Title: THE AWAKENING OF MINNA GRAY
Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000 words
When a night of babysitting ends in two boys being kidnapped, fifteen-year-old Minna Gray’s new life in Emerald District is shattered. 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.
Minna finds an ally in Corrin – a boy who knows about the disappearances. He tells her they weren't isolated incidences. Every day more people are taken and erased. He claims she has a magical ancestry, and that her visions will reveal how to prevent the kidnappings. A few weeks ago she would have said he was crazy, but the truth is that she has started to see things and feel things that others can’t. She can even talk to trees.
To develop her powers, he says she’ll need to travel to the Outlands – the infected waste beyond the city walls. Going there may be the only way to stop the kidnappers, 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 her ally is trustworthy.
But soon she’ll have to decide. She must race to decipher the visions before all hope for the missing boys is lost. And 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 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.