Title: THE AWAKENING OF MINNA GRAY
Genre: YA Futuristic Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000 words
Sixteen-year-old Minna Gray’s new life in Emerald District is shattered when the two boys she’s babysitting are kidnapped. Guilt turns to panic when she discovers no one is looking for the boys. No one else remembers them.
It’s as if they’ve been erased.
Meanwhile, Minna’s started to see things, hear things that others can’t. She can even speak to trees. A mysterious letter from her deceased grandmother leads her to Corrin - a boy who knows about the disappearances. They aren’t isolated events. Every day more are taken. Corrin claims Minna has a magical ancestry, and that her visions will reveal how to prevent the kidnappings.
Corrin says there are those who understand her heritage in the Outlands – the pest infected waste beyond the city walls. Going there may be the only way to hone her powers, but no one survives the Outlands and Minna’s not sure she’s ready to trade life in Emerald for a slow suicide. She’s not even sure Corrin is trustworthy.
But soon she’ll have to decide. She must race to decipher the visions before anyone else she loves is taken.
She’d seen one once before - years ago, with Cameron, by the seaside. Its little round body flitted between palm fronds like a tiny jeweled fairy. They were supposed to turn it in. But they hadn’t. They’d watched it all afternoon, until it leapt into the sky and flew away, back over the Outer Wall. Their secret.
This one seemed even more out of place, amidst the asphalt and early evening glow of the podcar lines. For a second, she thought she was imagining it. But then Ethan saw it too.
“What is it?” he asked, gaze transfixed on the emerald blot making its way across the dull bronze shine of the hood.
His brown eyes widened. “A real one?”
Minna nodded. “Don’t touch it.” But she was mesmerized too.
“It doesn’t beep.” He frowned, waving his PestDetector wand over it.
“Maybe it’s not infected.” Yet.
They watched its twiggy, spindle-legged progression from latch to windshield.
“I don’t want anyone to kill it,” Ethan whispered as he backed away.
Technically it was a vector. Technically they were supposed to destroy it. But it was so small and round and innocent. Suddenly, it lifted off. Humming, it vanished into the flurry of the nearby jasmine. Minna exhaled the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding.
“Probably escaped from a DomeZoo.” Ethan said with a shaky laugh.
“Probably, but you still need to disinfect.” Minna puffed her emergency spray, enveloping the two of them in shivering white mist. Silently they counted out the seconds: eight, nine, ten. Safe.