Word Count: 85,000 Words
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
System of Oppression: Sexism, Some Racism
Author's Identity: Female, African American
After years of being experimented on, seventeen-year-old Kali Ravelin dreams of becoming a soldier and protecting people. In a world where humans are terrorized by venomous, mutated beasts known as dyfarniad, nowhere—from the rural villages and farmlands to the technologically advanced cities and metropolises—is safe. For Kali to achieve her goal, she will join the army, fight dyfarniad, and protect civilians. The plan sounds simple.
Women are highly susceptible to dyfarniad venom and their enlistment is illegal, after all.
If Kali’s able to save even one person as a soldier, however, she’s willing to chance infection. Forging a new, male identity, she becomes a cadet, only to discover a plot to assassinate Leiden Fontaine, the army’s general. Though it’s not protecting people from the dyfarniad, she refuses to let him die. But juggling her training, hiding her gender, and keeping Leiden safe turns deadly when the assassin decides Kali’s been getting in his way—and that she needs to be removed.
GENESIS, a standalone novel with series potential, is told in multiple perspectives.
First blood had been spilt.
Kali ducked under her opponent’s next strike and grimaced, backing into the shadows cast by the cathedral. She glanced at the wound; it was shallow. I still have a chance.
Nia was struggling for breath and her simple, blue tunic was plastered to her dark skin. She grinned but didn’t press the advantage, flicking the blood from her sword without relaxing her stance. “Running scared?”
“You’re the one wheezing. Why should I be afraid?”
Around the outdoor arena the crowd cheered—but not for Kali. On her side of the ring, shattered glass and broken tech littered the ground. One man had even thrown food.
“Hey, Nia,” a man shouted. “I’m upping my bet to thirty belnin! You better win!”
Behind her, someone asked, “Are you sure? It’s 10-1 odds on Kali.”
“Like I’m going to throw away money on her. Thirty belnin on Nia.”
The clink of coins was loud as the money exchanged hands. The scratching sound of the bookies’ pencils was almost lost in the noise from the rest of the audience.
To her left, a group of men in patched overalls and thin shirts drank from canteens of liquor, while nimble waiters and waitresses served food. Women clutched at their children when they noticed Kali looking in their direction.
She snarled and tried to smother the sharp bite of satisfaction when they shrank away.
Don’t let them get to you. Kali exhaled. Rage could come later. Winning came first.
Nia ran toward her again.