Monday, November 25, 2013
RELEASE DAY BLITZ [Excerpt + Giveaway!] Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds
by J.A. Reynolds
Publication date: November 25th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Mitzi and Deuce can recall how many drops of water were on a leaf from a rainstorm five years ago and conversations from last week, month, or year. They have the ability to remember every second of everyday—since birth.
This gift has blessed Mitzi with a history of being sexually assaulted by researchers and abused by her own parents. She trusts no one. Likes no one. Deuce, however, is a high school standout. His gift has made him a superstar on the football field and his memory promises him endless opportunities.
When they both end up at an Alzheimer’s research facility under false proviso, they quickly realize this place isn’t what it seems to be. They endure crazy military-style tests, are forcefully drugged, and complete real-life simulations that haunt them.
Mitzi and Deuce have no idea what the researchers want to do with them or their memories. But one thing is clear: the researchers will go to any lengths to get what they want.
“Now back to testing your memories.” Mark locked eyes with Ralph. “You, Ralph. Tell me something specific you remember from the age of four.”
Ralph’s eyes darted up for only a split second before he blinked and smiled. “The carnival. July twenty-first. Dad spent forty-eight dollars trying to win me a blue, oversized teddy bear. It had four whiskers on each side, six buttons down its black coat, and no tail.”
“Good. Paisley? Age one.”
Paisley’s eyes fluttered. “December thirty-first. My first birthday and New Year’s Eve. We went to the lakeshore that night. Two hundred and eighty sets of fireworks went off. Red, green, white, all starbursts. Blue, yellow, green, big crackers with a loud bang and then a fizzle of red streaks—”
“That’s good. We don’t need to know about all two hundred and eighty.” Another smile lifted his face. “Deuce? Age ten.”
Deuce’s eyes brightened. “My first football game. Junior league. I was quarterback. Nervous. Blue forty-two was the first call. It had rained that morning. There were still droplets of water on the grass. We won. The opponents kept switching between two lame plays. That was the first time I’d told my coach I could memorize the other teams movements and intercept them. Jackpot.” A cocky smile split his face. Mitzi swallowed the groan that threatened to escape her lips.
Mark nodded, almost proudly, and looked at Mitzi. “You—age twelve.”
Mitzi shuddered. The age of twelve had been one of the hardest years of her life. She closed her eyes, trying to force the flashes of memories away from her vision. No luck. She saw it like it was happening right then. Sprawled out on the icky leather couch, her pants around her ankles, her face pressed into a researcher’s stiff cotton shirt. Her stomach churned as her memory sped forward. She laid face down on a bed, her back slashed open. She shook violently from the pain. Her father stood above her, his breath heaving.
Mark’s voice snapped her to attention again.
“A bike ride with friends. Pink bike, white banana seat, twenty four spokes on each wheel. We went to the ice cream shop; four blocks and two rights turns from my house. August second.”
He tilted his head. “And your conversation?”
“Music.” She shrugged. “Makeup, boys. The norm.”
His brow lifted, like he wasn’t sure he believed her. Smart man.
“Good,” he concluded. “You should be happy to know that you four are the only four people we’ve found to have your gift of Perpetual Retention. There are those who have photographic memories, but that’s quite different. Your skills are more finely tuned and heightened beyond simply remembering a “picture” in your head. You four are the only subjects we have found that can remember how many little creatures hung from the mobile in your crib. You’re the only ones who can remember what the first words your parents said to you were. You’re the only ones with infinite memory capabilities, with proficiency at recalling anything from your past—down to the smallest detail—anytime.” His eyes glimmered. “Again … fascinating. And we’re here to study that gift. Then hone it.”
Hone it? Mitzi didn’t want to hone this skill. Her memory was already sharp enough. Too sharp. The last thing she needed was to enhance it.
“What if we change our minds?” she said, irritation settling in.
Another one of those half-smiles made Mitzi hide her shiver. “Too late. Payments have been made, arrangements already set. You’ll be released into your parents’ custody in eight weeks. No sooner. Sorry to say you’re stuck here.”
Tightness coiled around Mitzi’s chest. She might not remember exactly how she got here, or why in the hell she’d agreed to come in the first place, but she did know one thing—they couldn’t keep them here against their will. Even though they were young, they had rights.
JA Reynolds lives in the Midwest with a normal family, raising a normal daughter, with some abnormal pets. It’s extraordinarily ordinary.
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