Hi guys, we have Madeleine Ribbon stopping by with the tour for her new release Green Death, we have a brilliant interview with Madeleine, a great excerpt, a fantastic $10 Amazon GC giveaway and Shorty’s review so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
For ninety years, the Exclusion Zone has been walled off from the rest of the country. The neighborhood—once a hotbed of political revolution—is now crumbling. Poison from the great catastrophe still hangs in the air. It taints every living thing that breathes it in. It causes rages, great bursts of violence that can’t be controlled. And that makes living within the walls incredibly difficult. But the descendants of the catastrophe survive, and the resistance hasn’t died.
As poisonmaster to the Oligarch, Tryg Sant knows a lot of things others shouldn’t. But when he discovers his family’s darkest secret, his brother tries to kill him.
When Tryg’s lover pushes him out of a helicopter and into the poison-filled Exclusion Zone, Tryg finds himself trapped in a dangerous new world, entirely different from the one he expects. Now, Tryg has to learn to survive nearly-feral humans and his own disintegrating mind. Luckily, he’s found an ally in Riot, one of the victims of the Green Death…
Interview with Madeleine Ribbon!
When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
The first story I ever remember writing was when I was a dramatic little third grader. It involved talking cats, enormous pumpkins, spanned four wide-ruled sheets of notebook paper (back AND front), and I was inordinately proud of it. My poor teacher visibly cringed when I handed it in. My inspiration definitely came from not wanting to work on math problems instead. I’ve successfully used fiction-writing as a procrastination method/drama outlet ever since.
Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I do a little of both, really. For part of the week, I try to stick to a schedule—I have a few full days set aside for writing work (no dayjob, no social plans, nothing else allowed) and I stick to them pretty well. The rest of the week, I use writing as excellent procrastination from the things I don’t want to do. I’ve found that I get the most work done when I’m supposed to be focused on something else. Time to clean the house before guests come over? Nope, I can’t, I just had a great plot idea.
Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
I definitely plot beforehand—I know what’s supposed to happen in each scene—though the completed rough draft might only stick to half of the outline, and subsequent edits will make it diverge even more. It forces me to keep an eye on the ending, though, and with each change I make, I have to re-evaluate where the story goes. And when I sit down to write, I usually find one song that matches the mood of the scene I’m going to write, and then I listen to it on repeat to really get in that mindset.
I usually write linearly, chapter by chapter. My mind works best that way—it’s easiest to stay in my characters’ heads if I ‘age’ and ‘experience’ at the same pace they do. And I don’t allow myself a lot of edits on the first draft so I can stay focused on the ending.
Once I’m done with the rough draft, I go back in and make the big plot changes/character changes/setting changes. Then I go through a few more edits to smooth everything out and sent it out to my betas (who then kick my ass on any major plot holes still left). My betas are probably the most important part of the process, since I get too close to my work when I write it. In Green Death, they’re the ones who insisted on the character of Humid—she fills a void I hadn’t noticed during my first draft, and her presence changes the emotional dynamic between my main characters for the better.
Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?
There are a whole bunch of reasons, but the biggest one is also the most personal for me.
When I was in my early teens, I realized two things: the first was that I liked both genders, and the second was that I personally identified with neither girl nor boy. I grew up in an extremely religious environment, and anyone different got talked about a lot, so I never showed that side of me to anyone. I never explored it. I often hated myself over being different, and worried endlessly over what the people around me would say if they knew my inner self. I dealt with crippling depression and anxiety. I flirted with suicide. I absolutely, positively was convinced I was rotten from the inside out—because that’s what the people around me led me to believe. Nobody in my high school was out, and there was exactly one gay man at the other high school in town—and I heard all my family’s opinions on that matter, loud and clear. So I didn’t let myself even think the word ‘bisexual’. I pushed myself into the mold of ‘girl’.
I survived, somehow. And then I got to college, and I met people who were accepting. People who didn’t judge. People who were out. The people my family talked about in such a negative light were amazing, and they understood my inner self in a way I hadn’t been able to, before. I was able to start unlocking and understanding all that wrongness I felt about the molds I’d been forced into.
