Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy release: The Vestige by Caroline George

The Vestige
by Caroline George
-YA
Release date: June 30, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

What if the end of the world has already occurred? What if our final demise happened slowly, secretly . . . and we’ve been oblivious to it all?

Julie Stryker has spent her life in the scenic streets of Charleston, South Carolina, bicycling to the local college, working at a coffeehouse, watching her family fall apart and back together. She has plans, dreams—all of which seem out of reach. Then she meets a handsome stranger at work, and she believes her life is on the brink of a much needed change. But after a tragic accident, Julie is whisked away from the only home she’s ever known and confronted with a life-altering secret: The end of the world has already occurred and a portion of humankind has been kept oblivious.

Tossed into a hidden world of deception, Julie must confront the truth within herself and reveal the government’s layers before the end of the world becomes a permanent reality.


Excerpt:

Rain drips from my nose, treats me as a stone caught in a rushing river. I crouch in the mud with limbs like chiseled rock and bandaged, blistered hands. The wind saturates my clothes—if I don’t stop shivering, I might crack teeth, have a seizure, or lose all feeling in my feet. Do I still have toes?

“Your lips are blue.” Jack drapes his jacket over my shoulders to protect me from the cold. Water spews from his mouth and nostrils, streams down his skin. “Ready for takeoff?”

“Yeah, it’s ready.” Nash and Charlie rise from the ground, plastered from head to toe with grass shards and dirt. “We have a functioning drone.”

“Shouldn’t we wait for the storm to die down?” I shield my eyes from the torrential downpour. Fog creeps through the trailer park, thicker than smoke. Its ashy tendrils claw at the remote-controlled aircraft. Chunk of plastic and wires. Determiner of our fate.

“Rainstorms are terrific cloaking devices, and since the drone won’t be going to a high altitude, the clouds will not hinder our imaging system. We’ll have a clear view,” Nash shouts over the patter. He pumps a weather balloon with hydrogen and activates the drone’s navigation system. “The weather balloon along with a thick coat of paint will prevent a heat signature. We should be off-grid.”

Jack stares at the overcast sky with his jaw clenched. He must sense it, too—danger lurking around us like a predator, the stench of change. “Let’s head inside.”

We squeeze through masses of people to reach the Command Center’s main room. Why has everyone come to witness the big reveal? We’re screwed whether we live or die.

“Move.” I fight through the sea of dirty bodies and emerge at the front of the crowd where General Ford, Ezra, and their crew of logistic officers stand at attention. Someone activates the drone’s flight sequence. Static shifts across the monitors before clarifying to reveal aerial footage.

Jack grabs my hand. He’s trembling. “Are you afraid?”

For all the strong, compassionate parts of him, there are also scared, broken parts, and until this moment, I’ve been so focused on the layers I love, I’ve overlooked the layers that make him human.

“Please. Make me afraid because feeling fear would mean I wasn’t numb.”

The footage shifts focus, replacing dilapidated trailers with acres of forest, tumultuous whitewater rivers and mountains blanketed in mist. Learning the truth won’t destroy Earth in a blink, so why should I worry? I’ve experienced the worst-case scenario, lost all that mattered to me. The apocalypse can’t take or return what’s been stolen. It won’t leave me any more scarred and changed than I am now.

“Approaching the dome,” Nash says. “Increasing altitude.”

Silence plagues the crowd like a virus, spreading fast. Some of the Listers appear to be holding their breath. If the drone doesn’t pick up speed, I might have a bunch of unconscious people to resuscitate. Jack—he squeezes so tight, my knuckles pop. Why are they freaked? How could life in a world beyond the dome be any better than life inside the bubble?

Reality flickers onto the computer monitors.

Charred buildings rise from the horizon, black as soot, void of vegetation. Stillness. Darkness. Dead. The clouds unspool to reveal cracked highways and mounds of abandoned cars.

There lie the remains of America: skeletal ruins, necrotic residue. The surviving evidence of humankind is all that’s left. And it’s not enough.

3 comments:

  1. Oh wow! What a unique story. I'm definitely intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Vestige sounds amazing! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds like an interesting read.

    ReplyDelete

 
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