourself before you judge her, and much like Nagato “Pain” Uzamaki from Naruto, you’ll find you can relate to parts of her, even some of the worst(perhaps especially if you voted for Donald Trump).
A beta reader for Words of the Serpent made an interesting comparison between Artemis and Negan from The Walking Dead. Though Negan is more jovial than Artemis, they do have similarities. They’re both cold, calculating, sadistic, power thirsty, and gifted in psychological warfare. Whether one is worse than the other may be a matter of taste. Artemis doesn’t wield a bat named Lucille, but she’s no stranger to weapons or torturing her enemies. For someone so young, she has an unusual lack of innocence, kind of like Achilla did, only she doesn’t have a new family to steer her the right way. However, it’s questionable whether that would’ve made any difference for either of them.
Don’t just take my word for it though. Pre-order your e-book today at this link, and read on December 11th. You may want to mentally prepare yourself first. Artemis is as difficult for you to read as she is for Achilla to fight. Both of you will be forced to reflect on yourselves. I already know how Achilla will react. Your conclusion is the wild card.
Look inside, my friends.