Genre: YA Speculative Fiction
Word Count: 91,000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
In Eden’s Underground, the temperature is strictly controlled. She isn’t used to discomfort of any sort. Any extreme, either warm or cold, would both fascinate and terrify her. Eden prefers simulations with lots of sun and warmth, however, so the introduction of real snow would freak her out. She would still want to explore it, of course, but it wouldn’t take much time for her to long for warmth again.
Dear Amy and Michelle,
When 17-year-old Eden Quinn isn’t chatting telepathically with her friends through her virtual reality halo, fighting with her mother over control of the technology in her room, or messing with her preppy younger brother, she’s probably sealed inside one of the Underground’s individual safety hatches, watching vids and waiting impatiently for another false alarm to pass. Intruders aren’t likely. Even if anything could survive Above, the Underground is well-protected.
Eden’s illusions of safety are shattered when she witnesses the abduction of her brother by men who look and act nothing like citizens of the Underground. With few leads, Eden turns to an unlikely source for help.
Kalon Fitch has never been one of Eden’s favorite people, which made it even more surprising when he requested her for a Link Trial, the Underground equivalent of an engagement. Eden has kept her distance from him, but now it appears that Kalon knows more about the strange men than he should, and Eden makes the decision to trust him for the chance to save her brother.
Though nothing is supposed to survive on the surface, that’s where Kalon leads Eden. In a world reclaimed by nature, Eden discovers that not only have people survived, but they have flourished in the technologically barren world Above. Welcomed into the small village of Heaven, Eden begins to question everything she has been taught in the Underground. She also realizes that there may be something far more sinister going on, both Underground and Above, than she could have imagined. Faced with this new reality, Eden must find her brother and figure out if Kalon is trying to help her, or if she will be the next to disappear.
First 250 Words:
Screaming alarms were Eden’s first clue that something was wrong. When the emergency lights in her bedroom blinked on and washed everything in pale orange, she knew it was serious. Minutes ago, she had been on the edge of sleep, but now her heart pounded and adrenaline filled her system as she threw off her covers and ran for the door.
It wasn’t a drill. She knew that. These alarms were never used as practice, particularly not in the middle of the night. Eden pounded through the dwelling, heedless of her bare feet on the cold surface. Underground, all floors were cold. She wound through the living room, leeched of color but for the orange lights, and into her mother’s study. At the back of the room, she punched a button that exposed four individual emergency hatches. Eden could see that two were already occupied, and forced her trembling fingers to punch in the code on the third one. With a hiss, the door popped open, and Eden scrambled inside.
When she was in place, the door automatically shut and latched. As Eden expected, Ilaria’s voice came over the com.
“Eden. You’re safe.”
“Yes, Ilaria,” Eden replied, rolling her eyes at her mother’s brisk and unconcerned tone.
“He’s here,” Illaria said. “Probably sleeping. Your father is with the patrols. You should try to sleep as well.”
Eden didn’t reply. She wasn’t likely to get sleep here, but the doors wouldn’t open until whatever threat that had triggered the alarm was contained.