by Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Behind enemy lines, new soldiers will emerge, and unexpected heroes will rise.
Ava is a prisoner. And she is not the only rebel held hostage at ISAN’s secret compound. As she plans an escape, the lives of the rebel prisoners are in her hands, along with those she thought were dead.
Rhett and his team desperately search for Ava while one of the Remnant Council joins forces with another network looking for the creator of the Helix serum. And time is running out. Mr. Novak has been secretly creating an army called CODE, and what he plans for Ava will mean a permanent end to the rebels–and her.
I should have landed on him, but instead I dropped to the floor on my hands and knees like a wounded deer. An electrical sensation zapped through my middle and wrapped around me like invisible arms, holding me in place. Hundreds of needles pricked me all at once.
Excruciating pain seared from head to toe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even blink. I had been wounded many times on missions, but nothing I’d felt in ISAN compared to what had just hit me.
Immobile, a foot from my monster of a brother, I’d never felt so vulnerable. My muscles simply shut down. A whimper escaped me, but it could have been only in my head. Worse, a tear slid down my cheek. I felt humiliated beyond measure.
“Aw, sis. Are you crying? Does it hurt?” Gene took his hand out of his pocket and showed me a metal trinket, a circle about the size of his thumb.
“I thought it was best to have it handy in case you lost control.” He came dangerously closer and lowered, his warm breath brushing the shell of my ear. “Now you know, sis. I can contain you. You might want to show me some respect if you don’t want to be on the ground, helpless and weak. I might accidentally hurt you. We don’t want that do we?”
Oh, the pain. Every tiny movement—every blink—hurt so much.
He ran a knuckle down my cheek to wipe away another teardrop, and then grazed his index finger slowly across my neck, savoring my weakness.
“Next time it won’t be so soft,” he said. “You should get some rest. You look like hell.”
I screamed in my head. Peering up under my eyelashes, I watched him walk toward the sliding door. I wanted to rip out his throat, stomp on his heart, but I couldn’t move. Even a fraction of movement felt like a knife slitting deeper into my spine.
I couldn’t win. At least not this time. But I would find a way. There had to be a way.
Gene’s back to me, he held up that metal circle trinket and clicked. Just as the door blended into the wall, he released me. I thumped my head on the tile floor and wept for Brooke and the rebels who had died because of my stupid mistake.
Groaning, I crawled like a worm, my knees and elbows digging across to get to the rug, each movement agony. I refused to lie on the cold ground like I was nothing.
I’d never felt so small. No—I had, when my foster father beat me. Where was he now? Locked up. That would be Gene’s fate, too.
Just you wait, big brother. Just you wait. Karma is a bitch.
International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.
Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.
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