Title: The Bionics
Series: The Bionics Novels, Book 1
Author: Alicia Michaels
Published: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Coarse language, mild sexual innuendo
Recommended Age: 16+
All Blythe Sol ever wanted was to be a normal girl. Yet, her dreams of following in her father’s footsteps by joining the military after graduation are crushed when nuclear war comes to the United States in the year 4006. Tens of thousands are killed in a series of attacks on many major cities, while thousands more are left injured from the devastation of the blasts, or terminally ill from the effects of radiation.
When the government offers the sick and injured a second chance as part of the Restoration Project, how could they refuse? Hoping to put her life back together after the blasts take both her arm and her eye, Blythe enrolls in the program filled with hope. She never expects that the bionic additions will change her life so drastically. When it is discovered that those outfitted with the robotic parts have become enhanced beyond the limits of ordinary human ability, normal can never exist for her again.
The Bionics become targets of the government, as fear of them spreads across the nation, further enflamed by media propaganda and political conspiracy. Forced to go into hiding or face execution, society’s outcasts band together to form the Restoration Resistance—an underground rebellion which Blythe becomes a part of in order to survive. She could never imagine that joining them would thrust her at the forefront of an imminent revolution, or that it would put her in a confusing tug-of-war between two of her fellow soldiers—Gage Bronson, the mysterious new addition to the Resistance, and Dax Janner, her best friend. Even though Gage is rapidly capturing her heart, she is forced to face the possibility that her feelings for Dax might just go beyond friendship. However, with impending war and the threat of death hanging over her head, Blythe hardly has time to worry about anything as trivial as a love life…
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Two years ago…
“Welcome to your first day of training. My name is Jenica Swan, and while the media has taught you over the years that I am the enemy… I can assure you that I am one of your best chances at surviving from this moment on.”
I stand in the formation of about fifty people ranging in age from sixteen to forty, watching the imposing ex-CIA agent pace back and forth in front of us. Her polished black boots click on the tiles lining the hovercraft hangar, and her sleek, black ponytail hangs down between her shoulder blades in a straight line. The titanium of the faceplate covering the upper, top right half of her face reflects the lights overhead.
I am flanked by strangers, people I have never laid eyes on before today. Despite the fact that I’ve been living at Resistance Headquarters for two months now, I’ve never left my assigned room. Turning and scanning the row of recruits, my eyes lock on the one person here I do know.
Dax Janner gives me an encouraging smile and a nod. He doesn’t have to speak for me to know what he’s thinking. I can almost hear him in my head saying, ‘You can do this’! Squaring my shoulders and holding my head high, I fix my gaze on Jenica and force myself to focus.
“In the next three months, you will undergo a rigorous training schedule and adhere to a strict personal one. You will wake every morning at 4 am for chow. After chow, there will be a run around the entire dome encasing this hideout. Not through, around… a total of ten miles. After the run, we will engage in hand-to-hand combat training. You will work with partners and other trained members of our team to hone your skills. After that, you will get a one-hour lunch break. From there, you will report back to the main building for time at the range. Our weapons supply is limited, but what we do have, you will all learn to be proficient on. Those of you who signed up for flight lessons will see me each day after your time at the gun range. Every Friday, we will skip our run and meet here for lessons in everything from using your radio COMM devices, to deciphering Military Police code words.”
Swallowing past the lump in my throat, I take this all in numbly. In the past, the idea of training to be part of a unit would have lived up to my every dream. Being a recruit, a cadet… it all felt so meaningless now when there was no one here to be proud of me. No father beaming with pride and saying ‘That’s my girl’. No mother with tears in her eyes. No little sister staring up at me with awe and aspiration.
No one, I reminded myself, except Dax, who saved my life. I can feel him watching me. He does that, as if he thinks I’ll break at any moment and he needs to be there to catch me when I do. It’s happened often enough since he rescued me and brought me here, so I don’t blame him. As much as my insides bristle at his invasion of my defenses, something in me yearns for more of it. Something inside of me misses the bonds I shared with the people who made up my family, and I want those bonds back… more than anything. I want—need—something to live for. Something to fight for.
“Get to know your fellow recruits,” Jenica continues, stopping before our formation and turning to face us with her hands clenched behind her back. “You all are going to be spending a lot of time together. Learn to like each other. Live with each other’s differences. Get over your petty disagreements, or whatever you walked in here with, because this is it. Look around you, people… the guy to your left and the girl to your right are all you’ve got. We all remember what life used to be. We all had lives before we came here. Many of you are young and probably thought you had it all figured it out. Your life hasn’t turned out the way it planned, but this is it. Some of you will suffer even more than you already have fighting this battle. Some of you will die. So, you may as well make it count. If you don’t like each other, tough luck. Forget the past. The people in this room, right now… these people are your new family.”
About the Author:
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
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