Prophet of the Badlands , The Awakened (#1)
by Matthew S. Cox
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Genres: Adult, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Release date: April 26, 2015
For most twelve year olds, being kidnapped is terrifying. For Althea, it’s just Tuesday. Her power to heal the wounded and cleanse the sick makes her a hunted commodity in the Badlands, a place devoid of technology where the strong write the law in blood. For as long as she can remember, they always come, they always take her, and she lets them. Passed around in an endless series of abductions, she obeys without question―mending those who killed to own her. After three whole months in the same village, the affection of a young warrior makes her feel almost like a member of the tribe rather than a captive. Her brief joy shatters when raiders seize her yet again; for the first time in six years, being stolen hurts. A reluctant escape sends her wandering, and she realizes her gift is a prize that causes as much death as it prevents. Her attempt to return to the tribe leaves her lost and alone, hounded at every turn. When a family who sees her not as the Prophet―but as a little girl―takes her in, she finds the courage to use her power to protect those she loves. A strange man from a world beyond her imagining tests her newfound resolve, seeking to use her power to further his own agenda. Tired of being property, her freedom boils down to one question: Can Althea balance the sanctity with which she holds all life against the miserable truth that some people deserve to die?
“It’s not magic.” She sniffled. “They have guns. They can kill everyone.”
He squinted with suspicion at the raiders.
“Please, don’t.” Althea put a hand on his chest, holding him down. “He gunned you in the leg. If it was your head, I couldn’t make the hurt go away.”
Den removed his agate pendant and slid it over her head, kissing her once more on the lips.
“I will find you.”
Althea sobbed, clutching it, as she stood and backed over to the shaking, grinning men in the doorway. She stared with longing at Den as one wound rope about her wrists and tightened it, keeping her gaze on him until the tether dragged her out of the room.
“If’n I see any of you, Prophet won’t be able ta fix yas.” The raider swept his rifle over the Seekers, who leaned away as it passed.
They led her through the Lost Place, encouraging her forward with a not-too-gentle yank on the rope whenever she trudged too slow for their liking. The short one kept watch to the rear, emanating a bloodlust that sickened her. She pouted at the road, unable to bring herself to look up. It had been silly to expect her life would change simply because she liked a boy. She was the Prophet, and someone always wanted her. The premonition about Den came to pass, though she wondered if it had done so only because she had followed them.
Follow the Virtual Tour HereAuthor Matthew S. Cox[/caption] Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. Hobbies and Interests: Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.
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