Nexis (Tricksters, #1) by A.L. Davroe. Release Date: Dec. 1, 2015. Genre: YA Sci-Fi / YA Science Fiction, published by Entangled Teen.
In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.
Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.
But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.
Redux (Tricksters, #2) by A.L. Davroe. Published by Entangled Teen. Published on March 21st, 2017. Genre: YA Sci-Fi / YA Science Fiction.
The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.
To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.
But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.
But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.
Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.
Or die trying.
I sag to the floor, a shaking mess.
Slowly, Quentin gathers the rope up once more, coiling it around his arm. Then he’s still for a long minute. I can tell he’s staring at me, waiting. “Elle?”
I shake my head. “I-I can’t.”
He crouches down in front of me, meets my haunted eyes. I feel him take up my hands, hold them against his chest. “You’re shaking.”
Of course I am. I don’t want to die.
“You can do this,” he whispers.
Mute now, I shake my head again.
“Hey.” Shifting both my hands to one of his, he reaches out with the other, stills my head with a palm to my cheek. “Look at me.”
I do, only because I don’t have a choice. He has me trapped.
His expression is calm. Serene, like the boy who shot my uncle in the head. I wish I could turn off like that, become cool and calculated and unfeeling. “I will not let you fall. You need to trust me. You need to trust yourself. Stand up.”
Swallowing hard, I get to shaking legs. I don’t know how I’m going to go down on such unstable things. One is injured as it is.
“Shoes,” he prompts.
I slip out of my heels, let the cold stone touch my synthetic skin. It feels strange being on flat feet. I’ve grown up on heels. Without them he seems like a giant as he bends and comes around to my back, putting them into my pack as I stand like an idiot. Seeing that I’m being useless and silly, he bends at my hip and I feel him tugging my skirts. I wince as I hear the tearing noise of him splitting my beautiful dress from hem to seam.
Four times, like Violet did with hers.
And then he’s winding the strips around my thighs, his fingers passing in and out like butterfly wings. My legs go from shaking to jelly and I have to hold the wall to keep myself upright.
When he’s done, he stands in front of me, stares at me, and frowns. After a thought, he unbuttons his jacket and slides it off his shoulders.
I blink at him, confused.
“Put it on.”
I do as I’m told. It’s big on me, stiff in the shoulder from all the dried blood. It smells like him and the weight of it makes me feel like I’m being held. My fingers fumble on the buttons and he steps into my space to help, his knuckles grazing my hitching chest. The warm certainty of his presence disappears for an instant as he bends to retrieve the rope and then he’s back, tying it under my arms.
When he finishes with the knot, he just sort of goes still, his body close to mine and me wavering against the solid weight of him. His fingers slide from the knot, inch up, flutter along my clavicle, against my neck. One hand slips back behind my neck and into my hair, tugging just slightly, as the other tips up my jaw.
His breath is warm and minty as he breathes something that seems like relief, and if it’s possible, something about him—his expression, his body—eases me. He stares down, his eyes clear and true, and that melts me into his body and his touch.
And then he’s kissing me again. And I’m kissing him. It’s just like it was in the aerovator during our escape. That heat, that familiarity. That instant awakening and settling inside of me—like a flock of birds and a lazy pool of molten heat exploding through my veins and muscles at the same time. That feeling like it’s perfect and sound. It’s everything I ever wanted of a kiss from Quentin Cyr before…before…Gus.
I shove at him, step away from him, gasping. “What are you doing?” I demand. “You can’t keep kissing me, you’re-you’re in love with someone. I heard you tell Carsai.”
Unapologetic, he grins at me. “Hmm, that’s something to think about, isn’t it?”
“You’re a cad.”
He shrugs. “You’re not scared anymore, though, are you?”
Heaving in confusion, glaring in heat, I growl as I have to admit that no, I’m not scared anymore.
“I’m not sorry,” he says, voice quiet. “I like kissing you.”
Gritting my teeth, I march over to the ropes and pass them around myself as I saw Violet and Bastian do before. I shore up my grip on both ends of the rope and I don’t look down. To look down would be to see where I’m going and right now, I don’t want to.
“Hey,” Quentin calls to me from where he’s standing, lifting the security rope around him as he backs his weight against it. I feel it tug a little against my chest, like he’s drawing me back to him.
I pause, look at him even though I don’t want to make eye contact.
“Go easy,” he says, voice like honey. “Just breathe.”
A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing December 1, 2015!
By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese. She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble. She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.