It took me a very long time to accept myself, even after the revelation that it was okay to be me. I’ve never pushed for different pronoun use (she/her never bothered me, though ‘woman’ makes me a little uncomfortable, and if I get called ‘girl’ to my face, I want to start throwing punches). I ended up falling in love with someone of the opposite gender, so on the outside, I’ve got the cis-hetero thing down pat as long as I don’t open my mouth. But I could have been saved so much fear and frustration if I’d grown up among people more accepting of differences.
So when I started writing romances (with an eye to actually publish) back in 2010, before gay marriage was legal in more than a few states, I decided not to take the usual, impossibly-well-beaten path with hetero romance. I wanted to not only give my readers something as an escape, but also make them think about acceptance. About equality and how ‘different’ doesn’t equal ‘bad’, about how those people that you don’t understand still deserve happiness and acceptance and love. I wanted that message to seep into my readers’ heads. I wanted them to chew on it and think about it and spread it to those they talked to. And when I started to look at publishers, I found the M/M genre had already started spreading like wildfire, and I figured that’s where I’d lend my voice.
How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
The amount of time and effort I spend researching definitely depends on the story. For Green Death, I ended up doing a good deal on venomous and poisonous creatures, poison types, how technology could degrade in the future once civilization hit a certain point, all kinds of things that will make me look like a serial killer to someone accessing my internet history.
As for sources of authentic voice—I love to people-watch. I live near two large cities, so if I’m having trouble developing a voice for a character, I’ll sit on the subway or in a corner of a public space or in a bar or club or restaurant and just listen to people, watch their actions, and generally be an all-around creeper while scribbling madly in my notebook about the kinds of things that might work for the character I’m having trouble channeling.
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
Definitely coming up with a good book title. Among my beta readers, I’m notorious for giving my rough drafts simple names as a placeholder and then never coming up with something better (or doing it too late in the process, once the old name is good and stuck in everyone’s mind and anything else sounds wrong). Character names, on the other hand, have always been easy for me. I have a ‘what were their parents like? Okay, what kinds of names would those parents give?’ thought process behind it, as well as a long list of names I can’t/won’t use, and that generally boils my pot of options down pretty quickly.
How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
It certainly depends on who’s asking, though the most common answer is ‘LGBT-oriented romance novels’ to someone who isn’t familiar with the m/m genre.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is ultra-religious and extremely conservative, but they’re also the kinds of people to disapprove fairly silently (they make passive-aggressive into an art form), so we don’t talk about it much. I do outright refuse to talk about what I write to certain branches of the family tree, mostly because we’d never speak again otherwise. Luckily, I have very supportive in-laws and a great group of friends—and everyone at my day-job thinks it’s hilariously awesome.
Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
Now that Green Death is released, I’m starting work on a sci-fi/fantasy idea I’ve been mulling over for what feels like an eternity. I’m hoping to get at least two stories out next year—only having one brand new release for both 2017 and 2018 was disappointing. Between all the re-releases after Loose Id closed and getting used to the new day job, my work/writing/life balance got completely thrown off for a while. But I’m finally back on track!
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
This is going to sound a little simple, but finish it. Whatever you start, make sure you see it through to the end, even if it’s painful. If you’re more than a few days into a project and decide it sucks and want to move on to the next shiny idea, make yourself finish. Even if you turn what you’d originally envisioned as a novel into a short story, give it an ending. Just finishing it will make you consider the strength of the plot, and the personalities of the characters, and a hundred other things that you’d have just dropped if you quit. And when you’re done, you’ve still succeeded in finishing something—even if it sucks and you hate it and it’ll never see the light of day.
Learning how to finish everything I started was probably my biggest milestone as an aspiring writer. Now, sometimes, after ten years of an old finished story collecting dust in the depths of my computer, I’ll think about it and pull it out and discover that I love some of the elements in it. And then I’ll take the good bits, rewrite them, and turn it into something better.
If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
I’d go forward, definitely—as far as I could, just to see where humanity ends up. The concept of human evolution and what we could become as a species (especially once we start planet-hopping) absolutely fascinates me.
If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
A hot mess, mostly because I haven’t cleaned it out in a while. The things I always have on hand are milk, onions, bacon, and some kind of cheese, but every week the rest is different. I love trying out new recipes, especially if they involve things I’ve never made before.
Oh! And beer. I always have beer in the fridge. I homebrew for fun and work in a brewery for the day job, so I like to call it ‘research’.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I hate traffic and my daily commute is a pain.
