Published by: Pangur Bán Books
Released: 15 Aug 2016
At the brink of humanity’s self-destruction, New Haven has risen from the ashes as a place where illness is rare, crime is unheard of and work is a thing of the past. Under The Council’s direction, the entire community serves to improve and enrich one another’s lives, a luxury made possible by a sophisticated system of robots who take care of the menial day-to-day tasks while its citizens sleep. Awoken unexpectedly one night, Jude Stone comes face to face with a mysterious stranger named Zoe and he discovers a secret that, if exposed, could mean his banishment. Plunged deeper into Zoe’s world, truth becomes clouded and he’s caught in the middle of a dangerous game played by those in power. He must choose between community loyalty and doing what’s right, even if it means revealing New Haven’s sinister secret and destroying his perfect way of life…
Gabriel’s face was ashen and his eyes flashed from Jude, who sat in shocked silence, to Delphine and back again. Releasing a hissing breath from between his perfectly set teeth, he hung his head. “Jude,” he sighed, “you know you’re not to leave your room and now, because of your thoughtlessness, you’re the first in our family to have a warning on your record. Do you understand the gravity of the situation?”
Dread circulated in his gut, making Jude’s stomach roll in sickening waves. He decided now was not the time to bring up his run-in with the girl cleaning their kitchen—it was sure to land him in Dr. Camden’s office for a brain scan. Not only was he the family’s longtime physician, but as Head of the Council, he’d be privy to all of Jude’s indiscretions. Submission at the moment was key. “Yes, Father, I do,” he agreed.
“Please, don’t do it again. I don’t think I could bear losing another child.”
Many popular dystopian books have a common flaw- they try to create such a monstrous world that the reader is immediately in shock rather than slowly revealing that the world is not what it seems. Fortunately, The Midnight Slaves does the latter, and we’re given something wholly unique in the process. Although much cleaner than what I usually read, I didn’t feel this was lacking in depth and complexity. As a story about a world where citizens are being lied to and bad things happen to those who question authority, it’s downright chilling. As a story with slightly clichéd romance, it might seem like it’s repetitive but I think it’s more of a mirror of what would be realistic given the circumstances in which we find our characters. If you’re looking for an engrossing story that you can read relatively quickly and want to share with someone who might be a bit too young for the more violent and graphic books available, The Midnight Slaves will keep you turning pages into the night. Since it’s the first in a series there is certainly more to be explored and I look forward to seeing where Eliker takes us next!
Rachael Eliker On Creating Believable Characters:
A good book has the ability to pull a reader into a new world different than their own. But, the common denominator in any book are the characters. They might be whimsical mermaids, teenagers with psychic powers, a regular, run-of-the-mill woman who’s sick of dating. Whoever it is, creating characters who are strong, vulnerable, emotional but most importantly relatable is crucial to a writer’s success. And what’s great about characters is we can secretly judge them, loathe them for their success or want to shake them for their stupidity, make them see the solution that’s right there in front of them secretly. It’s okay to hate a character—they don’t care. Well, except maybe the author.
Here are some key steps to creating believable characters:
Snape had some redeeming qualities about him which softened a lot of readers’ hearts towards him.
Be introspective—great artists like Picasso, DaVinci created masterpieces while studying themselves. Characters can have pieces of author in them. Who better to know how to describe emotions, sensations, pleasures, scenery, etc
Be a people watcher—observing others interacting offer unlimited possibilities.
Get out and experience—what better way to learn to describe something than by doing. Do you know how it feels to have a powerful horse racing across a meadow? I do, but I probably won’t be writing about skydiving anytime soon. Pay attention to emotions you experience and figure out how to put them in paper. Jude experiences some rage before fighting some outlaws. Haven’t been in a fistfight personally, but have felt the kind of anger that makes you feel hot and cold all at the same time, that makes your heart race and clenches your hands till it feels like your nails will puncture your palms.
Everybody has some redeeming quality about them. Serial killers often described as polite. Well, almost everyone.
Rachael Eliker was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She attended UNL where she studied Animal Science with an option in Biology, before moving to Iowa with her husband to live on a century-old farmstead. She currently lives on an acreage in Indiana, with her husband and four children where she enjoys challenging home improvement projects, running on lonely stretches of country road and writing young adult fiction. Read more about her upcoming work at rachaeleliker.com.
http://therehomesteaders.blogspot.com/ (See what Rachael does between writing) 🙂