On tour with Prism Book Tours
(Collective Underground #1)
By Kristen Young
Christian YA Sci-Fi Thriller, Dystopian Hardcover & ebook, 247 Pages October 13, 2020 by Enclave Escape
The Love Collective is everywhere. It sees everything. Be not afraid.
Apprentice Flick remembers everything, except the first five years of her life. And for as long as she can remember, Flick has wanted to enter the Elite Academy—home to the best, brightest, and most loyal members of the Love Collective government.
Flick’s uncanny memory might get her there, too … even if it is the very thing that marks her as a freak. But frightening hallucinations start intruding into her days and threaten to bring down all she has worked so hard to accomplish. Why is she being hijacked by a stranger’s nightmare over and over again?
Moving to the Elite Academy could give Flick the future she’s always wanted. But her search for truth may lead to a danger she cannot escape.
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Welcome to the Nursery, children. Here, you are safe. Here, no Haters can harm you. Here, you are never beyond our sight. Love all. Be all. —Supreme Lover Midgate.
Some things should never be forgotten—at least, that’s what they tell me. I can’t forget anything. Not what I had for breakfast last week (regulation protein cereal). Not the Collective News broadcast from last month (Supreme Lover Midgate wanted to wish us all “a very happy Triumph of Love season.”). Not even my first Hater Recognition Sign (Haters can’t love. Period.).
Usually I can block most of it out, but sometimes it bubbles over, and I end up getting in trouble. Like when I recite my Dorm Leaders’ exact words back to them. Or worse: when I recite what they said four years ago.
The name “Memory Freak” sticks to me like static electricity.
I’ve been living here in the Nursery Dorms for as long as I can remember. And that’s where my head gets weird. Because as far as I can tell, my memories only start when I’m already a kid. Before that first day in the dorms? Nothing. After that day? Picture-perfect recall, all ten years of it.
I get it. In Nursery Dorm 492, every day is almost a mirror image of the day before. At precisely 0630, our stim-beds wake us up. Like drones we all file into the communal bathrooms. Then it’s across the dorm campus to breakfast—hundreds of kids in regulation white jumpsuits, names embroidered on our lapels in case we forget. Not that I ever would:
Apprentice Kerr Flick #540/187503
There’s drill practice at 0830. Hater Recognition lessons at 0945. Love Collective History from 1030 until 1300. More drills. More apps. By the time 2030 kicks around, we’re tired out and ready for the warm tickle of our stim-beds again. In between, it’s a case of learn-as-much-as-I-can and avoid Myk, Bez, and Fedge. I call them the Three Fists because that’s all they know how to use.
I don’t have to worry about them for too much longer, though. I’m not going to be in the Nursery Dorm forever. No way. One day, I will get so far away they can’t find me. One day, I’ll get out of here and fly all the way to Elite Academy.
Excerpted from Apprentice by Kristen Young. Copyright © Kristen Young. Published by Enclave Escape.
About the Author
A Scottish-born Australian author, Kristen Young has worked with children and youth for decades. She writes fiction and non-fiction for teens, and always has a notebook on hand to capture stray story ideas. In her spare time she loves hanging out with her family, watching movies with subtitles, and enjoying a little too much chocolate.
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Open internationally Ends December 19, 2020