by Kate Corcino
Giveaway Celebrating the Publication Date: December 15th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising.
Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.
Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.
Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex lives a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.
The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.
In Spark Rising, Agent Alejandro Reyes discovers Magdalena Gracey living deep in the desert of what was New Mexico. In this scene, written from Alex’s point of view, Alex reports back to his best friend and partner in revolution, Thomas, that he’s found a very strong rogue Spark…and Thomas has been waiting for the moment for a very long time.
“You found one?”
Thomas’s quirked lips grew into a smile. “How strong is he?”
Alex waited a beat, drawing out the moment. He’d only get to do this once. “She is the brightest thing I’ve ever seen. Her bloom was so bright it hurt to look at it, and she was still fully functional.”
His friend stilled, one hand poised for a blow that didn’t fall. “She?”
Alex could almost hear the click as the final piece of Thomas’s grand plan fell neatly into place, making the largest, most theoretical of his ideas a reality.
His arms fell to his sides. He turned to Alex. “Tell me.”
“Do you remember Three’s Senior Councilor Aide, name of Gracey?” Alex asked. “Caught being curious about things he had no need to know? She’s his daughter.”
Thomas frowned his disagreement with a slight shake of his head. “Gracey had a daughter and a son. The daughter’s just a mid-level. Like all girls.” His voice was disappointed.
“He had another daughter. He faked her death and hid her away.” Alex took a breath. “After his death, as soon as she was old enough, she left the city. She’s been living on the edge of tribal lands and working as a black market Spark. We put ourselves on her schedule. And when we pulled up she had a corona around her like the sun at full eclipse. Like I said, it hurt to look at her.
“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said. Emotion tightened his throat, and he swallowed to clear it. It had been beautiful, but still.
Thomas was still now, utterly focused on his friend. “One of the disappeared girls,” he said. “How old?”
“Twenty-four. Young enough, and old enough. Tiny thing. Big green eyes. Coated in freckles. Not pretty, exactly, not that it matters, but stunning in her own way.” He frowned. What did that have to do with anything? He barked a laugh as he focused on what mattered—the personality they’d have to work around to get her to join them. Just because he admired her ballsiness didn’t mean he couldn’t recognize that her strength would make things harder. “She’s a tough little pain in the ass.”
Thomas took a deep breath. “Please tell me you’ve brought her here?”
He shook his head. “She got away—”
“Dammit, Alex! This is important!” His gloved hands shot up to frame his head in anger and disbelief.
“I damn well know how important it is! She took us out. Took. Us. Out.”
They had hoped to find a Spark evolved to a dangerous, exquisite extreme. They’d found her, and that presented a danger all its own.
Alex ran his hands through his hair. “She took us out long enough to get out through her escape tunnel. She made it to the tribe. I couldn’t do anything at that point.”
“You know where she is?”
“Then we’ll go get her. Tonight.”
Alex closed his eyes for a moment. Shit. He’d figured Thomas’s reaction would be strong. But this was on the extreme end.
“Yes! She cannot get away. She belongs with us.”
“We’re not ready to go to war. And that’s what it would be. We have to do this the way we do things. We have to be smart.” Alex stared down into Thomas’s pale eyes, holding onto his calm. One of them had to.
Thomas took two quick steps to stand inches from Alex. “We cannot allow her to disappear. She is—she’s our Eve.”
“I know. And I’m working on it. As soon as the Council gets wind of this girl, they will scramble everything to ensure she is taken into custody.”
“Then you get to her first, Alex. Because if they get to her first and they can’t figure out how to harness her, they will kill her. And either way, they win. You get to her first. You bring her home to us. I don’t care what you have to do.”
Alex took a long breath. “We are so close,” he reminded his friend. “Zone Three is primed. I’m not willing to undo that for a girl you didn’t know existed five minutes ago.”
He wasn’t. Was he?
“I knew she should exist. And now that I know she’s real, we will do whatever we have to do to bring her home.”
Arguing would be pointless. Thomas had anticipated this moment for too long. Alex nodded, his mind working angles.
Like this reaction wasn’t exactly what you wanted: an excuse to do whatever it takes to bring in the perfect Spark. The perfect weapon.
“We can have both. I can make it happen.”
“Then do it. But remember, she’s our priority now. Once we have her, we have the future.”