by Mary Ting
(International Sensory Assassin Network, #1)
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.
SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
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“With Helix, your senses become heightened. You’ll experience an increase in ability—especially the five senses. Images will be sharper, colors brighter, and you’ll see farther. You’ll be stronger. Your reflexes will be faster, and you’ll be able to hear from longer distances. However, your senses will tame a speaking voice not to boom in your ear. The reason why it doesn’t sound like I’m yelling at you.”
“Incredible.” The word barely left my mouth.
“Some lucky ones have more. We call that extrasensory perception. Based on the blood test, I think you might be one of the lucky ones.”
Something flashed. I caught it with my right hand, then another projectile with my left. Again, my reflexes had taken over and when I looked down, I’d caught two golf balls. I gawked, trembling. The hair on my arms rose.
“Like I said, fast reflexes.” His lips spread in satisfaction.
I clenched my jaw and stiffened. “You could’ve hurt me.”
“No, Ava. Helix doesn’t wear off quickly. I’d never hurt you. I bet you feel pretty powerful right now. Pretty special. What if you can do something good with that? What do you say?”
“Are there side effects?”
I rolled the golf balls over my fingertips. I imagined the balls colliding with my face. The thrill of what I had done—there was no denying it made me feel amazing.
Russ slowly curled his lips to a grin. “I like the way you think. It’s been thoroughly tested and we’ve seen no side effects in all the years of the program. We give you just enough to do a job, and then it’s out of your system.”
“So … Will you be joining ISAN today?”
I shivered, not just from the cool draft from the vent, but the thought of being an assassin, even if my victims were criminals. Could I really do it? Trained or no.
My mother’s last words echoed in my mind. When life shoves you down, you get right back up. Be strong. Be brave, Ava. Be someone important.
Oh, Mom, what do I do? I feel so alone and I’m so scared.
My chest caved in. I wanted to burst into a sob, but I slammed it back down. As tears pooled, thoughts of my mother twisted the dagger in my heart. My heart leaked, bleeding from the mountainous pain of missing her, needing her guidance.
I wouldn’t be in juvie, desperate to get out and resort to being an assassin if she were alive. Having no choice, I succumbed to the reality of my life and the cards I had been dealt. I pushed back my shoulders and held up my chin. Boring my eyes into his, I gave him an answer that would change my life forever.
I will be brave, Mother. I will become someone important.
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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