by Liesel K. Hill
Publisher: Tate Publishing, Inc.
Publisher Book Page
A flash of purple light. A rock formation. Brown boots walking across a room at eye level. Two large hands covering hers. A hand with an ugly black burn on the back. A woman standing in front of a broken lighthouse. Blood on her hands. A whisper of a voice. These are the images that haunt Maggie. One afternoon a year ago, Maggie blacked out inexplicably. Now a man with a spiders web tattooed on his eye has attacked her in her home. Things only get more confusing when Marcus, a man she vaguely remembers from her black out, shows up to take her away. Marcus is from the future and is a member of the Brain Chemistry Optimists (BCO). And so is Maggie. Her black out was actually a years worth of time she spent in the future, fighting against collectivespeople who have linked their minds together and given up all individuality. The collectives are working to bring down the few individuals left, and Maggie learns that she is supposed to play a crucial role in these efforts. The members of the BCO explain that in battle, her brain was attacked, and she lost all her memories of her time in the future. All she has left are flashes, afterimages, Persistence of Vision. Now she must relearn everything about this different world, harness mental powers beyond anyones imagining, and navigate what was once a romance with Marcus. On top of all of that, she begins unraveling the mystery of her lost memory. However, for every answer she finds, it seems that another, more complicated question arises. Will she be able to remember enough to help the BCO?
The men with Marcus had fallen back, leaving him out in front of them before the oncoming Trepids. The ground was littered with those they’d already killed, but the approaching wave of violence was gargantuan in comparison. Maggie’s heart quickened with fear and she wondered what they would do. Marcus, standing twenty feet ahead of the others, still holding that wooden staff, would surely be crushed.
He stood perfectly still, staff in hand, as dozens of Trepids rushed toward him. It was an army, coming toward him like a moving wall. The other cave-dwellers were taking slow, tentative steps backward, toward the cave.
“Joan, what’s he…?”
Joan still held fast to Maggie’s wrist, but she gave Maggie a reassuring look.
With the Trepids less than ten feet from him, Marcus finally moved. He hefted the staff in his left hand, tossing it up a few inches so he could get ahold of it further down. Then he took a knee while also slamming the staff into the ground. He timed it perfectly so that his knee and the butt of the staff hit the ground at the same time.
The wave of energy that radiated out from him was unlike anything Maggie had ever felt. She felt it in the ground below her. It came up through her shoes and into her body, spiking her heart rate and making her skeleton vibrate against her flesh. The very mountain quivered, as if from a seismic aftershock.
Everything was moving in slow motion; the power radiating from Marcus had caught and absorbed everything around him. His warped bubble of energy had trapped them all and, for only a heartbeat, connected them…
Then it was gone. Sudden vertigo made Maggie step backward with one leg to catch herself. It was like a dream where you feel like you’re falling until you kick yourself awake. The instant her foot hit the ground the dizziness was gone, and then there was only silence in the cave and Joan holding Maggie’s hand, looking at her speculatively.
Maggie looked out to where the battle had taken place. Her mouth dropped open. All the Trepids who’d been coming—every single one of them, and there must have been close to a hundred—had fallen to the ground. The utter silence made Maggie’s breathing sound loud, and she knew they were all dead. He’d killed them all.