Another thrilling ride through a world created in the mind of Michael J. Scott! – Amazon customer
Can’t wait for the next book! – Amazon customer
Katherine Holt lives in a state of desperate poverty in the Lower Quarter of Incorporated Municipality Number 27, FEMA Region II, foraging for food with her disabled sister, Rebecca, and hiding with her Mother from the teams of Sweepers who roam the Lower Quarter, which is supposed to have been evacuated due to plague.
But Katherine and her sister hide a secret–one that REGA, the controlling, authoritarian governmental bureaucracy in her sector, would do anything to get their hands on: she and her sister are immune to the virus. When they are picked up by a Sweeper team and taken to the HUT – a prison-like processing center for the indigent, events begin to spiral rapidly out of control as REGA becomes aware of their secret, and Katherine engineers her own escape.
Can Katherine rescue her sister from the clutches of REGA before they use Rebecca for their own ends, or is she falling into a clever trap laid specifically for her? And what dark secret has her adopted Mother been hiding for the past twenty years?
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About the Book…
I began this story with little more than a long fascination with Yeat’s poem, The Second Coming, and a desire to compose a story that my two daughters would love. At the time, both of them were fixated on The Hunger Games, and had begun reading a number of other dystopian teen novels.
Once begun, I wanted to address certain themes within this story—and within the larger series as a whole. In a sense, I’ve been equally inspired by the movie Cube—in retrospect, a rather ridiculous sci-fi horror film about a group of people stuck inside a massive, murderous cube filled with a number of booby-trapped rooms. The inspiration comes from the lines that a character utters, when he reveals that he was one of the designers of the cube. And he designed it not because he wanted to, nor because anyone in particular wanted to, but because of the simple fact that the bureaucratic powers had decided it could be done, therefore it should be done.
In a way, this highlighted for me the dehumanizing tendency of systemic power, and the image of that scene has always stuck with me. I’ve sought to capture that sense in this first book, with the way REGA experiments on and discards human beings in pursuit of the good of humanity. It is a characteristic of many centralized systems of governance: in the name of the good of society, the rights of the individual are suppressed. Thus, for the sake of a supposedly utopian ideal, evil is perpetrated and perpetuated. This, to me, forms the real heart of the dystopian paradigm. Combating such evil often takes the form of committing other acts that may be equally evil, or evil to a lesser extent, but evil nonetheless. Rarely is the character permitted the opportunity to do something actually good. That being said, I still believe firmly in hope, and I myself hope that you find at least a thread of it within these pages.