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  • By ericca thornhill
    Jun 16, 2011
    Beginning of Chapter 1: A bone-shrieking scream came out of the dripping trees to my left and I clutched Kait's thin shoulder. There were too many threats in the swamp to know which might have gotten Berke. Had a swampsnake bitten her? Had she slipped in the mud? Could Biostrikers, almost mythical terrorists who fought for the environment, have harvested her organs? My friends and I were frozen in fear on the research platform. "I'll investigate," Qrispin finally said. I turned to him, tugged on his long hair. "Be sure to get my stylus." Daddy would never forgive me for giving my personal communications device to someone else. A citizen of Thracemere, the city where I lived, never let her stylus out of her hands. "I will." Qrispin sat on the edge of the silver platform and stepped down into the soft soil. None of us wanted to be here, but ecology lessons couldn't be skipped, and being together gave us a chance to plan our next entertainments. The leafy... More > green swamp vegetation provided a continuous banquet of decay that blended with the sewage scents emanating from the city that rose above our heads. Its towers seemed to grow out of the hills that rose out of the swamp. It was midafternoon, but beneath the shadows it could have passed for early evening. Berke had been the only one willing to go out and get the samples. I don't know why I lent her mine; I knew that she was going to lose it as soon as I slapped it into her delicate white palm. I was griping about all this to myself as Qrispin waded through the swamp, following Berke's path. He'd never find her. He'd be lost after he stepped past the first eldorian tree. I turned to my best friend. "Kait, will you come with me?" Her eyes went up to her curving white eyebrows. "Are your tentacles twisted? I'm not going in there." She crossed her arms and cocked her hip. "You shouldn't either." Her eyes gazed up to the city that rose above us, giant towers that were supported by massive steel struts that were sunk into the swamp and down to the bedrock below. "Let's go back and leave those two down here." The slimy branches of eldorian were not my idea of a facial. "She's got my stylus. Daddy will never replace it so soon after losing it last week. Call the Defenders if I scream." I jumped off the elevated path and into the muddy fen, griping to myself that I'd make Qrispin credit me back for the destruction of my new shoes. The swamp was thick with the ephemera insects that I had to brush out of my eyes while I searched through the slapping wet leaves. I came upon a tall stranger probably about five years older than myself who was dressed as if he lived in an eldorian tree or something. I knew that we were close to where Berke had screamed. His baggy black trousers were torn, his grey sweater stained, and there were slimy leaves coming out of the tops of his boots. Not someone I would want to take to the Genin Ball, although he was handsome. A fetid odor attacked my nostrils. Wet eldorian and something else. Something I didn’t recognize. He extended his hands to bar my way as if I were a child or something. "Go back." "Don't order me around." I moved to slide past him, but he was strong, and I slipped in the disgusting mud. I jerked up and looked for something to wipe my hands on but I forgot about everything when I glanced down to see that my fingers were wet with blood. When I realized that he was standing over a bloody mess that had once been Berke, I wanted to scream but couldn't. Her body was opened like a laboratory specimen and her eyes were foggy as they looked into nothingness. The wet smell of the swamp mixed with the iron smell of blood and the overpowering stench of broken entrails. How could this have happened to her so quickly? She had been bright and alive just minutes before. I shouldn't have followed Berke into the swamp. I know that I should have been filled with sorrow for her, been filled with loss at her death, but all I thought about was my own safety. Here I was, alone in the swamp with Berke's killer. I needed my stylus so I could call for help. I hoped that Berke still had it. Trying not to look at the mess, I slipped past the man and dug through the slimy mud while trying to ignore the smells. I found the remains of her tunic, torn into pieces, and there, in the shoulder pocket, my stylus. Relieved, I wiped the mud off it using a somewhat clean corner of my skirt, and I turned it on. The last file ran was an identification scan on it. That made no sense, Berke knew who I was. I glanced up at the man. He was watching me and my heart seemed to stop as I realized that he had checked her stylus and the identification file had told him that she was I. He killed her, thinking he had killed me.< Less
  • By atljmf
    Mar 18, 2010
    Such a great read. This book is filled with a little romance and a lot of action. I was on the edge of my seat from the first chapter to the end. Lost in the young heroin's world as she learned about love and life. All the while trying to help save her planet. Delightful twists and turns. Can't wait to see what Ericca comes up with next.
  • By casadyd
    Mar 1, 2010
    Impressive! I received my book and thought, "I'll just read a few pages and get to it later since I'm in the middle of another book." Five chapters later I finally put it down, bookmarked my place, and put my first book back on the shelf to finish later. Neuroprosthetic Avatar is not only good sci-fi, but a good social/'human' story. Plus it's great that the "science" part of the sci-fi is accurate and plausible in the futuristic setting. Ericca's background as a science teacher is obvious. This book would make a fantastic movie!
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Product Details

Third Edition
Ericca Thornhill
May 3, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.9 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
4.25 wide x 6.88 tall
Product ID
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