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I put my characters through too much I don’t want to have to live through. But if we’re talking after their happily-ever-after, I’d say Shepherd from Faire Protector—brewing beer with my sexy, badass husband and living in a magical Renaissance Faire sounds like a damned good life.
If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
All I’d need a quiet room with a gorgeous view. Maybe a hotel room right on the beach, top-floor and facing the ocean, during the tourist off-season. Or a cabin on the side of a mountain, with a porch swing and hiking trails nearby for when I need to work through a plot problem without smashing my head against the computer screen.
What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
Or cheese. I’m solidly addicted to both.
What internet site do you surf to the most?
Every morning, I check out cracked.com – there’s always a few interesting, funny, and well-written articles. Otherwise, maybe Dulfy.net—Dulfy is a video gamer and she puts together a lot of guides, news, and sneak peaks into an MMORPG I play.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
Just thinking about this question is making my anxiety spike. If I could magically hold it together, I’d have to go with JK Rowling (because I was a potterhead by age 12, complete with terrible fanfiction—one of the biggest drivers in getting me to write regularly), George RR Martin (because I need to know what kind of brain he’s got to produce such dark, twisted fabulousness), and Josh Lanyon (because his work made me fall in love with gay lit).
When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
I was absolutely elated. It’d been my first submission to a publisher, so I expected rejection and could barely fathom that I hadn’t gotten a ‘no’. The first person I told was my husband, and he made me repeat it a few times because I was talking way too fast and making no sense at all. We’d been married maybe nine months, and I’d just left a job because I’d busted my knee and the work was really physical. While I was out of commission, I took writing and pushing things to publishers very seriously. He was extremely supportive while I chased the dream while pulling in zero income, and when Loose Id sent me that acceptance letter, I freaked out pretty much the entire day until he got home.
Everything felt muffled. My injuries, my emotions, my thoughts, the sounds from outside. The heavy, rhythmic, mechanical thumps from somewhere above me were so loud they radiated through my chest. My mind barely registered the noise, even if my sternum did—maybe because there was something strapped over my head, digging into the top of my skull and trapping warm, sweaty air over my ears.
All I cared about, in the moment, was that I wasn’t being hit.
The ground shifted under me, tilting just slightly, shooting my equilibrium all to hell. The only things that kept me from toppling over were a wall on my left, propping me upright, and straps across my shoulders and chest and hips. They dug into my bruises with a steady, fuzzy, ache.
I tried to tug at the straps, hoping to release the pressure, but my arm didn’t work right.
I should have hurt a lot more. I was pretty damned sure I ought to be screaming from just trying to move my arm, but all I felt was thick haze and a low heat over almost every inch of my skin.
“Tryg, wake up.” The headpiece I wore transmitted the words directly into my ears, but even with the amplification, I could barely hear it over the whump whump whump coming from overhead.
I opened my eyes. Well, my left eye, since the right lid didn’t seem to work.
I tried looking around, but my neck didn’t want to move either. So far, the only thing responding to me was a single eyelid.
Someone had given me something—a drug or a poison of some sort. That was the only reason I wasn’t writhing on the ground, screaming. I could feel my injuries, the places my brother had cracked bones or ripped into my skin with his obnoxiously large ring, but only a little. Like a wad of cloth had been shoved somewhere between the injuries and my brain, so the signals from my nerves couldn’t make it through at full strength.
I tried to focus, tried to direct my wandering mind to the list of substances Vodayn had requested from me over the last ten years I’d run the laboratory.
Nothing. Probably just strong painkillers, unless he had outside sources for a new poison.
Outside sources. My blood ran cold. Is that what Arris had been talking about, when I overheard them a few days ago? This pricked at my pride. For a moment, it didn’t matter that my brother had starved and kicked the shit out of me and was sending me to my death. I was angry at him for going elsewhere for poisons when I could make him almost anything he wanted, a hundred times better and far more discreetly than anyone else.
But I’m not his poison master anymore. The thought came crashing down around me, heavy on my shoulders. I slumped forward, though the straps kept me from folding in half.
And then realization struck me, harder than any of my brother’s blows had.
He’d always planned on getting rid of me. Even before I’d found the damning documents. If he was looking elsewhere for poisons, he’d been looking for a replacement. That’d been what Arris’s comment to him had been about.
“Come on, Tryg. I hate that I have to do this job, but it’s a damned good thing for you. Anyone else would have just pushed you out by now. I want you to be functional.”
