From USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Michelle Heard, comes a new, full-length Dystopian Romance novel.
Over the past five decades, the dome over our Ecocity has protected us from the deviants living in the forbidden territory. Since the great war ended, our lives have consisted of virtue and order.
Once a year, seven people are sent out to the forbidden lands to see if there are any deviants worth saving. None have returned, only increasing people's fear of what lies beyond the safe border of the dome.
When I’m chosen as a crusader, the world, as I know it, is ripped from under my feet. In the forbidden territory, I learn things I never dreamed existed – a world I’ve been totally oblivious to. I meet people who freely show emotion and affection. People who dare make their own choices.
It’s frightening and the opposite of everything I’ve ever known.
Suddenly, I have to fight for my life. I’m thrown into chaos where time is running out to become a skilled fighter who will be an asset for the coming war. But my mind’s bombarded with questions – who’s right and who’s wrong? Which side should I fight on?
I don’t belong in this world filled with cruelty and depravity.
This book contains mature language, graphic violence, and explicit content.
CRUELEST OBLIVION is book #1 and ends on a cliffhanger. SWEETEST AWARENESS will conclude the duet.
*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
Ecocity – Isolated city built after the wars ended.
Emissaries – Leaders and founding fathers of the ecocity.
Crusaders – Chosen group of people who are send out to convert the deviants living in the forbidden lands.
Virtuous – Citizens of the ecocity.
Blessed Be – The authorized way of greeting each other.
Curer – Doctor.
Healing Center – Hospital
Haven – Building where the healing center, laboratories, and emissaries are.
Bearer – A woman whose only purpose is to bear children.
Bearer Sector – Where bearers live away from other citizens.
Glofish – Genetically modified goldfish.
Dome – Electric force field over the ecocity.
Trackers – Employed by the emissaries to hunt down crusaders and anyone else they can find. They get paid a bounty for every person they deliver.
Insensate – a person who has been genetically modified not to feel any emotions and obey the emissaries’ commands.
Forbidden territory – Any area outside of the ecocity.
Deviants – Anyone who’s not in the ecocity and following the seven virtues.
Rebels – Criminals not allowed in the wards.
Wards – Small secured holdings where deviants train for the war.
Main ward – The city where most deviants live.
On my way to the haven where the healing center is situated, I stare out the window at the ecocity. It’s the only home I’ve ever known, as I was born and raised inside the dome.
It always looks the same.
Sigh. Nothing ever changes.
There are smaller concrete buildings, the older ones that weren’t torn down and replaced with new shiny skyscrapers. The haven is the tallest building, completely made up of solar windows that reflect green and blue. It’s where the curers, scientists, enforcers, and emissaries are situated.
Our ecocity was cleaned up after the fifth world war when everything was destroyed. From what I’ve learned in my history class, it was a brutal war where only a few survived. No one won, and too many died. Mankind was almost driven to the point of extinction. The animals and most of the vegetation, plants, and trees weren’t that fortunate – they were all wiped out.
All that remained were DNA samples scientists had managed to keep in a secure location from the deviants. That location is now the laboratories where my father works, at the heart of our ecocity, the haven.
Sometimes I get the feeling everything is just too much. Too perfect. Too controlled. It’s a bubble waiting to be popped.
Letting out another sigh, my eyes lock on a billboard, and I automatically read our laws for what must be the millionth time.
Always sacrifice yourself for others.
Do not be greedy or prideful.
No emotions, affection, or touching are to be shown in public.
No unauthorized relationships between men and women.
Obey the emissaries and virtues without question.
Do not overindulge.
Always give of yourself without expecting anything in return.
Do not show annoyance or anger.
Be considerate and mannered.
Together we will prevail.
We will not repeat the errors of our ancestors.
I resist the urge to roll my eyes because it feels like the virtues are constantly being forced down our throats.
There are seven billboards in total, strategically placed across the metropolis. Not only do they show the virtues, but they also convert the atmospheric humidity into water because the single river we have running through our ecocity isn’t nearly enough to provide for all the citizens' needs.