Title: New Wave (The Islands of Anarchy Series, Book One)
Author: Jennifer Ann Shore
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
When seventeen-year-old Mol is caught committing a crime, she kicks and screams her way into a dull existence of servitude in the Authority, the suffocating patriarchal regime that oversees The Network of Islands. Her penance makes her restless, and she soon finds an outlet to direct her attention — the young Commander who is at the root of her unhappiness.
"New Wave" is a young adult dystopian romance that tells the story of a young woman — "a brand new female heroine," according to The Uncorked Librarian — trying to find her place in the world. Along the way, she finds love, self-acceptance, and the true understanding of her own strength.
As if he could read what was about to happen, Nico caught my eye and shook his head. He was on the opposite side of the room, standing at attention. If he stood beside me, he likely would have thrown his arms around me to stop the inevitable. Instead, his eyes seemed to plead with me: “Don’t do it. Please, Mol. Just don’t do it.”
And I almost didn’t.
Everything happened in slow motion. The General alternated between laughing and taking swigs directly from a flask he pulled from his pocket. He barked at Emilia to clean up his mess. She bent down to gather the shards, carefully picking up the pieces.
The General decided she wasn’t moving fast enough or maybe he was too impatient for her diligent cleaning, I wasn’t sure, but he yanked her by the hair closer to him. She lost her balance and fell, catching herself by her palms and exposed knees, right onto the glass. The pieces sliced her skin, and blood immediately dripped onto the smooth, hard wooden floor.
This enraged the General. He put his flask on the table, stood up, and threw his energy into berating Emilia. How could she be so clumsy? And stupid? Didn’t she realize how useless she was? She made a mess of their dinner! And then he slapped her hard across the cheek with his ring-clad hand. Emilia cried out and crumpled to the floor.
Without hesitation, I lunged at the General. My instincts fueled me. I flung myself over the table. In one easy swoop, I picked up the knife from the set in front of him, grabbed him by the wrist, and twisted his arm behind his back. I held the blade to his throat, and time resumed a normal cadence in the silent room.
“Don’t ever touch her again,” I threatened, my breathing loud and angry.
I pressed the blade deeper into the General’s neck. He was bleeding, but I knew what point would cause serious damage. I wasn’t there yet. I could kill him, but that action would cause irreversible consequences, leaving me no chance to escape. Not that I was setting myself up for success now.
“If you even look at her in a way I don’t like again, I’ll finish this,” I hissed and promptly released him. I stepped back and dropped the knife. The General collapsed back into his chair.
I expected something to happen once I released him, but everyone seemed too stunned to move. Emilia and Isabel were staring at me in disbelief. Julian’s face paled, and his lips were pressed into each other. Hope’s expression was unreadable.
It wasn’t until I looked at the Commander, however, that reactions surfaced. The General yelled, and the Guard swarmed me. Julian, being the most senior in the room aside from the General, slammed me against a wall. My face hit the paneling. I was sure to get more bruises. He yanked my arms behind my back and secured my hands. The General, seeing I was handled, began profusely apologizing to the guests, trying to smooth over the situation.
“This is an unprecedented event,” he slurred. “I apologize that you witnessed this mess.”
“Have you been teaching your Elite new tricks, General?” They chuckled and sipped their drinks.
I would have spit in the General’s face if Julian’s forearm wasn’t pressing my skull against the white wall. He was furious with me, but I could feel him controlling his strength, revealing his anger without leaving any lasting damage.
“I’ll take her to the brig,” Julian forced out, and the Guard moved to get into formation. It was ironic that Julian was the one escorting me, considering he was the one who taught me everything.
“You will do no such thing,” the Commander said evenly.
Objections came out promptly, but he raised a hand to silence them.
“I have a few questions I would like to ask her before we move forward. Julian, take her to my personal quarters.”
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“New Wave” isn’t your typical dystopian novel—it’s a coming of age story with romance and plenty of action.
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Jennifer Ann Shore is the award-winning and bestselling author of several fiction books, including "Metallic Red," "The Stillness Before the Start," and "The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy."
In her decade of working in journalism, marketing, and book publishing, she has gained recognition for her work from companies such as Hearst and SIIA.
Be sure to visit her website (https://www.jenniferannshore.com) and follow her on Twitter (@JenniferAShore), Instagram (@shorely), or your preferred social media channel to stay in touch.
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