Arris. My whole body started to shake. Arris was here. He’d save me. He’d make sure I was okay. He cared about me, as much as anyone ever had. More than anyone, since Dad died.
I finally managed to twist my neck a few inches. Arris’s scarred, tanned face slowly resolved before me, headset obscuring his short black hair.
He was frowning just a little. It was the most emotion I’d seen on him, outside of sex.
“There we go. Welcome back.” He leaned forward and brushed his thumb over my cheek. Searing fire ran though my face. I hissed and tried to jerk back, but most of my body still didn’t want to obey my directives.
My words slurred. Apparently my lips worked fine, though my tongue was taking its sweet time catching up. I hoped the drug didn’t wear off too soon. I wasn’t prepared to face the damage done to my body. Not until I knew what in the dark depths of hell Arris was planning.
Arris watched me with soft eyes. He never had soft eyes. Passionate while we were fucking? Yes. Inquisitive? Rarely. Ice cold when in his official capacity? Always. But never soft.
“This is occurring because Vodayn demanded that you die. Telling him what you found was a stupid move. The stupidest. He’s been increasingly paranoid over the last year. Surely you haven’t missed that, as smart as you are?”
“Paaa…noy?” My half-numb tongue fumbled over the word. I shook my head. I hadn’t had time to notice anything.
For the last year, Vodayn’s requests of me had gone down, yes, but when he did give me a project, he had been making obscure and incredibly difficult demands I’d worked hard to fulfill. A substance that, once ingested, made hair change color permanently, with no other effect. One that made the victim cry irrationally for days. One that mimicked a heart attack’s symptoms perfectly. I’d succeeded in crafting them all, though the crying draught lasted for only thirty-six hours.
I’d been proud of my success. I’d managed everything he asked.
Arris hummed a little. “Very paranoid. You always were a bit too focused when you were working.”
The lines between his brows grew deeper. “Know what?”
“What I told him.” Words were slowly becoming easier to pronounce.
“Because I was there when he received your report. I only got a glimpse of it while he read it, but I know what it means. We suspected that the Sants had been behind the poisoning ever since it happened. There’s a reason I was stationed in the household, and my father before me. I was supposed to find proof. And you hand-delivered it to him.”
The words Arris spoke now did not match up with what I’d known of him over the last few years. My heart seemed to think that now was a great time to start thundering as fast as it would go. “Who’s we?”
“The resistance.” Here, Arris smiled, and the deepest scar, the one that ran over his cheek, pulled and wrinkled in a dozen places.
He’d been my brother’s right-hand man and main assassin for almost three years, and never once had I seen him smile. It scared me more than anything else. I wonder if all his victims got to see this horrible, wonderful expression.
Because that’s what I would be. His victim. He was letting me see another side to him, now, and that meant I was a dead man.
And then the meaning of his statement filtered into my mind. The resistance. That’d been wiped out with the bombing, hadn’t it? Or tainted with the poison, at least, and driven crazy?
“The resistance survives? Truly?”
He nodded. “We have been trying to find justice for almost a hundred years. The exclusion zone is still the center of it. Most of us had family there, when it was poisoned. My great-grandfather’s entire family got walled inside, except for him. He’d been at a friend’s for a sleepover during the bombing.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did any of them… survive?”
“A few, for a while.” He looked away from me, and then his face tightened, the smile vanishing. “We’re almost there. You’re getting dropped in. I pushed for this, instead of using the Black Daydream on you until you were crazy enough to cut your own throat. Vodayn wanted you to die in agony, and I argued this would be the most effective and ironic way. He came around to my line of thinking eventually.”
“Where? Dropped in where?”
He reached past me and tapped on the surface to my right.
I turned my head, my neck still protesting the motion. I suspected that without the painkillers I’d been given, the movement would hurt a lot more.
A window. And beyond it, the sky. Clouds. We were high. I’d never been so high. I never had permission to leave the Sant compound, much less go somewhere that required air transport.
Then again, if all air transport was like this strange, rusted, rickety, noisy vehicle, I doubted I’d missed much.
Arris leaned forward. “You’re wearing a parachute. Do you think you can pull the ripcord yourself once you’re out?”
My heart clenched. I tried to flex my hand, and then lift it. All I managed was a finger-twitch. “I don’t think so.”
“Yeah. What is it?”
