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Untamed (Untamed #1)
by Madeline Dyer
Publisher: Prizm Books
Release Date: May 20th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides--because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.
But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.
Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever
known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.
Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.
The cloth is heavy over my face. Some light filters through it. I can see the flashing green and red lights of the box high up on the ceiling. It’s some sort of power- base, I’m sure. Before they brought the cloth, I saw lots of metal components and wires hanging from it, stretching to the corners of the room. My brother, Three, would love to examine it.
The cloth over my face gets tighter. It presses against my nose, trying to force it down. I can feel their hands all over my body, pushing me onto the platform with cold fingers. I know better now than to resist. But they don’t believe me. They aren’t taking chances, they say.
“Join us willingly.” It’s the same man. Always the same man who speaks. Raleigh. The one who called me a fighter. The one who promised he’d break me.
Katya’s a lost cause. She went willingly.
“No,” I gasp. My word tangles in the cloth. I blink and my lashes drag against the material.
“Very well.” He’s smiling. I know he is. His voice is always lighter and amused-sounding when he’s smiling. “Very well, indeed.”
The water slams against me.
My body’s crushed deeper into the platform.
My throat constricts. I taste bile. I turn, trying to pull away. More water hits me.
Mumbled voices over me. A laugh?
Too much water.
I swallow hastily, my throat constricting again. The syrup in my mouth won’t go away, won’t dissolve.
I clench my fists. I tell myself I’m not drowning. I can’t be. I’m not. I didn’t before. I won’t this time. I can’t, can I?
I am drowning.
They are drowning me. My mouth’s forced open by vomit that squeezes through my teeth. The cloth doesn’t move. My vomit sticks to my lips as I choke on the acid. And the water pounds.
My lungs burn.
For a second, I smell cigarette smoke... Corin. I look for him. But the swirling water gushes and gushes, never stopping for me to see. Just blurriness.
I scream. More bile. My throat constricts again. I gag, retching. Fingers press against my cheeks. The back of my head hits the platform again. Another wave hits me. I taste more syrup.
Pain rushes to my feet. I’m still screaming. I can’t stop screaming. It’s all I know, what I have to do.
Give up... don’t fight... you can’t win....
No... Need to fight... Have to... I can get away. My dad always says we can win... I mustn’t forget... mustn’t....
The cloth lifts up a few inches. My vomit drips onto my face, stinky, smelly. Streams of air burst down my throat. I scream, trying to sit up, but they won’t let me.
“You’re not murderers!” I scream. “The Enhanced aren’t murderers!” It’s what we’ve been taught: the Enhanced don’t believe they’re murderers.
“We’re not,” the man, Raleigh, says. I still can’t see him. It’s just his voice, floating. “We wouldn’t let you drown. This is all in your head, this pain. It’s the evil in you fighting our goodness. It needs to be purged out of you. We have to save you. It would not be right if we didn’t.”
The cloth is lowered again.
Another wave pours down. It’s not worth it, they’ll break you in the end.
“Join us and this will stop.”
Save yourself. Give up now. You can’t go back to being Untamed now anyway.
“I’ll never join you voluntarily, I’ll—”
“You’re lying, your voice is too high-pitched.”
I scream out in anguish. I can’t feel my body. The water’s still coming, still crashing onto my face. I gulp, swallowing more and more until my throat burns again.
“Join us now, and we’ll stop this.”
“No—” I choke, eyes streaming.
Water. Too much water.
“We can keep this up for as long as we need to. Surrender and make it easier for yourself. Limit the pain and join us now. Or suffer for days, months, years. The outcome will always be the same. If I want something. I get it. And my dear, Shania, I want you.”
“Our people never steal. We don’t need to. We are the perfect society, stealing has been eradicated in our people.”
“Take her to the chamber. A level four is necessary. She’s strong.” He turns back to me, grinning. “It won’t take long. We’ll break you into perfection.”
“A bison is most definitely not ridiculous.”
“This book proves Dystopian is not dead. Not dead at all. Seven is a rock solid, super cool female heroine that I could root for. Dyer creates a captivating dystopian world that I can’t wait to dive into again when the series continues in book two. Supporting characters were richly drawn and the pacing was spot on. Loved it! Bring on the sequel!” – T.A. Maclagan, author of THEY CALL ME ALEXANDRA GASTONE.
“Seven is a satisfyingly human main character, whose strength arises not from athleticism or fighting prowess, but loyalty and tenacity, in the face of wobbly self-confidence and the powerful attraction of a superficially attractive lifestyle that’s there for the taking. The other characters are recognisable and individual in their particular failings and weaknesses, and occasional redeeming strengths. The action is plentiful and the pace high as the Enhanced close in – there’s not a lot of stopping to smell the roses. The ending managed to twist and turn [and] left me with no idea of how things might pan out, so I look forward to future installments in Seven’s journey” – Matthew Willis, author of DAEDALUS AND THE DEEP.
Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal. She can frequently be found exploring wild places, and at least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Aside from writing, Madeline enjoys reading, painting, and inline skating. Untamed is her debut novel.
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