Implanted (Ascension #2) by Heather Letto
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: June 2015
After a narrow escape from the city of Impervious, Fran’s heart aches for the ones she left behind. Will her brother ever connect the dots? And, what about Pete? Could he, along with the remaining Rebels, have survived the Council’s violent oppression?
As Fran ponders the fate of her friends, an even more disturbing revelation drops into her world—the knowledge that she, along with anyone who had lived underground remains implanted with the sinister presence of the Council. A fate rendering her powerless to save.
Yet one with pure blood, untouched by the Council’s defiling, lives among them. Could he be the new lifeline of hope? Is salvation of the city worth risking the life of this one-and-only?
Suddenly, another bellow filled the air, causing tiny bumps to rise on Ret’s forearms. He dumped the bowl and swiped an extra rock from the dirt, tossed it into his pouch and took off in the direction of Sophie’s wails.
As he raced along the river’s edge, Sophie launched another battle cry. If she was this upset, her cubs must be in danger. Ret broke into a full run, loading his sling as he followed the sound.
But when he reached the clearing, the cubs appeared safe, wrestling and rolling in the meadow as usual. Sophie, on the other hand, stood on her hind legs, knee deep in the river, with the rapids splashing up high on her furry form. Her cry of distress continued and Ret wondered if she’d been injured.
He slowed to a walk as he approached, clucking his tongue in a soothing manner. What had always worked in the past, however, didn’t seem to faze the mother bear. Once near enough, Ret assessed her from head to toe. No obvious wounds. She stood upright and strong, and bellowed again, filling the air with thick vibrations.
Ret’s gaze whipped along the raging river and a swatch of color caught his eye. Had someone fallen into the rapids? Ret knew the villagers opted not to enter the river this time of year claiming his sport of rapid riding to be a bit extreme. Yet, his gut—and Sophie—told him something wasn’t right.
He scanned the shoreline with Sophie’s desperate cries as a backdrop. On a nearby river rock, Ret saw a torn cloth clinging to the rock’s edge. His eyes darted from one rock to another while searching the foamy islands.
He saw her hand first. Laying casually on top of a boulder as if she’d simply stopped for a rest while swimming. Her body, wedged between the boulder and mass of sharp stones, lifted and dipped as the water passed over and under her form.
Like the rushing of the water before him, adrenaline cut through Ret’s veins. He thrust himself, waist deep, into the freezing water. Before he could even wonder what had brought Wolf into these dangerous rapids, the current yanked at his body. He carved a trail to the high boulder, the roar of the river drowning out Sophie’s wails.
The torrent labored to hamper his progress, but Ret pushed back. Would the ferocious waters dislodge Wolf, sending her downriver before he could reach her? His mind reeled with calculations—percentage of submerged mass in relation to the speed of the current—as if he could determine the number of remaining moments before she launched. She bobbed on the water’s surface, and Ret swallowed back lumpy fear. He reached out and lunged, catching her around the waist. Relief lasted a short moment, as Ret rolled her over to face the sky. Her skin was ashen grey.
Ret looked back at the shore. Could he maneuver her back in time? He couldn’t risk losing a precious second. Instead, he hefted her limp body fully onto the boulder that had served as her temporary refuge. After crawling to her side, he placed a finger on her carotid artery, and a wave of relief exploded through him. He felt a feathery pulse—but she wasn’t breathing.
With a supportive hand beneath her skull, he pulled down on her chin, rolled her head back, and opened her mouth. Without hesitation, he performed as he had been taught. He covered her lips with his own, pinched her nose and sent a strong breath into her lungs. He watched her chest. No movement. He repeated the process.
No rise. No fall. He pinched off her nose, covered her mouth with his own and released another breath before sitting back on his heels.
“Come on, Rebel. Breathe!”
I’m a book-writing, selfie-taking, latte-drinking, social media gal. I’m living a good life on the road as a full-fledged Bedouin (Well, except, my tent is actually a fully-equipped RV.) Me and my partner-in-crime (Benj) tend to hunker down wherever the skies are clear and the temps stay in the 70’s. We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds because we aimlessly wander the U.S. with glasses perched upon our noses and faces jammed into computer screens (for the first half the day... The second half of the day is typically devoted to playing because we’re also somewhat immature.)
Like most authors, the characters I create are my extended family. And like most readers, when the story ends, I get a little sad. In real life, I have two handsome, hardworking, grown-up boys who know how to make their Mama proud! *Waves to Joey and Mike!*
The Ascension Series is my debut into the world of YA fiction.
I’m living what I love and loving what I live!