“Recommend for all age fans of paranormal, zombies, dystopia and time travel!” -MS
Keeping my eyes on the ball, I tripped on something hard and round.
My ankle twisted, tipping me over, and I fell directly into the foliage. I
half-expected to land on solid ground beneath my butt, but all that was there
was air. Then I thudded onto the rocks and continued sliding down a sharp
decline. Tumbling over, I slid head first into the dry creek bed with an oomph.
Once the momentum stopped my body and the racing of my brain
lessened, pain ricocheted everywhere. I bit back a wail and tears trickled down
my cheeks. Beyond the stars flickering over my vision, birds jostled the leaves
of the trees, taking flight in the bright sky. With my head spinning, I lay
still, afraid to get up. Thoughts of a trip to the hospital and a cast from
ankle to thigh rocked through me. Just my luck to break something right
before my Advice Meeting.
I startled at the male’s voice and gasped, struggling to right
myself. Something other than pain jolted down my side as cool, blue eyes under
a shock of dark hair met mine. My breath caught and I forced down a swallow.
Cute—so cute. I couldn’t form anything coherent for a second, other than
zombies didn’t talk.
He quirked his head, scanning the length of my body. “I doubt that.”
Warmth rushed through me while under the gaze of this mysterious guy
and my brain filed through all the faces of my potential mates online. His was
one I’d definitely remember, especially with those eyes, and yet this was the
first time I’d seen him. How did he escape my stalking? Was he on the
unapproved list because of his blue eyes? From another province perhaps? One
thing was for sure: he most definitely wasn’t a zombie.
“Here.” He reached for me and clasped my hand. His grip was strong
and warm as he pulled me to my feet. But there was something between our palms,
something flat, yet stiff with pointed edges.
He squeezed my hand hard and leveled me with a convicted look. I felt
a rush of blood hit my cheeks when he held on a little too long.
“What is this?” I peered into his anxious eyes. Did he expect that I
should know him? What was between our hands?
“Shhh—” he said, cautiously. “I just—need to tell you—”
He looked around nervously, then dropped my hand when the shouts of
my teammates called from the ridge.
“Abby?” I heard Elle scream above the rest. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” I called while my heart revved to a sprint. I fingered
the thing he’d given me, trapping the evidence inside my palm, as my chest
filled with terror. My mouth opened and shut, then I scanned the trees for
hidden cameras. If I was caught with what I’d suspected he’d given me, we’d be
arrested, no questions asked.
The strange, cute guy moved backward into the trees, blending in with
his grey and black clothing. I wanted to ask him where he was going. The only
thing echoing in my head was the Civilian Handbook.
Rule 6.1: Paper is illegal. To not make, manufacture, or use paper in
any way. Report all violations of this law, or suffer a year in prison.
The sweat in my palm softened the pointed edges of the note. If I
kept my hand closed, the EA wouldn’t see. But then how could I read what it
“Abby?” Elle screamed again. “Where are you?”
I moved away from the guy and back toward a trail leading up the side
of the ravine to the field in a rush, panicked over the paper, panicked over
“I’m coming.” I warred with a weird sense of being torn. My numb feet
stumbled forward, knowing the correct response would be to run and report him.
Another part of me wanted to help him. He wore vintage clothing from the
pre-zombie era and black Converse shoes I’d kill for and had only seen in the
museums. Where in the heck did he get his hands on paper? And why would he
trust me with it? One quick glance at his wrist—no DOD watch. I wanted to ask
him, but then I knew the EA was listening. Time ticked on slowly as we looked
questioningly, into one another’s eyes.
When I looked up the trail once again, my teammates’ feet were
rushing toward me, stirring up dirt everywhere. I turned back to the guy one
last time, but the blue eyed stranger was gone.
His note, though, burned in my palm. And then, as the girls rushed
down the trail toward me, terror flooded me. If I were caught, I’d be detained
for who knows how long. I moved to the tall grass, stooped over to pick up my
glove and stuffed the note under a shiny black rock, praying no one would
Careful to remain under the cloak of darkness, I sucked in the
precious air and pulled the black hoody tight around my face. Feeling naked
without my Date of Death watch on, I quickly scanned the softball field for signs of
life. If anyone caught me here, I’d have a lot of explaining to do. That was if
the undead didn’t get me first. I shuddered and pushed away the thought.
I’m safe. There’s
been no sightings in years, I reminded myself. Besides, I had to go. I had
to know what the note said.
Sneaking along the edge of the field, I darted stealthily in the
shadows, fighting the cold. The chilly February night was in direct opposition
to the unseasonably warm day we’d had earlier, yet I couldn’t get Blue Eyes out
of my mind—his clothes, his shoes, his eyes, his illegal paper. And no matter
how hard I tried or as stupid as breaking curfew and sneaking out was, I knew I
wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until I knew what the note had said.
Across the street, Elle’s brother Landon’s bedroom light beamed from
the swanky remodeled apartments, perks of being a top security monitor for the
EA. Courage burned through my veins as something he’d said replayed in my mind.
The reason the EA insisted on everyone wearing their watches at all times was
because cameras had difficulty deciphering people’s faces in the dark. He’d
know, with all the sneaking and breaking of rules that he did. I never broke
the law, ever. One, for fear of getting caught, and two, for having the stress
take years off my life.
