Queen & Commander (Hive Queen Saga #1) by Janine A. Southard
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: March 10, 2013
On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably obtained spaceship will take them.
Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s smarter than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career possible: Hive Queen.
Gwyn & Victor are madly in love, but their Test results will tear them apart. Good thing Rhiannon is Gwyn’s best friend. Rhiannon can fix this. Queens can do anything.
Gavin is the wild card. Raised off-planet, he can’t wait to leave again... and he’s heard of an empty ship in orbit. The Ceridwen’s Cauldron.
Both Luciano and Alan fit in the system. They don’t need to leave. Only their devotion to Rhiannon spurs them to join the Cauldron’s crew.
Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here.
Winning a ship means surpassing the competition.
The three competing Queens swiveled their heads, hare-quick, to home in on new prey. They’d ignored her until she’d made that noise. Now they had the scent of fresh insecurity and would peck away until they laid her meager confidence bare for the massacre.
“What a sweet little girl,” gushed the one in red. “Where’s your mother?”
Dead, actually. Well, if this Queen planned to come after her for her age, she’d show her appreciation in the way only a younger person could. She raised her eyebrows and furrowed them down the middle, then pulled her head back onto her neck as though repulsed or doing a proper sit-up.
From the way the older woman cringed back, Rhiannon knew she’d succeeded in making the derisive Did you seriously just say that to me? face that she’d seen on her more critical peers.
A teenager can out bitch-face you any time, Queenie. Don’t try that tactic with me.
The eldest cocked her head, more curious than cruel. Perhaps she found it as difficult to gauge Rhiannon’s age as the other way around. As far as Rhiannon knew, this woman had been one of Dyfed’s first Queens, self-made and just as untrained as herself. “Why do you think you deserve Ceridwen’s Cauldron?”
Janine A. Southard writes and edits speculative fiction in between working on videogame projects. She's attended more than the average number of universities, which she claims is a FEATURE not a bug. ("Oxford educated, but Californian at heart;" she's also lived and traveled in Europe, the United States, and Japan.)
Currently, she lives in Seattle with a husband and a cat. The cat pretends to care about this.