by Michael J. Bowler
(The Healer Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: April 12th 2022
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.
Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.
Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?
As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.
The Healer Chronicles continue…
He felt eyes on him and realized Andy was staring again. He held up his near-empty bottle. “Water?”
Andy nodded, so Alex reached around behind Roy’s lolling head to snag a second bottle, tossing it toward Andy. Even though the bottle was perfectly aimed for an easy catch, Andy didn’t even raise his arms. The bottle struck his chest and dropped into his lap. Andy’s blue eyes flashed with anger, the piercing cobalt color almost burning with fire.
“Why did you do that?” His hard tone unnerved Alex.
“You, uh, was supposed to, you know, catch it.”
When Andy just stared at him with complete incomprehension, Alex tossed his own bottle into the air and caught it deftly with his right hand. Andy still didn’t react, but the surge of anger in those pools of blue faded.
Alex furrowed his brow as he cradled his almost empty bottle. “Didn’t no one ever teach you to play catch?”
Andy shook his head, his long blond hair swaying back and forth like dangling vines.
Alex began to understand that Andy hadn’t experienced even the most basic childhood experiences.
And I thought I had it bad!
He offered a smile. “It’s okay, bro. We’s together now, so I’ll help you learn all the stuff you missed. Long as it don’t got much reading or math in it.” He chuckled, but Andy’s impassive expression told him that, once again, his brother didn’t get the joke.
Well, Alex thought, we have the rest of our lives to figure each other out. Long as we can stay free.
He frowned at the last thought as he observed Andy twisting the cap off his bottle and swigging almost the entire contents in a loud, single gulp.
“Did you ever, you know, do the death thing to the doctor too?”
Andy shook his head again. “The others were careful after Teacher, and I never got another chance. I did get another teacher, though.”
Alex leaned forward in his chair to listen with keen interest because an unsettling feeling had just come over him. “What did that one look like?”
“You have already seen Teacher. At the place where we saved Roy. Long yellow hair and a different shaped body from mine or yours.”
Alex froze, his breathing on hold.
“I know it looked like Teacher was dead, but that wasn’t true,” Andy went on conversationally, oblivious to the fear Alex felt squeezing his heart like a clenched fist, “I don’t think this one can be killed like the other one. That’s what Doctor told me, anyway.”
Alex sat back in his chair, weak with renewed despair. He’d seen her shot when she tried to run away. He’d seen her fall. He’d thought his greatest enemy was finally gone.
“You sure she’s alive?”
“She?” Andy tilted his head in confusion. “I don’t know that word. If you mean Teacher, then yes, I’m sure.”
Tight with renewed fear, Alex glanced at the others slumbering peacefully around him.
It wasn’t over, after all.
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author who grew up in Northern California. He majored in English/Theatre at Santa Clara University, earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and a master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Michael taught high school in Hawthorne, California, both in general education and to students with disabilities. When Michael is not writing, he serves as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles, but mostly he takes care of his recently adopted son. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California and hopes that his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.
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