Author: Daniel Solomon Kaplan
Series: Elevated #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Release Date: September 23, 2014Summary:
Most kids can’t wait until Elevated Day, when they can finally unlock their hidden superpower. Rose remains a skeptic. While the treatment reveals a power, the outcome is irreversible and abilities can range from amazing to a nuisance. On top of that, she holds a deep rooted grudge against the treatment that turned her father into an Unsound, one with abilities so dangerous as to force them to a life of exile.
Her choice sends her down a path of discovery, as she seeks to learn more of the truth around the treatment and what really happened to her father. Fed up with lies, Rose wants nothing more than to learn the whole truth–even if it means accepting her fate as an Elevated.
A tap on my shoulder causes me to lurch.
“You’re next,” Elliott says.
What did I do to deserve waiting with this guy? “Yeah.”
“Can you really do it?” Elliott asks.
“Live not knowing, not seeing what could be.”
“I could ask you the same question.”
“Let’s say you go through those doors and become an Unsound. And you get locked away from your family and friends for your entire life. Tell me you won't wonder what a normal life could be.”
Elliott leans in. “You know an Unsound, don’t you?”
I nod. “My dad.”
He turns his head away from me. “I’m sorry.”
I’ve always faced the same reaction. They think it’s sympathy, but it’s fear. As much as everyone talks about genetics not factoring in and your parents not determining your powers, having an Unsound in the family is mark of shame. Most don’t discuss it. The only person in my high school that knows is Aaron. After the torture thrown at me in middle school, the last thing I want to do is let anyone know.
The exit door stands to my left. I want to bolt. Want to get out of this place. Something keeps me glued to my chair.
“Rose. I know you’re scared. But if you leave now, you won’t get another chance.”
He’s right. With millions of kids involved, getting another appointment is near impossible. I would end up with the other Basics. I stare at the screen, willing the phoenix not to fly by again.
“Rose. Think about this.”
“You think I haven’t? It’s all I’ve thought for years. I’m not like you, or the other kids here. You sit there, blindly waiting for your number to be called, trusting everything will be—“
“You don't know me at all.” For the first time, there’s terror in Elliott’s face. He turns back to watch the screen.
“So you’re scared too, then.”
Did he feel as helpless as I did?
Elliott takes a deep breath. “I can't control which system I was born in. I can only control how I cope with it.”
“That's the only power you think you have?” I ask.
“It’s the only power any of us have. Anything else is an illusion.”
My heart jolts as the phoenix flies by and displays my number. The mechanical voice cuts through me. “Now serving A535. That's A535. Thank you.”
I’m still. Trapped between two worlds. Somehow, none of the thinking, the planning or the debating have prepared me for this moment. Elliott stands and tries to nudge me out of my chair. I won’t move. I’ll wait here. If they want me so bad, they can drag me through those doors. A part of me wishes they would. The exit is a few steps away.
“Rose, please!” His blue eyes plead with me.
Daniel Solomon Kaplan is a playwright turned author after much arm twisting from his wife. He currently has several novels in the works, including CATALYST, the next book of the Elevated Series, scheduled to debut before the end of the year.