Author: Michael A. Rothman
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 1st 2016
Puplisher: M & S Publishing, LLC
Summary from Goodreads:
In a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a Governor who is both feared and worshipped, Willow is a seventeen-year-old girl who is just trying to get through her last year of studies. But when her father dies, she experiences strange dreams that change everything about how she looks at the world and at herself.
Haunted by the tragedy, Willow begins pushing herself beyond anything she could have imagined she was capable of. It’s only when she catches the attention of some of the Governor’s minions that her world is turned upside-down.
“Who would have believed the world could have gone to the crapper in just a couple days. The governor has declared a state of emergency, and after one o’clock today, nobody’s allowed on the streets. Mom and Dad took our cousins, the farmworkers, and their families, to Atchison. If the worst happens, they’ll be safe in the underground mines over there. John and I couldn’t let you stay here by yourself….”
As he squeezed her palm, Willow felt a pang of sadness over the fact that she couldn’t feel him holding her hand. Willow knew that she should be freaking out, but she wasn’t the same anymore. She couldn’t feel her body. She wasn’t exactly sure if she was even alive.
Sure, her body was there. The respirator kept it breathing. But it didn’t really belong to her anymore. Was she a ghost?
Suddenly, that tingling grew stronger, and her attention strayed from her brothers. Shimmering against one of the walls was a glowing pinprick of light she’d not noticed before. It began to swell and stretch, forming what looked like a large round disc of white light. A low hum came from the shimmering portal, sounding almost like static from a bad phone connection.
Willow glanced at her brothers, and even though John faced the light, his eyes didn’t for a moment look toward it.
The mild tingles she’d felt were becoming more distracting. It was almost as if thousands of tiny needles were pricking her all over her body. And then it dawned on her.
Was this the same light she’d read about in magazine articles? The one that people talked about when they were near death.
Am I dying? Am I dead?
She tore her attention from the humming portal and glided over to the monitors, which indicated that her heart was still beating. She was still breathing. John bowed his forehead against her arm and quietly mumbled a prayer.
She couldn’t be dead and hear him. Could she?
“The fever is starting to subside….”
The voice sounded like John’s, but it didn’t come from him. Willow scanned the room, looking for the source of the sound.
Was she going crazy?
And then she heard Brad and John’s disembodied voices pleading, “Willow, come back to us….”
She stared at her brothers and they both had their heads bowed, holding her hands. They couldn’t be the source of the voices she’d just heard.
Coming from the glowing doorway she heard her brothers’ voices plead for attention as, somewhere in the distance, Willow heard a wailing siren.
The siren’s pitch and volume rose as Brad and John’s heads popped up and looked out the window with frightened expressions.
John muttered, “It’s begun.”
“Willow, we need you with us. Come back to us….”
She turned toward the shimmering portal broadcasting the voices of her brothers with a puzzled expression. She glanced to her right at her brothers and back to her left where she’d just heard them pleading for her.
She willed herself closer to the shimmering light, and it was as if Brad and John were speaking from just on the other side of it.
Someone outside her hospital room yelled, and the panic in his voice caught Willow’s attention. “They’ve launched missiles! Everyone get to the basement!”
Brad and John huddled over her unmoving body. Brad whispered, “Baby sister, we were with you when you came into this world. We’re not ever leaving you.”
Yet, not a foot away, she heard Brad and John’s disembodied voices crying for her attention. She stared at the shimmering doorway and worried about what might happen if she stepped into the light.
As the screams in the hallways continued and the chaos of the world rattled around her, Willow began wondering what she was afraid of.
Suddenly, the world paused.
A blinding light appeared through the outside window and filled the hospital room. The screams and chaos in the hallway were silenced for the briefest of moments as the world turned white.
Willow looked through the hospital window as the blinding light from the first bomb shimmered.
As the light began to fade and the details of the world came into focus once again, a tiny orange ball of flame rose into the sky near the horizon.
Brad and John both leaned over her body and braced themselves while their disembodied voices called for Willow through the glowing portal. She turned toward the shimmering white doorway and took her first step toward whatever awaited her on the other side.
About the Author
Michael A. Rothman – Author, Engineer and Cat Herder.
In a nutshell:
- First-born American in my family
- Accepts no excuses
- Despises self-importance in himself and others
- Loves Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thrillers
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