There was something in the way Blue Eyes looked at me that I couldn’t
shake. The huge risk he took to transfer this information to me, one the EA
couldn’t intercept and why paper was illegal in the first place, drove me mad
with curiosity. Giant computers in the EA shrines held all interactions between
people, conversations recorded by DOD and messages off people’s flat screens,
and only through a warrant were those private interactions allowed to become
known. Of course Landon said that was bullshit, which is why I’d removed my
watch before sneaking out.
My heart thumped as I looked over my shoulder toward the street.
Landon’s apartment overlooked the field and if he spotted and reported me, or
my mother found my unattended watch next to my flat screen, playing a recording
of me sleeping in the background, I’d be dead. Though we lived in a crime-free
society, she’d send everyone on a hunt to find me. I’d be arrested and forced
to talk. Then they’d implant a DOD band on me—one I couldn’t take off, ever. I
would be branded a criminal.
Bands of light from the security tower tried to penetrate the dense
trees and the proof of what I’d destroyed with my fly ball came into view. Wow.
I’d knocked the container off its hinges. But where was the gun? Had I knocked
that off, too? And why hadn’t anyone come to repair it?
I stepped into the tree line, feeling a cold rush of bitter wind
cycle through the grasses and around my ankles. Hugging my arms to myself, I
traversed the path from earlier, my feet stumbling in the darkness. My mind
began to wander. What if a zombie could sneak over the wall now that there
wasn’t a functioning gun? Were they smart enough to climb? I inhaled, sniffing
for rotted flesh, and trudged down the path quickly. The dank dust flooded into
my nostrils as my heart raced harder. A rustle in the leaves made me freeze.
With wide eyes, I choked down the bile and held my breath, anticipating a feral
groan. The walking dead, according to the survival manual, only reacted when
they saw living flesh or smelled blood, but you weren’t to tempt fate.
Rule 21.2: If you’re in need of help, press your emergency button and
call for backup immediately, especially in an attack with the undead.
Of course, without my watch on, that wasn’t a possibility for me.
I waited, and after hearing nothing else, I continued down to the end
of the trail. Zombies didn’t know to hide or be quiet, but I didn’t want to
bring attention to myself with a flashlight. Barely able to see the path, let
alone a miniscule slip of illegal paper, I knelt down with a wish and a prayer.
Brushing my hands through the grass, hoping spiders and bugs kept far
away from me, I searched. My thigh throbbed in pain from the fall earlier, as I
scoured helplessly for the rock. It had to be here.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the gleam of black in the
moonlight. I reached for it, counting my blessings, when something large
scuttled through the brush behind me. I squeaked, snagged the rock and slip of
paper, and straightened my legs. Holding my breath, I stared to the other side
of the dry creek bed toward an illusive dark shape standing at the base of the
giant stone wall. I cocked my arm back, ready to pelt whatever it was with the
rock. A breeze blew in from the spot, bending back the grasses toward me,
revealing it wasn’t a person, but a hole in the rock wall. Then a flash of
white scooted past on the other side.
My heart leapt into my throat and I sprinted up the trail before I
could think. The moan of what had to be a zombie filled my ears. Quelling a
scream, I ran to the field, still staying out of the light. I cleared the fence
and turned, my chest heaving. The nighttime noises took a backseat to the blood
pulsing heavily in my ears. I scanned back and forth, but nothing came out of
the trees. I waited to be sure as guilt snaked through me. The most responsible
thing would be to report a sighting, but that would mean admitting I was
breaking curfew. Maybe I’d just imagined what I’d heard.
Unsure what to do, I ran to the street to find an overhead light. I
unfolded the damp note sticking to my palm.
Scrawled in charcoal, I read, “Don’t meet your future self tomorrow.
I was under the impression that this book dealt solely with zombies and it would just be another zombie apocolypse story. Boy was I wrong! IT WAS SO MUCH MORE!!!
I really enjoyed the storyline and thought it was unique and creative. Ms. Pandos has outdone herself with this book and I really cannot wait to see where this story is headed!
The main character of Abby is considered a good girl. She follows all rules and has never broken a law in her life. But when the mysterious blue eyed boy leaves her a note, she has to find out what it says. So she sneaks off after curfew and goes by the wall to retrieve it. The message has her a little baffled considering the mystery man obviously is from outside the wall. What could he possibly know about her life?
Now no book would be complete without a few swoony boys and this one has a gaggle of them:) We get a sense of whom Abby feels a connection with but there are a couple of others that she had affections for also and it leads me to believe that there may be quite more boy trouble on the horizon.
There were actually some zombies, but the book is not focused on this fact and the story has to do more with the survival of the people and Abby being a major component. My favorite part was the fact that each person upon their eighteenth birthday gets to meet their future self and ask them questions. This is so that they can possibly learn from their future mistakes. Can you imagine a world where this actually happens? One would think that this would make our world a perfect place but, this really causes alot of problems with these characters.
I kinow this is the first book in the series and we were left on a bit of a cliffhanger. I am hoping to have the next book in my hands soon!! Thank you to Brenda for the review copy and allowing me to be on this tour:)