Title: WATCH OF NIGHT
Genre: YA Light Sci-Fi
Word Count: 101, 000
Seventeen-year-old Carina should be happy about winning the lottery, but the prize isn’t exactly something to cheer about—it’s a one-way ticket to Mars. As if leaving everything she knows isn’t bad enough, now she’s forced to wear a uniform, train for a life she didn’t ask for, and even swear off dating until they’re settled on the Red Planet. Never mind the fact that the mission is fraught with risks and she’s just plain terrified of outer space.
Life at the Mars Prep Colony in Antarctica is anything but stellar, a constant reminder of all she’s lost. But just as she’s about to begin the testing that will determine her assigned vocation, unexpected twists upset her regimented life—the blow of personal tragedy and the rush of new romance. Routine turns to risk when she meets and falls for completely off-limits Galen. All of the lies and sneaking around could cost her a good vocation or worse, jeopardize her family’s position on the mission.
As zero hour approaches, Carina discovers the mission leaders have secrets of their own—and what they’re hiding affects the entire mission. No longer certain who to trust, escape becomes an increasingly appealing option. With so many of her choices stripped from her, she finds she still has a very important one: she can go through with the launch despite what she’s learned or risk everything for a chance at the life she wants before time runs out.
Might as well live underground. Buried alive. It’s not like I have a life anymore.
Callum waves the pamphlet around in front of me, his words echoing in my mind: “They’ve already sent a team of builders to Mars to get the colony there ready. Sounds like it’ll be a lot like the colony here but mostly underground.” He fails to recognize my expression for what it is—pure, unadulterated disinterest—as he points out the supposedly matching diagrams. I don’t bother looking.
“So what you’re saying is it’ll suck crud too?”
“Carina.” My mother’s voice is calm, but there’s a ripple of impatience there as well.
My brother is practically vibrating he’s so excited. Given that he’s mashed up against me, this only adds to my nausea. His long, bony legs bounce up and down as he reads aloud from the Hyperion Mission information packet. For, like, the millionth time since receiving it. I almost have the thing memorized from listening to him babble nonstop about it.
“Says here that the Mars Prep Colony is a former research station they redesigned for this mission and it’ll be used for future Mars missions going forward.” Future missions? Are they planning on failing this time around? Ugh. As if I didn’t already feel like a guinea pig.
“You don’t say.” I don’t even try to hide my lack of enthusiasm, exhaling and turning my eyes toward the window. We may be twins but our opinions on this couldn’t be more dissimilar.