Republic of America
In the Republic, all children take the Trials at the age of ten. The score determines your future placement. The highest scoring children receive high school and college educations with good paying jobs by the Republic. Low scoring kids are sent to work dangerous jobs. Those who fail the Trials are sent to labor camps and their families are compensated, but that is a lie. The lucky ones die before Congress has a chance to experiment on them.
Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic, only no one knows what he physically looks like. It is known that he is young and that his fingerprints aren’t on file. He is wanted for assault, arson, theft, destruction of military property and hindering the war effort.” Day makes the Republic look bad. He failed his Trials and feels like his younger brother Eden will as well.
Despite the danger, Day and his friend Tess scavenge for item for his family and monitor their house to see if anyone is stricken with the Plague. When soldiers spend far too long inside Day’s house and then paint an unfamiliar mark on the door, Day will do anything to help Eden and his family. He pretends to be injured and goes to the hospital with the intention of stealing some Plague cure medications. Taking someone hostage in the lab, he is dishearten to discover that only Plague suppressants are available. He grabs those and makes a run for it, leaving behind a pendant his father has given him. Day leaps from a staircase window to fall a couple of stories to the outside. Slightly injured, he is confronted by a soldier, Metais Iparis, as he tries to escape into the sewers system. Before Metais can fire, Day throws his knife, hitting him in the shoulder and knocking him down.
June Iparis is the “Republic’s favorite little prodigy” and the only person to achieve a perfect score on the Trials. She is a senior at Drake, the republic’s top university and is preparing to graduate after only three years with perfect grades. June is training to be a soldier to fight against the Colonies, just like her older brother Metais. She is respected by her fellow students but has trouble fitting in. June is only fifteen years old.
Always in trouble with her superiors June is a bit of a daredevil, pushing herself for the opportunity when she will go after Day. When Metais picks her up at school from her latest suspension, he says to stay in their apartment and he will be back later, Metais needs to be at the hospital to oversee the transfer of some vials of mutant Plague samples. June is preparing to sneak out of the apartment when Thomas, an old friend and one of Metais’ subordinates arrives with the bad news. Metais has been killed. Commander Jameson meets June at the hospital. She informs June that as of this moment her training and coursework at Drake is complete. She is graduating early. They go to Metais’ body and Jameson asks June to describe and analyze the scene. June notices that a knife has been plunged into Metais’ heart and it looks like the killer escaped into the sewer. She gives June a few minutes with her brother’s body before she joins the search. From this point forward, June will be a member of Jameson’s patrol as an agent in training. Her first mission is tracking her brother’s killer, the elusive Day.
June plans a mission for just after Metais’ funeral in an attempt to flush out Day by posing as someone selling Plague medication. She knows he won’t show himself but us pleased when he communicated with her. She is able to pick up a few clues about his background. June then goes undercover as a street urchin in the Lake sector to see if she can find out any information about Day. When she stumbles upon an illegal skiz fight, June realizes the people watching may know something about Day. A fight ends and the crowd calls for the next opponent. Unfortunately a young, frightened girl is pushed forward. Knowing she will probably blow her cover, June steps up to fight instead, unknowingly saving Tess. As Day watches from the shadows, he knows June will be a tough competitor. The fight quickly turns dirty and June is stabbed in the side. She breaks her opponent’s arm to end the fight.
Hurrying to leave, June exits the arena and angers the crowd. Once outside, she dares to peek over her shoulder and sees that several men have followed her. Her injury prevents her from getting away and she is knocked to the ground, hitting her head. Dragging her back towards the fight, she hears a pop and finds herself all alone in a cloud of dust. A beautiful boy offers his hand and takes her to safety.
Weary of one another, June is grateful that the two strangers bandaged her up and allow her to spend a few days tagging along. She hopes to uncover some information about Day’s whereabouts, not realizing until she comes to care about the boy who saved her that he is day. Who murdered Metais and why when Day denies he did it? What happens when June turns Day over to the Republic? What secrets is the Republic keeping covered, especially those concerning Day? Who will June be able to trust now that her brother is dead? What choices will she willingly make that will change the course of her life?
Told in alternating chapters from both Day and June’s points of view, readers are able to keep up through the use of different type fonts. An absolutely engrossing read that will be hard to put down and leave you clamoring for book two, Prodigy on January 29, 2013.
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