Sci-Fi (Post Apocalyptic / Dystopian)
Date Published: May 12, 2014
A man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It trembled in her arms. The man had a message: escape from the tunnels and never return, her parents were already dead. Jade had a sister; she was irradiated.
Thirteen years later, her sister, Pearl, is coming of age. Rows of sucker-caps line her arms and hands. Her skin is coral pink. Each night, her dreams fill with visions of violence, depression, and fear.
On the surface, people have grown wild and dangerous. They scavenge, fight, and steal. Below, in the tunnels, they're controlled by a ruthless leader and an army of beings known only as Shadows. When both groups come searching for Pearl, sensing the power her dreams may hold, only Jade can stand in the way.
" I suppose it's a dark world."
I loved the concept of this dystopian world, the sun's rays are now so intense that people are being mutated (this happens now, but we just call it skin cancer). Such a simple thing that causes so many issues, it is difficult to live on the surface, water is scarce, the air is hardly breathable, food is scarce and those born irradiated might have a unique gift. Jade was the character I identified with the most, the writing switches back and forth from Jade and Pearl's point of view, Jade was continually struggling to make everything right, find food, keep dangers away and protect her sister. When Pearl is taken, Jade steps up and becomes quite the vigilante. Towards the end, there is some insight into the hierarchy of the Tunnel dwellers. I was interested in who The Queen was...but I have my ideas. This was a shorter work, but part of a series. I'll have to see what happen's next.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
S. Elliot Brandis is a Speculative Fiction writer from Brisbane, Australia. He
writes about societies on the brink of collapse, and civilizations that have
long since crumbled. His debut novel, Irradiated, is a dark tale about survival,
love, and moral ambiguity.
When he’s not putting his characters through the wringer, he’s actually kind of a
nice guy. He keeps literature on the same shelf as comic books, and mixes his
beer with tobasco. He invites you to visit him at selliotbrandis.com
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Read an Excerpt:
The man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It was warm and wet and
its cries were muffled. Thick fabric covered its face and body. It trembled in
“You have to go,”said the man. His voice was urgent and his
movements were rapid. Each breath was hot and
“I don’t understand. Where’s Mum, where’s Dad?” Jade
The tunnel was dark but she could place him by the sound, by the
heat, by the air. His panic rushed into her, as though it was her own. He
grabbed her with heavy hands and turned her
“There’s no time,”he said. “No time, child. They’re coming. The
Shadows are coming. You need to get out of
“B-But, what about my parents?” she
The man squeezed her shoulders tightly, his fingers digging into
her muscles and between her bones.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “They’re dead. You have to trust us. This
is your only chance. This is your sister’s only chance. You have to keep going
and never turn back.”
He pushed her onward, and other hands grabbed her. They grasped
her then passed her on to the next set. They all knew what was happening, all
knew where she was headed—everybody but her. She clutched the squealing baby in
her long, thin arms and yielded herself to their guidance.
Jade had a sister; she was irradiated.