Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Release Date: 2/6/17
Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. All people are not created equal.
Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.
Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.
“Both YA and adult readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus (Starred Review)
FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
A gunshot pierced the night.
A hollow ring echoed in its wake. The sound was familiar: the bullet had struck the impenetrable armor of an enforcement drone. The noise declared that anyone within earshot should flee the tattered streets. Most of the denizens of the barrio heeded the warning. A few did not. I joined the tide of those that ran.
The machine rolled onto the avenue like a wolf among sheep. Flashing globes scrutinized the scene beneath the drone’s rotating turret, an artificial gaze seeing, recording, targeting. Caterpillar-tracked wheels dragged the metal monster’s alloy chassis across the cracked asphalt, its bulk brimming with spray guns, antennas, jammers and the devil knew what else.
“You are ordered to clear the streets and return to your homes,” commanded a reverberating voice. “The Five Cities Protection Authority has authorized the use of corrective force to restore calm to this area.”
Another machine appeared behind the first, a bitter twin of its companion. A dozen rays of light flickered from the monstrosities, forming a latticework of ominous crimson. A beam grazed my back. It caused a hint of heat on my spine, but a torrent of terror in my heart. The warning was clear: We know who you are, Daniela Machado. You are dead if we wish it.
I ran faster, cutting in front of the ragged shell of a man galloping beside me. He was a dweller of the barrio: hopeless eyes, gaunt arms, and a torn, sleeveless undershirt. I dashed across the street, putting his body in the path of the finder beam that had glued itself to my backside. I felt guilty about it. But people needed me. That was life in my part of the Five Cities.
“Puta,” he shouted when he realized what I’d done. He reached for my mane of ink-dark hair, its mass woven into a tight tail behind my head, but only his fingertips brushed against me. I was always fast—faster than anyone else on my school’s track team. Faster even than the boys. Long legs and a lean frame helped.
I dashed towards the dilapidated collection of storefronts hugging the fringes of the worn avenue, the rusted metal gates firmly closed, lean-to homes piled on their concrete roofs. Makeshift cardboard dwellings crowded the sidewalk. I ran for one of the lightless alleys between the buildings. Lurkers lived in those narrow corridors as surely as rats lived in the sewer, but I’d rather face them than the machines. I leaped towards the darkness.
A finder beam latched onto me as I sailed through the air, the comparative safety of the alley as tantalizingly close as candy in a shop window. I imagined the tight little dot on my leg, hot and hungry. I could almost touch the alley wall. But not quite. The hulking metal slave fired.
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About the Author:
I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?) Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from frustration, anger, and hope. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. Join my mailing list at www.juliannorth.com to recieve a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.