“Just a mid-level painkiller from Professor Marita’s lab.”
“Oh.” Marita—there was that name again. Professional jealousy twisted through me. “Thanks.”
“I’ll pull your ripcord for you when you jump, if you’re not up to it now. We’ll be so low nobody will notice the parachute, thanks to the poison.”
“The—oh green-damned hell, the poison.” Arris’s statements finally sank into me. He’d asked my brother to dump me into the exclusion zone. And my brother had agreed, even before he’d started to beat me senseless.
“Here. Hang on to the handles if you can.” He lifted my arms up, his grip gentle, and hooked my hands over smooth, cool plastic. “This will steer you once you’re in the air, if you can find the strength. Pull which way you want to go. Try and land in a flat place, but close to the taller buildings. You won’t be able to get out of the exclusion zone and go back to regular life, but you’ll have a good chance to survive down there if the right people find you. I’ve already put out an alert. I can only hope you make it, Tryg. I don’t want you to die. You’ve been the closest thing to a friend I had in that mansion. Please believe that.”
Arris looked so damned serious, giving me my death sentence with such care. I knew I wouldn’t last. I wasn’t a fighter—not without my poisons, anyway.
“Don’t pull the chute,” I said, holding his gaze. “Let me fall. It’s kinder.”
Arris shook his head. “I can’t, even if I agreed with you. You have to live. You’re our best hope now. I didn’t want to do this to you, but it’s the only way for Vodayn to leave you in peace.”
A blast of static filled the compartment, and Arris scowled and leaned back. He tilted his head. Whatever he listened to, it didn’t repeat in my headset. I tried moving my neck again, and this time I was able to turn maybe an inch farther to the right. More glass and sky.
The transport vehicle had to be well over three hundred years old, if it still had glass windows and rotors that made this much noise. The Eastrend military forces had used these to monitor the huge political protests, way back before the Green Death happened. They’d been passed on to other government agencies, like the one that monitored the poison levels here. Nobody would think this air transport looked out of place. At least not until I got pushed out of it. And Arris seemed to have already thought of that.
I pressed against the window and looked down. The only thing below us was a foggy haze, the green color lurid against the gray of the surrounding city. It was the hue present on some of the creatures in the Menagerie, almost acid-bright.
We were over the exclusion zone. A dozen small drones in a variety of styles hung just over the fog, film crews focusing on the action down below. There had to be another riot, if so many drones were out here. I hated watching the news on the nights they focused on Greenies fighting, but the rest of Eastrend seemed to love eagerly watching the violence, treated like war footage from somewhere unreachable.
All around the green air, a tall wall—bleak and gray and three city blocks thick at its narrowest point—rose a hundred feet higher than the fog, trapping the Green Death into what had once been a hotbed of political resistance. The place where Arris’s family had once lived.
I looked away. Seeing the exclusion zone—really seeing it, not just on a documentary or the news—made me want to scream. My great-grandfather had singlehandedly caused it. All the pain and agony, all the rage, all the violence—he’d created the chemical that caused it. And I might have, in another life, been able to create a way to neutralize it.
“I truly am sorry, Tryg. You’ve been the only reason I still have my sanity, working for Vodayn.” Arris tilted his head, gaze sharpening, and then turned to the window next to me. “The fighting has died down. The drones are moving out. Three minutes and we start moving too.”
“Won’t the drones catch me getting pushed in?” I stared up at Arris. My lower lip wobbled in an embarrassing fashion, and I dropped my gaze. I was twenty. I didn’t need to cry. Especially not in front of him.
“The drones will be over the wall by then. Any remaining behind will already have their cameras off or pointed away. The fight’s over. They have their news clips for the day. If Vodayn tells them not to talk about it, they won’t. But if an unregulated source does draw attention to your drop-in, the story is that you’re a researcher sacrificing yourself for data on the Green Death and what it’s doing to the environment. It wouldn’t be the first time an idiot has gone in willingly and can’t get permission to go through the wall. Researchers never get permission.”
“Oh.” I shuddered. Vodayn was probably the reason for the research block. The darkness of our family secrets bled into so many other people’s lives.
Arris frowned, and then he dug something out of his belt. He held up a small, black handgun, the kind that shot little bursts of plasma—the same weapon he’d dug into my back days ago, when arresting me in the lab.
