by Simone Pond, award-winning author of young adult dystopian fiction.
Grace has survived Chief Morray’s attempt to keep her trapped inside the mainframe, but at a terrible cost: leaving her mother behind. Giving up training at the academy in order to wait for Ava’s return. Grace wants to do the right thing, but it’s never that simple. While Ava struggles against Morray in the virtual reality, Grace is left alone in the real world to fight her own battles. There’s a new corrupt authority figure. A regional council to sway. A war to stop. And a promise to keep to a precious young soul. How can Grace save everyone, including herself? The Torrent is the final book in the New Agenda Series.
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In my dystopian book series, the elite class has annihilated modern society in order to manufacture a new world in a highly modernized and controlled environment. THE TORRENT is the fourth and final book in the New Agenda series. The story continues following the main character, Ava, as she fights against her enemy Chief Morray. He wants to keep society locked away, but Ava refuses to let him win. Below is an excerpt from THE TORRENT.
Ava loved classic films from the twentieth century. The art form had died centuries ago with the Repatterning, but when she lived inside the Los Angeles City Center, she’d get films off the dark market. It was worth the risk of getting caught for breaking Morray’s strict rules. After the walls came down, she made sure to instill classic films back into culture—one of her smaller, but more satisfying, contributions when she worked on the council. She didn’t like the city, but she enjoyed taking her daughter to see a movie once or twice a month in New Los Angeles. That was before Grace turned into a teenager, when hanging out with her mother was still fun. When the theater lights would lower and the screen filled up with endless possibilities of new adventures, Grace’s eyes would dance. She missed their special bonding moments. She missed everything about Grace.
“That was a good one.” Morray’s voice broke into her thoughts.
“Barefoot in the Park.”
“Mm hmm. Always loved watching characters overcome their greatest obstacles within a two-hour time frame. Gave me such hope.”
“I was obsessed with the classics when I was younger. Audrey Hepburn was my dream girl,” he said.
“Roman Holiday is my favorite!” Ava’s enthusiasm shocked her, but she was happy to finally talk about something they could agree upon.
Morray stared at Ava, a longing in his eyes. “After the Repatterning things changed. I didn’t have time for movies.”
“Hard to find time when you’re destroying the world, huh?”
“That’s simply not true.”
“Your denial is astounding . . .”
“You saw my archives. I didn’t destroy anything. Why do you continue to badger me?”
“Back off.” She shoved him away and took a step back.
He moved in closer and poked the top of her head. “I know you’re an obstinate one, but for once, I’d like you to get this straight: I never wanted to annihilate anything. That was my father’s master plan. He and his bastard elites were the ones who implemented the Repatterning and the New Agenda. I wanted to fix what he broke.”
“You could’ve stopped it, Morray. Locked up the elites and let them die off instead of doling out life extensions.”
“I didn’t have a choice.” His voice turned sharp. “The elites held Phoenix over my head.”
“But Phoenix died so early on. You could’ve ended it then.”
“You think just because he died they wouldn’t go after his family, his bloodline? I had to protect them. Who knows, your precious Joseph might be of his decent.”
Ava didn’t want to think about her husband possibly having traces of Morray’s genes. “Okay, I guess your effort to protect the Outsiders was a noble cause. But there was still Ret-Hav––your glorious retirement package that included experiments on anyone who no longer fit into your system.”
“Yes, I admit, I got carried away with that one. But my intentions were always to advance society. To make things better.”
“By destroying life.”
He rubbed his temples. “I rebuilt a new society. And with Dickson’s assistance, we created new life. I didn’t take it. We’ve been over this enough. Will you please let it go?”
Anger roared in Ava’s ears as she remembered the irrevocable acts against thousands of innocent city center residents. He was asking her to let it go? She wanted to pummel Morray to the ground. “Never.” She sneered.
Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.
She grew up in Kensington, Maryland - a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy's perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.
Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier.
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