by Ramona Finn
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: September 5th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving.
In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to deviate from the norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the Artificial Intelligence’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up in a barren wasteland, with her memories erased, and only one thought lodged in her mind:
“It’s all my fault.”
Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian world called the Norm. Now she’s thrown out, Lib will be forced to team up with another Glitch, Raj, and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the A.I. and change the Norm for the better.
Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with striking loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the A.I. before it’s too late?
Wolf turns out to be tall. Taller than both me and Skye by a lot. His shoulders branch out, broad and thick, encased in a dark cloth that maybe is black or maybe is just really dark and looks black because of the dim lighting. His arms are large, shaped by ropes of thick muscle. His waist dips and then his legs are the same as his arms, thick with muscles, which are only just hinted at beneath tanned cloth that doesn’t look like cloth but more like soft skin. It’s only when I’ve made it down to the tall black he wears on his feet that I jerk my stare back up to the top of him to find his face.
A face that is surprisingly young.
His muscles and size make him seem older, larger, but softness still lingers in his face. Enough to tell me he is barely older than me.
Or barely older than Skye seems to think I am.
“Who’s this?” His deep voice washes over me in a wave that could be comforting, could be menacing. It is still too early to tell.
“Lib. Glitch just tossed. Found her outside the Norm.”
“Skye led me across the stinking, blazing hot sand. She said this is one of the better places. Places where you can still grow some things and where you can find shade and water.” The more I talk, the more Wolf’s mouth pulls down. I brush at the dirt on the cloth that covers me—the jumpsuit, Skye called it. I’m dirty, tired, hungry, thirsty, and starting to not like Wolf. He’s looking at me as if I’m trash to dump. I’m a Glitch. And I’m not like Skye.
I tear my eyes away from Wolf and glance at Skye. She stands beside him now. She’s smiling, but she shifts on her feet and reaches up with one hand to tug her hair forward over one shoulder.
Wolf’s lips tug down even more. I realize with a start that he doesn’t like me and I’m surprised to find this disappoints me. A lot. I’m not sure why; he’s not important.
“A-are you a Glitch?” I ask with a stutter.
His voice turns unfriendly, and he looks straight at Skye. “You should have left her.”
“The way you left me? Wolf, she can be useful. She helped me with the hack.” Skye spreads her hands wide.
“Helped enough to get water access?”
Skye drops her head low and stares at the ground. We stand in a hole—well, we came into this through a hole, but this place is both cool and warm. The walls seem smooth—someone made this place. Light flickers, which is odd, and I don’t understand how the light can jump as it does. It comes from a spot on the ground instead of from above, and the air smells of smoke, but it is not a bad smell. Not like a circuit burning.
That thought leaves me frowning, but before I can trace it back to where it came from, Wolf folds his arms across his broad chest, causing the muscles to stand out. “You know law, Skye. You brought a stranger into the clan.”
Skye looks up, her blue eyes going bright. “Where else will she go? She’s a Glitch and wiped, too. She saved my life—I know law about that, too. That makes her clan.”
His gaze flickers to me and then back to Skye. “Wiped? You sure?”
Skye shrugs. “She couldn’t even remember her name at first. I know wiped when I see it.”
Wolf glances at me. I want to tell him he can keep his laws and clans and I will go, but Skye’s warning that no one should be alone at night echoes in me. Skye calls it Outside—says all Outside is bad, or most of it. Rogues know how to live Outside—they use the Glitches sometimes to access the Norm and get water. And I have to find the Glitches.
Skye continues to stare up at Wolf, her lower lip pushed out now. Her eyes seem bigger and the blue in them shines in the flickering light from the ground. Wolf stares her down for a long moment, but eventually he gives a short nod. He looks at me. His eyes are darker than the world above right now.
“Law is law. For saving Skye’s life, you can share the fire.” He waves at the light on the ground. He turns and stalks down into the darkness, away from us—and from the fire.