The final book in my favorite indie dystopian series, the Contributor series by Nicole Ciacchella, came out this week! If you’re already a fan, go grab your copy on Amazon now – I’m in the middle of reading it now, and so far it’s shaping up to be just as good as the other two, if not better. If you aren’t familiar with the series, and you like YA dystopia with skin-crawlingly believable worldbuilding and a strong main character who is more interested in righting the wrongs in her world than in deciding whom to kiss, start with the first book, Contributor, here.
Disillusioned and angry at the revelation of the Free Thinkers’ secret patron, Dara isn’t sure whether her decision to join them was the right choice. Guilt over Letizia’s loss plagues her, and she feels betrayed by one of the few people in whom she placed her trust.
Adjusting to life outside of the domes hasn’t been easy over the past six months, especially because the Free Thinkers’ progress is so frustratingly slow. Nothing has changed, and she doesn’t know how much longer she can deny her searing need for vengeance, or even whether she should place her faith in the Free Thinkers. The more the truth about both them and the Creators is revealed, the less certain she is that the two are all that different. What if she handed them the incriminating evidence they need to exploit to ensure a future that looks a lot like what the Creators envisioned?
Yet Dara has never been more certain of one thing: the Creators must pay—for what they did to her mother, for what they did to Letizia, and for what they’ve done to humanity.
“Storm coming?” Javier asked, joining her. He folded his arms over his chest, adopting his usual carefree expression and posture, but she’d come to know he wore it like a mask. Almost everything he did was calculated, and behind his placid exterior was a mind rarely at rest.
“I don’t think so,” she said after studying the sky for a moment longer. Conditions didn’t feel quite right for the vicious dust storms that ripped through the area with surprising frequency but little warning. She had developed a healthy respect for them; they were not to be messed with.
“Another sabotage mission completed,” he remarked. He sounded as if he were satisfied with a day’s work well done, but she heard a note of something in his voice, a note that mirrored the disquiet in her own head.
“Prick, prick, prick,” she said, unable to keep the sarcasm from her tone. “Think the Creators will bleed to death anytime soon?”
He smiled. “Doubtful. Still, I guess we are annoying them and setting back their master plan. They can’t be too happy with us about that.”
“So they have to wait for their toys. Poor dears.” Disdain dripped from her words, but the thought didn’t make her feel any better. Who cared if they inconvenienced the Creators? Inconveniencing them was the least of what she’d had in mind.
“The time isn’t right. You must be patient,” he said, mimicking Mal’s tight voice, making Dara smile despite herself.
“I’m really sick of that word.”
“You’re not alone there.”
“Do you think an actual plan exists?”
“Depends on which day of the week it is,” he said, giving her a crooked smile. He leaned against a rusting beam, seeming unconcerned about it crumbling under his weight. “I know they have plenty of plans, I’m just not sure what those plans are and whether they’re the plans I’d like them to be.”
“Raj keeps telling me we can’t be rash.”
“Inertia. I thought the Creators were the only ones who suffered from it. Looks like I was wrong about that.”
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About the Author
Nicole has progressed from scribbling in notebooks to banging on keyboards, but she’s never managed to stop daydreaming at inappropriate moments.
When not answering the demands of her characters, Nicole can often be found curled up with a good book or spending far too many hours acting the hero in whatever video game is her obsession of the moment.
One of Nicole’s other great passions is travel. She loves being married to a native Belgian, both because she likes the idea of being “The American” and because it gives her plenty of excuses to visit Europe—that wondrous land of coffee, chocolate, pastry, and some other stuff—as often as possible.
Michigan born and raised, Nicole lives there with her honorary Michigander/Belgian husband and her two children. A Michigan State University alum, Nicole bleeds green and is a Spartan for life.