“It’s fully charged, but the safety is on. Red’s dead.” He flicked the little lever back and forth, showing me a red dot beneath it. “Only use it if you absolutely have to. The sound will call all the wild ones to you if you don’t watch out.”
“They’re the most violent Greenies. They have no tattoos on their faces,” he said. “I’m tucking the gun in your back pocket. I really do want you to survive. I know you haven’t fired one often, but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out. I’ll do my best to check in on you when the Oligarch isn’t watching my every move again, okay?”
He kissed me, bruising, no more than a clash of teeth and lips.
That, more than anything, broke me. We’d never been kissers. I didn’t mind the denial, despite desperately wanting to feel what a kiss was like, mostly because I’d never imagined him being the kissing type. And now, when my banishment and potential execution was so near? Now he gave me what I wanted for so damned long.
When he pulled away, his face was a blank slate, and the chill in his gaze reappeared.
I repressed the urge to scream, to grab at him, to beg to stay in the transport. He might have been my lover, but right now, he was my brother’s top assassin.
These well-wishes and the gun would be the best I’d get from him.
“It’s time” he said as he shoved the gun into the back pocket of the torn, filthy protective work pants I still wore. “There. Brace yourself.” Arris hunched over and fiddled with the metal panel below my window. He grabbed the straps across my chest, and then a great whooshing noise filled the cabin, and the thumping of the rotors above us increased to an alarming volume. Air buffeted my face, ice cold against my cheeks.
And there was no longer any glass between me and the Green Death.
Arris shifted my weight until I sat just on the edge of the seat, tilting out into the nothingness around the transport. The haze hung just below us, the cloudy surface broken in a few dozen places by narrow metal tubes.
“Live, Tryg. Fight for it.” His words rang loud in my ear. Then he yanked my headset off. The noise beat at my eardrums, nearly pounding me senseless.
He shoved, and I was flying.
Madeleine began writing professionally in 2012. She loves stories with hints of paranormal, fantasy, or sci-fi in them. When she isn’t writing or working the day job, she homebrews beer, attempts to cook, and plays video games. She loves going to Renaissance faires, anime conventions, or beer festivals on the weekends.
One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!
Title: Green Death
Author: Madeleine Ribbon
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Length: Novel (394pgs)
Publisher: Madeleine Ribbon (November 2nd, 2018)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: For ninety years, the Exclusion Zone has been walled off from the rest of the country. The neighborhood—once a hotbed of political revolution—is now crumbling. Poison from the great catastrophe still hangs in the air. It taints every living thing that breathes it in. It causes rages, great bursts of violence that can’t be controlled. And that makes living within the walls incredibly difficult. But the descendants of the catastrophe survive, and the resistance hasn’t died.
As poison master to the Oligarch, Tryg Sant knows a lot of things others shouldn’t. But when he discovers his family’s darkest secret, his brother tries to kill him. When Tryg’s lover pushes him out of a helicopter and into the Exclusion Zone, Tryg finds himself trapped in a dangerous new world, entirely different from the one he expects. Now he has to learn to survive nearly-feral humans and his own disintegrating mind. Luckily, he’s found an ally in Riot, one of the victims of the Green Death…
Review: I love when I start reading a book and am taken by surprise with the uniqueness of it.
Tryg is a poison master. He keeps to himself and does what he’s told by his older brother. My repulsion for Tryg’s half-brother started early on and grew stronger. Tryg does not want to hurt people with his poisons and so makes antidotes for every one that is asked for. His lover, and brother’s assassin, Arris is trusted with this.
When Tryg discovers the green death, a poison that radically affects a person by driving them to rage depending on the individuals trigger, was produced and used by his family, Tryg wants to make a cure. But his brother beats him and then has him dropped into the green zone to die a horrible death, only he does not die. He meets Riot and a slew of others who are part of a resistance against the government who have been trying to survive since they were bombed a hundred years ago.
I loved everything about this story. Tryg’s knowledge of poisons was mind blowing. His attempts at making an antidote was steadfast, as was his need to survive and control the rages within him. The hierarchy of the green zone was intriguing to say the least. They had their own little world behind the wall.
Fantastic read and highly recommended.
Check out the other blogs on the tour!
11/6 The Novel Approach
11/7 Divine Magazine
11/8 MM Good Book Reviews
11/8 Joyfully Jay
11/9 The Blogger Girls