About the Book:
Daniela Machados can run. She’s the track star of Bronx City and an ace student, but that isn’t enough for a nope like her to get out of the barrio.
The Orderist movement has spawned a society that rewards those who supposedly possess “merit,” which includes America’s wealthiest. Manhattan has become the capital of the forty-nine Orderist-led states, while California suffers under an economic embargo. Cities such as Manhattan have become cocoons where the so called “highborn” enjoy the pleasures of farm-grown food and private parks, while their outwardly perfect children are protected by floating nanny-like drones that follow them everywhere.
Daniela has grown up fighting for the chance to attend college beyond the desperation of Bronx City. The chance to attend the elite Tuck School—a place where even the highborn struggle to obtain a spot—is too great an opportunity to ignore. But what do the richies really want from her?
Daniela is thrust into a world very different than the one she expected, a place where both treachery and honor are camouflaged behind beautiful faces. Intrigue and peril soon engulf her, and Daniela learns those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to preserve their so-called order, but their enemies are no less ruthless. Betrayal is everywhere, but it is a girl from Bronx City who holds the future in her hands. Daniela may have a chance to change the world, if it does not change her first.
Read an Excerpt:
Featured in April/May 2017 Issue: The Eighties
A gunshot pierced the night.
A hollow ring echoed in its wake. The sound was familiar: the bullet had struck the impenetrable armor of an enforcement drone. The noise declared that anyone within earshot should flee the tattered streets. Most of the denizens of the barrio heeded the warning. A few did not. I joined the tide of those that ran.
The machine rolled onto the avenue like a wolf among sheep. Flashing globes scrutinized the scene beneath the drone’s rotating turret, an artificial gaze seeing, recording, targeting. Caterpillar-tracked wheels dragged the metal monster’s alloy chassis across the cracked asphalt, its bulk brimming with spray guns, antennas, jammers and the devil knew what else.
“You are ordered to clear the streets and return to your homes,” commanded a reverberating voice. “The Five Cities Protection Authority has authorized the use of corrective force to restore calm to this area.”
Another machine appeared behind the first, a bitter twin of its companion. A dozen rays of light flickered from the monstrosities, forming a latticework of ominous crimson. A beam grazed my back. It caused a hint of heat on my spine, but a torrent of terror in my heart. The warning was clear: We know who you are, Daniela Machado. You are dead if we wish it.
I ran faster, cutting in front of the ragged shell of a man galloping beside me. He was a dweller of the barrio: hopeless eyes, gaunt arms, and a torn, sleeveless undershirt. I dashed across the street, putting his body in the path of the finder beam that had glued itself to my backside. I felt guilty about it. But people needed me. That was life in my part of the Five Cities.